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Scott Haws ReportingTake the nearly 20-thousand seats at the Delta Center and fill every one with someone under the age of 18. That's how many children in the US have been diagnosed with cancer since the beginning of last year. And a third of those diagnosed will likely lose their battles with the disease. Now, Salt Lake County is trying to bring more attention to childhood cancer.
It's official, September is now Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Salt Lake County, a distinction already recognized on a national level.
So why does Britney Spears care? Well the Brittany Spears you are about to meet is just 14 and fighting her own war on cancer.
Britanny Spears, Cancer Patient: “Osteosarcoma.”
It’s a complicated word for anyone at any age. For 14-year old Brittany Spears it simply means she has a 50-50 chance of survival. But since being diagnosed two years ago and losing her arm last year, Spears is beating the odds and she's doing it with a smile.
Brittany Spears, Cancer Patient: “After I got my arm amputated I learned how to horseback ride.”
Vern Spears, Brittany's Father: “To accept a 50-50 chance that it could stay away or it could come back, that’s scary.”
Instead of being afraid, Spears is doing what some 500 other kids in the Salt Lake area who are battling cancer are doing, making the most of the time they have.
Photos of her Olympic torch run with her father just a few minutes before the flame entered Rice-Eccles Stadium and a trip to Disneyworld are some of the favorites filling her scrapbook. And of course she gets plenty of comments about her name.
Reporter Question: “Are you a Britney Spears fan?” “Not really"
Vern Spears, Brittany's Father: “I tell people my Brittany has more class.”
Every year, 150 children are diagnosed with cancer here in the Salt Lake area and parents are hoping the new designation will help raise awareness and hopefully a cure.
As for Brittany Spears, she's heading into her freshman year at East High School, hoping "Britney" fans won't be hard to find.