ACCO is the oldest and largest grassroots childhood cancer organization in the U.S. dedicated to making childhood cancer a national health priority.
Advances in medical science over the past 100 years have led to a dramatic decrease in child mortality in the United States: clean drinking water and improved sanitation, the introduction of antibiotics, and vaccines for most common childhood diseases has made the death of a child in the United States a rarity—something you may hear about on the news, but not something that could happen to you or someone you love. Yet amidst all the amazing miracles of science that have made the death of a child so exceptional, there is one glaring omission: cancer. Childhood cancer remains the number one disease killer of children in the United States today, and the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 4 and 14 after unintended fatal accidents. Yet despite this sobering fact, childhood cancer remains a silent disease: hidden in the shadows of modern hospitals, left behind by modern miracle cures.
The American Childhood Cancer Organization is dedicated to fighting this last great disease killer of children. We are engaged in this ongoing struggle because we understand the emotional and physical toll childhood cancer takes on its victims and their families, because we ourselves have been touched by it. The ACCO (formerly known as Candlelighters) was founded by a talented and committed group of parents whose children were diagnosed with cancer at a time when surviving childhood cancer was nearly impossible. Since that day, we have grown from a small group of committed parents to one of the nation’s largest, grassroots organizations dedicated to making the lives of children and families suffering from this disease and its long-term side effects easier, even as we work towards giving these children the benefit of one more miracle cure.