The widespread use of ribbons as symbolic representations of a particular message or campaign in America began in 1979 during the Iran hostage negotiations, when the yellow ribbon became a medium to spread the message of hope, solidarity, and awareness about the current crisis.

Since then, ribbons have played a powerful role in countless awareness campaigns, including causes such as: AIDS (red ribbon), breast cancer (pink ribbon), suicide prevention (yellow ribbon), and many others. Ribbons send a clear message without saying a single word, which allows them to transcend language barriers and have far-reaching global impacts.

The international awareness symbol for Childhood Cancer is the gold ribbon. Unlike other cancer awareness ribbons, which focus on a singular type of cancer, the gold ribbon is a symbol for all forms of cancer affecting children and adolescents.

History of the Gold Ribbon

Approximately 20 years ago, when the American Childhood Cancer Association (ACCO) was known under its former name, the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCCF), the gold ribbon was chosen to serve as the universal symbol for Childhood Cancer Awareness by CCCF board member Gigi Thorsen and a group of parents whose lives had been affected by childhood cancer.

Although many colors were considered, gold was agreed upon as the ideal choice for childhood cancer awareness because gold is a precious metal, and is therefore the perfect color to reflect the most precious thing in our lives—our children.

The CCCF funded production of the first gold ribbons in 1997 (in the form of lapel pins), and thanks to the dedication and commitment of this group of parents during the early years of the organisation, the gold ribbon has now become an internationally-recognised symbol for Childhood Cancer Awareness.

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