Cure Childhood Cancer

CURE Blog


October 1st, 2012

Robby’s Story

Hello, my name is Robby Hughes and September 4th was my 13th birthday. I am in the seventh grade, my favorite subject is Science and I am a blue belt in karate. Some of my favorite things are chocolate milk shakes, playing Wii, watching Wipeout and my iTouch. I like middle school and I get good grades, but I HATE homework. I guess you could say I am a normal, healthy seventh grader. And if it wasn’t for the 12 inch scar running across my abdomen, you would never know that I had been sick when I was 2. I don’t really remember all that I went through back then, but my parents remember, (especially my mom). So I’m going to let her tell you all about it.

It was the summer of 2002. Robby was 2 years old and meeting all the normal milestones for a child his age. He was happy and seemingly healthy with no indication that there was anything wrong with his little body.

My good friend (and college roommate) and her daughter were visiting and we had plans to see everything we could while they were here. On the evening of June 11, after a full day at the zoo, Robby and I were going through our usual bedtime routine and were lying in bed reading. As I put my arm around him I noticed that the right side of his abdomen was protruding a little and was hard as a rock. I knew I needed to call the doctor, but I wrestled with the urgency of it. After all, we had guests. Surely it could wait a day or so.

We decided to go have fun in the morning and call for an afternoon sick appointment with our pediatrician. But that morning Robby was very moody and uncooperative. He didn’t want to go out; he wanted to “take a nap”. REALLY, a nap instead of an amusement park? Red flag! We headed off to the doctors office.

Once examined, we were immediately sent to Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Atlanta for an abdominal ultrasound. What seemed like moments later, we had a diagnosis of kidney cancer, a Wilms’ tumor the size of a grapefruit. We were admitted to a room on the AFLAC Cancer floor and were now in our new home for the next 8 days.

Two days later, he had surgery to remove the tumor and his right kidney. Our journey as a family with childhood cancer commenced. He received weekly chemo treatments for 10 weeks straight and then received them every 3 weeks for 6 months. His official diagnosis was stage 3 Wilms’ tumor which also meant 6 days of radiation.

The first couple months were extremely stressful. Everything was new, uncharted territory for us. Not knowing how he would react to the treatment; whether he would have a good day or bad day. We also had to learn his body language, because a child this young can’t always communicate how he feels or what he needs. Our community rallied around us. Neighbors, friends, church members and even strangers supported us with meals, help and prayer. We could not have gotten through this without all of them. We sincerely felt he love of our Lord through the support of our community.

On Dec. 5, 2002, Robby received his last chemo treatment. It was a wonderful celebration with his doctors and nurses. What a terrific feeling it was to complete that chapter in our lives and be able to move on. In January 2003, we celebrated his being “off-therapy” with a trip to Disney World with the friends who had been here visiting the day he was diagnosed. It was such a wonderful way to celebrate Robby’s renewed health! And it is a cherished memory.

We love Robby so much! We are infinitely blessed to have our son still with us. He is a SURVIVOR! He is a happy, healthy, loving boy, and we are so thankful for all who treated him, cared for him, prayed for him, and simply loved him (and us) in our time of need. We want to celebrate by giving back to CURE Childhood Cancer.

In 2012-2013, CURE Childhood Cancer is investing $1.7 million for research to find cures for childhood cancers. The goal of CURE’s Annual Campaign is to raise $600,000 by June 30, 2013. Please click here to make a contribution.


October 1st, 2012

Nolan’s Story

Nolan started vomiting in the mornings over the summer in 2009, I took him to his pediatrician thinking he just had the stomach flu. Only this stomach flu continued to get worse. Nolan got to the point where he wasn’t just throwing up in the mornings, it was all day. He was loosing weight and having headaches. I continued to take Nolan back and forth to the pediatrician in hopes we could find out what was wrong. His pediatrician referred us to a GI specialist in Atlanta and after going over all Nolan’s symptoms, his GI doctor decided we needed to do a CT scan STAT.

I will never forget October 8, 2009. Nolan went in for a routine CT scan of his brain. After the scan he was handed a balloon and he skipped down the hallway where we were encouraged to wait in a sedation room. I was shocked the nurse was not letting us leave the hospital, and I knew then something was wrong.

