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School Nurses Push Childhood Cancer Through the Door

LaGrange, Ga., September 19, 2017 – September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Troup County School System (TCSS) nurses decided to ‘Go Gold’ to tackle awareness. Christy Mason, RN Health Care Coordinator for TCSS said a door decorating contest would be a powerful conversation starter to help bring childhood cancer awareness to student and adults.

According to Mason, cancer is the third most common cause of death among children between the ages of 1 and 19. In addition:

• TCSS currently has ten students that are battling cancer.

• The most common form of childhood cancer is leukemia.

• Cancer accounted for seven percent of all childhood deaths in Georgia from 2001-2011.

Callaway Elementary school nurse, Alexia West, LPN, said, “I chose to decorate my door with a ‘Big Bee’ theme in hopes of shining light on the hope for a cure. The wings on the bee share words of hope, peace, love, trust, strength, courage and fight.” West shared that it is so important to bring awareness with the community, as well.

Diane Payne, LPN and school nurse at Franklin Forest Elementary was excited about the first annual door decorating competition. “I love the coordinated effort between the staff,” said Payne. “I chose to decorate my door with gold ribbons to show we support and want to make a difference in childhood cancer. Most children are not aware, or don’t understand, that cancer impacts kids, too.”

At Long Cane Elementary, Debbie Phelps, RN, enlisted student participation. She asked them to place their handprint on construction paper so she could then use it to decorate her door. She stated, “The kids were eager to help and they love seeing their handprint on the door. It was an opportunity for me to make them aware of childhood cancer as well as involve them.” Phelps is also a nurse at Long Cane Middle.

After all entries were reviewed, Phelps and her design with student handprints was named the overall winner. Mason stated, “All of the decorated doors were awesome, but this one stood out a little with the help of the kids.”

About Troup County School System Troup County School System is an accredited educational system with over 12,200 students in grades K-12. TCSS does offer a free Pre-K program at each elementary school. The system is comprised of eleven elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools, one college and career academy, and one alternative learning center. Students within the school system are taught a rigorous and relevant curriculum that helps them make college and career choices beyond graduation and succeed in life. The system 2016 graduation rate rose 5.5 percentage points to 76.9 percent. To learn more about Troup County School System, visit troup.org and the Troup County School System Facebook page.