Governor Christie Signs Legislation Establishing Teen Cancer Awareness Week

Trenton, NJ – Governor Chris Christie today signed legislation to designate the third week of every January as “Teen Cancer Awareness Week” in New Jersey. The joint resolution, SJR-14, was initiated by the Alicia Rose “Victorious” Foundation (ARVF), to promote cancer awareness and understanding of the unique needs of teens who have the disease. ARVF was established in honor of Alicia Rose DiNatale of Voorhees Township, who died in October 2002 after a 13-month battle with cancer at the age of 17.   
 
“As parents, the health and well-being of our children is our number one priority,” said Governor Christie.  “Teens with cancer very often face special concerns that are both social and medical.  As I sign this legislation to honor the memory of their daughter Alicia Rose, I want to thank the DiNatale’s for their good work to enhance the quality of life for other teenagers with cancer and life-threatening illnesses.”  
 
Since it was founded by Gisele and Mario DiNatale in 2002, ARVF has funded the addition of over 50 Teen Lounges in hospitals throughout the United States and in England; distributed 7,200 Teen Kits to 80 hospitals located in 34 states; and organized events such as Bandana Days to raise awareness about teen cancer.
 
While cancer among adolescents is rare, it is the leading cause of death from disease in teenagers between 15 and 19 years of age.  
 
As cancer patients, teens deal with a unique set of issues that include education, social life, and body image while other teen survivors find readjusting to school and social settings more difficult.
 
“As a physician, I know that early detection ensures early treatment and improves survival rates. Teen Cancer Awareness Week will serve as a reminder to parents that adolescents need annual checkups,’’ said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Dr. Poonam Alaigh.  
 
Senate sponsor of the joint resolution is Senator Beach (D-Camden) and in the Assembly it was sponsored by Assemblymembers Greenwald (D-Camden) and Lampitt (D-Camden).

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