I got a call from the doctor stating Nolan had a mass on his brain. They believed it was a tumor. Within two hours Nolan was in the MRI machine getting a scan of his brain and spine. Dr. Reisner met me in the hallway that night with the terrifying news that Nolan not only had one tumor but three. One in his brain, two in his spine and a sugar coating of cancer all throughout his brain and spine.

October 13, 2009 Nolan had a craniotomy to remove the largest tumor. It took about 7 hours including time for anesthesia and recovery. After surgery Nolan was unable to walk or eat by mouth for 18 months and he had only 4 weeks to recover before starting treatment. He had 30 radiation treatments, chemo before each one. After completing radiation he had 6 months of inpatient chemo. We were all more than thrilled when Nolan finished treatment in December 2010 with clean scans.

3 months later Nolan went in for routine scans and we found out he had relapsed with 2 tumors. We were discouraged but we were ready to fight again. The doctors were able to keep Nolan’s tumors stable for 14 months with an outpatient chemo until he relapsed again on May 1, 2012. He is now on a metronomic chemotherapy plan where he takes chemo daily. He is such an inspiration to all of us! He always has a smile on his face and is ready for his next adventure. Nolan enjoys visiting his friends in the hospital, playing with the therapy dogs, playing tennis with his friends from Georgia Tech, watching spongebob, coloring, fishing, playing with hotwheels, watching Nascar (especially Carl Edwards/Aflac) and swimming.

We hope and pray that someday there will be a cure for ALL these kids!

In 2012-2013, CURE Childhood Cancer is investing $1.7 million for research to find cures for childhood cancers. The goal of CURE’s Annual Campaign is to raise $600,000 by June 30, 2013. Please click here to make a contribution.


October 1st, 2012

Abby’s Story

Abby has always been a child that requires a lot of sleep. Since the day she was born, she was a twelve hour sleeper – plus naps. I was told that she would grow out of it. However, in December 2010, at the age of 7, she started needing even more sleep. I blew it off as her going through a growing spurt or being overtired from long days at school. In January, it continued. Everyone kept telling me I was being over protective and over worried. She started withdrawing from her activities because she was too tired after a long day of school. Gymnastics, her favorite activity, became an argument each week. She tried to participate, but then after about 20 minutes, she’d tell me she was too tired and her legs hurt. Again, in the back of my mind, I was becoming more and more worried.

When her birthday came in February, she planned a slumber party on a Friday night. Most 8 year old girls would be ecstatic when they’d get off the bus on their birthday party day. Abby, however, came off the bus and asked if she could go upstairs into her room and read a book. Ten minutes later, she was fast asleep…on the day of her birthday party. I woke her thirty minutes before the party started and she was groggy, grouchy, and really not interested in having her friends come over. This was not normal for my bubbly, friendly, social little girl.

At her 8 year old well check the following week, I insisted on a blood test. When her blood counts came back low, I was immediately worried as my mother had passed away from leukemia 15 years ago. I knew what low blood counts could mean. Our pediatrician was worried as well, so he immediately called Dr. Lew who instructed us to take the counts again in one week. The following week, we had the same results.  One week after that, we were at Scottish Rite for some tests. We left Scottish Rite thinking Abby had a blood infection that would resolve itself in two weeks. However, the following day, on March 11, 2011, the test results came back positive for leukemia. That is how our journey started.

The rest of 2011, were spent adjusting to a ‘new normal.’ Our world revolved around doctors appointments, days at the clinic, spreadsheets of medicine dosages, and arranging activities around blood count levels. Throughout the year, Abby received 15 bags of blood or platelets, I had to take her to the ER 9 times, and we spent over 50 days in the hospital. The doctors and nurses at Scottish Rite were amazingly kind, knowledgeable, helpful, caring, and loving. We were always supported, loved, and cared for. All of our questions were always answered and if they didn’t know the answers right away, we usually had them within a day. Everything was explained to us ahead of time, so we could plan accordingly. Most importantly, though, was the love and respect that they all gave Abby. Abby was old enough to understand what was going on and to have questions of her own. Everyone at Scottish Rite talked to her, answered her questions, and made sure she was as comfortable as possible.

