RIVERSIDE – Mayor Rusty Jessup presented a proclamation, which was unanimously approved by the council, to a 13-year-old with cancer.
The document proclaimed September in Riverside as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. It was presented to Mileena Painter, of Riverside, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2017.
Painter, along with her mother, Rachelle, accepted the proclamation.
According to the document, one in every 285 children in the U.S. are diagnosed by their 20th birthday, and 43 children per day or 15,780 children annually, are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S.
Rachelle thanked the mayor and council for their support for the past two years, after her daughter was diagnosed with cancer.
“We are just going to keep fighting and going every day,” Rachelle said.
Mileena was wearing a face mask at the meeting.
Her mother explained Mileena is still receiving chemotherapy treatments, which weaken the immune system.
According to the proclamation, there are approximately 40,000 children on active treatment at any given time.
“Too many families and communities, like our own, have been touched by childhood cancer and its consequences, and only by increasing awareness will it be possible to control and ultimately defeat this disease,” Jessup said during the council meeting. “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month offers all Riverside citizens the opportunity to remember the young lives taken too soon, honor the survivors and celebrate the progress made in treatment and recovery.”
Her mother said Mileena is a Pell City Junior High School cheerleader, and an “Orange Out,” where people wear the color orange, is planned for the first home football game Tuesday in an effort to bring cancer awareness to the community during Leukemia Awareness Month and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.