LOVELL — A local woman has convinced Gov. Paul LePage to “Go Gold” in September and help support children battling cancer and their families.

Cancer is detected in nearly 15,000 children every year, according to the American Cancer Fund for Children and Kids Cancer Connection. More children in the United States die of cancer than any other disease.

Earlier this month, LePage proclaimed September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

“I was thrilled,” said Barbara Graham of Lovell who wrote the governor earlier this month to ask for the proclamation and that he light up the State House in gold. “I was even more thrilled two weeks later when we got the proclamation.”

Although she was unable to get the governor to agree to light up the State House with gold lights, he agreed to light up the Blaine House with gold lights.

David Boulter, executive director of the Maine Legislative Council, explained to Graham in an email that as a matter of policy, the Legislative Council had determined that the Capitol should not be lit or used to display lights in various colors in support of, opposition to, or in recognition of various groups or causes, some of which inevitably could politicize or offend.

“The Legislature receives similar requests periodically and the Legislative Council feels that the Capitol as it is now lit with white lights should symbolize the institution of democracy, not a particular cause, however worthy that cause might be,” he wrote.

Graham’s quest to help others battling childhood cancer was initiated through a Facebook meeting with Massachusetts resident Tony Stoddard whose son Cole died of cancer in 2011. The boy, who was diagnosed in 2011 with neuroblastoma, a form of cancer that attacks undeveloped nerve cells, asked his father to “do something big in my memory,” Graham said.

Stoddard began a foundation named “A Day of Yellow and Gold to Fight Childhood Cancer.” He asked proprietors of dozens of landmarks and iconic buildings across the United States to partner with the foundation in September to raise awareness by illuminating their structures in gold, the color of childhood cancer awareness.

Graham joined the campaign. For Graham, the issue is personal.

Her 7-year-old niece Campbell, who lives in New Jersey, has been battling cancer since she was 3 years old.

“She’s been on a clinical trial at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since January and her scans in June were very encouraging,” Graham said in an email. Recently scans showed one of the four tumors in her brain has doubled in size.

Campbell will undergo another operation this week, Graham said.

“The fact that they want to operate is encouraging though, the neuro-oncologist said that the margins looked good and they should be able to get it all. This will be her fourth or fifth brain surgery — I’ve lost count,” she said.

Graham said her niece is winning the battle so far.

“This is so important. Children are dying every day,” she said.

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