In December of 2011, we started the maintenance phase of treatment. While this phase is much easier as we only have to go to the clinic one a month instead of once a week, I still give Abby chemo every single night. She is still limited on certain foods she can eat at certain times. She is still on high dose steroids 5 days a month, and if she runs a fever, we still have to head to the ER.

Thankfully, we live in an area that not only has a very dedicated hospital and hospital staff, but we also live in an amazing community. We would not have been able to survive the last year without the love and kindness of our friends, family, and complete strangers. I don’t wish this diagnosis or experience on anyone, let alone a child. Is this any way for a child to have to live? We must find a cure for childhood cancer, and with your help, we’ll be that much closer to saving our children, our future.

In 2012-2013, CURE Childhood Cancer is investing $1.7 million for research to find cures for childhood cancers. The goal of CURE’s Annual Campaign is to raise $600,000 by June 30, 2013. Please click here to make a contribution.


June 17th, 2012

A Letter From Annamarie Robb

This week marks the fifth year anniversary of when Sam Robb was re-diagnosed with cancer. In his honor, the Sam Robb fund has been created.

The goal of the Sam Robb Fund is two-fold. Helping to train young pediatric oncologist as well as supporting families in the thick of the battle with childhood cancer. First, the Robb family believes it is critically important to help train young doctors who may make significant contributions to finding cures for childhood cancers, and they know Sam would be proud to support their education. These doctors care for children with cancer with unmatched skill and dedication, and the importance of providing them with the very best training and preparation for this vital and difficult work cannot be overstated.

Below please find a letter from Sam’s mother, Annamarie Robb as she reflects on her son’s life and the importance of finding a cure for childhood cancer.

Dear Friends,

Anniversaries challenge us to reflect, remember and appreciate.

This week five years ago, our lives started to seriously change. A chest X-Ray revealed that Sam’s cancer returned with a vengeance. We spent this week evaluating our options, consulting the best surgeons in Atlanta and Philadelphia. Sam understood the gravity of the situation and knew the importance of a timely surgery. Sam did not want sympathy or pity. He focused upon being with friends and family while we weighed the options. Five years ago our Father’s Day dinner had a different perspective.

Sam taught us how to take one day at a time, confront the challenges and celebrate the good times with friends. Sam understood the importance of being a good friend and having true friends. His legacy of being a great friend inspires people to help our family memorialize Sam’s love of life.

To understand CURE Childhood Cancer‘s role in supporting pediatric cancer research, please watch the video below of Dr. William Woods, the Director of the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorder Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Dr. Woods was one of Sam’s doctors while we were inpatient for treatment years ago.

Thank you for your support of The Sam Robb Fund. Because of your help, we have funded the research and training of Dr. Tanya Watt and Dr. Nicole Schlesinger to help find a cure for childhood cancer.

- Annamarie Robb


April 19th, 2012

CURE Annual Picnic Provides Food, Fun and Support for Childhood Cancer

The CURE Childhood Cancer Annual Picnic is a wonderful day of fun for children fighting cancer and their families. It is a great way connect with others and become part of a great support network.

Childhood cancer patients, survivors, and their families and also families who have lost children to cancer are invited to the CURE Childhood Cancer Annual Picnic on Sunday, April 29, 2012 beginning at 10:30 am at Concourse Office Park (I-285 and Peachtree Dunwoody Road). Amusement Masters, Hudson Family Foundation, Speedway Children’s Charities and Publix are all sponsoring the picnic. In addition, Folks Southern Kitchen will provide lunch.

The picnic provides a positive, uplifting environment allowing people affected by childhood cancer to share compassion and provide support.

In addition to great food, this year’s picnic will feature inflatables, carnival games, special arts and crafts, relay races, obstacle courses, and many other fun activities. The picnic is free of charge for families affected by childhood cancer as well as Lauren’s Run participants.


April 16th, 2012

Look Forward to the Future this Mother’s Day

“Mothers make the world beautiful. She is the rose that speaks of silent love, a language known only by the heart.”

