The Rexburg City Council declared September 2013 as Be The Gold Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Be the Gold is a movement created to raise awareness of childhood cancer by using social media.
Elizabeth Struk, founder of Be the Gold, represented the movement at the City Council meeting Sept. 18.
Struk said the purpose of the movement is to raise big brands awareness of childhood cancer such as Nabisco and Campbell’s so they will put some of their profit toward childhood cancer research.
Struk said if gold is on products people will more likely buy it because they know the company sports funding for childhood cancer.
Only two types of medication for childhood cancer have been produced in the last 25 years, according to the Be the Gold proclamation.
“It’s astounding there hasn’t been more [money] put toward [childhood cancer],” said council member Donna Benfield.
Struk compared aspects of Be the Gold to maps, cars and gasoline.
She said the map represents the plan “to get gold on products.”
The car symbolizes the badge because it drives the movement forward.
The Be the Gold badge, which symbolizes the movement, says “Hello, my name is Gold.”
The gasoline signifies social media such as Facebook and YouTube. Struk uses social media to raise awareness of childhood cancer.
A total of 450,000 people viewed Be the Gold YouTube videos as of Sept. 21.
Struk said she wants the badge to replace the gold ribbon in representing childhood cancer.
She said that the badge is to raise awareness of childhood cancer by connecting the idea with a symbol.
City Council member Jerry Merrill said this is a big goal.
“She seems pretty determined and well-organized,” Merrill said.
Council member Sally Smith said she hopes Be the Gold will one day become as familiar with people as breast cancer awareness.
Struk started Be the Gold after her son was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in August 2011 when he was 3 years old.
Struk said her son was bruising and had extreme fatigue before his diagnosis.
Struk said the treatment includes chemotherapy take orally every day, injected into the blood stream every month, and distributed into the brain and spinal cord every three months.
“[His] prognosis is good, and he is in remission,” Struk said.
Struk researched childhood cancer and said she was unsatisfied and uneasy with what she found.
She said that not many advancements have been made in the last several years,
Struk said she started the Be the Gold Facebook page in October 2012.
She said she researched other campaigns and that found the key to success is social media.
Struk currently has a website, a blog, a Facebook page and several videos on YouTube regarding Be the Gold.