This Mother’s Day CURE Childhood Cancer wants to wish each and every woman supporting children with cancer a happy Mother’s Day. We understand that it is through a mother’s unselfish love, time and energy that families are able to hope for a healthy future.

And why shouldn’t they when we believe that cancer can be cured in our lifetime?

Consider wishing a happy future to mothers through a gift this year. For a $20 donation we will send you five beautiful tribute cards to give to those special mothers, while also helping children with cancer.

The cards truly are a wonderful way to tell someone, “May this Mother’s Day be the beginning of the best years of your life.”

To purchase your cards, click here.


April 9th, 2012

Volunteers Needed for Lauren’s Run

Lauren’s Run and CURE Annual Picnic provides CURE Childhood Cancer volunteers a wonderful opportunity to show support for families who have a child diagnosed with cancer. CURE’s goal is to make this our most successful Lauren’s Run to date and we need your help!

Would you consider volunteering your time on the Day of the Run or on Saturday, April 14th or Saturday, April 21st?

Volunteers are needed on April 29th for the Run and Picnic.

1) If you would like to join us as a volunteer on this special day, click here.

2) Enter your email address. (No registration required!) Please note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone or send spam emails.

3) Sign Up!

Note: If you have trouble accessing the site please email ebateman@whmcafee.com to be signed up manually.

Volunteers are also needed to give a small amount of time on Saturday, April 14th and Saturday, April 21 to hand out Lauren’s Run flyers to run participants. We believe this is the most powerful way to make runners aware of our event. Please take a look at the list of races below and email Lisa at lisa@curechildhoodcancer.org to volunteer.

Knock Out Cancer 5K Run / Walk 2012
Start: Saturday, April 14, 2012 @ 8:30 AM
4209 Roswell Rd Marietta, GA

Georgia Tech Alumni Association’s 40th Annual Pi Mile 5k Road Race
Start: Saturday, April 14, 2012 @ 8:00 AM
Tech Tower Lawn, Georgia Tech Campus
225 North Avenue NW Atlanta, GA

SweetWater 420 5K
Start: Saturday, April 21, 2012 @ 9:00 AM
Candler Park
1561 McLendon Ave NE Atlanta, GA

2012 NCR Sprint for Cancer 5K/10K – Atlanta
Start: Saturday, April 21, 2012 @ 8:00 AM
Perimeter Place Shopping Center, Dunwoody, GA

Run the River 5K/10K
Start: Saturday, April 21, 2012 5K@7:30 10K@8:15
St. Andrew Catholic Church
675 Riverside Road
Roswell (Atlanta), GA

Run the Corners 5K Run/Walk & 1K Fun Run
Start: Saturday, April 21, 2012 @ 8:00 AM
5K – 8:00a.m.   1K – 9:00a.m.
The Forum Shopping Center
5135 Peachtree Parkway Norcross, GA


March 20th, 2012

Copeland’s Buffet for CURE

Over the past six months, Copeland’s of Atlanta has generously offered their support to CURE Childhood Cancer. Through the donation of a Thanksgiving feast, turkey certificates during the holidays, support of the Open Arms program, and more, Copeland’s has gone out of their way to ensure that CURE families are taken care of. With that said, we are pleased to announce an exciting Copeland’s fundraiser for CURE.

Copeland’s Buffet for CURE
Saturday, March 31, 2012
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Cumberland and Kennesaw locations.
Please call ahead for priority seating:
Cumberland 770.612.3311
Kennesaw 770.919.9612

This special buffet is not normally offered and has been put together specifically to benefit CURE. The delicious lineup will feature a variety of breakfast items for all of the brunch fans. In addition, the buffet will offer shrimp, chicken, pasta, wings, salmon, fried fish, mac n’ cheese, mashed sweet potatoes, red beans and rice, a variety of desserts, and more! Click here for the full menu.

Come enjoy the amazing food the Saturday before Easter and support CURE. It costs $12.99 for adults, $6.99 for children ages 5-10 and children under 5 are free. Copeland’s will donate 20% of the proceeds to CURE, so we are asking all of you to please help us make this a successful event with your attendance. We also ask that you please call ahead to be added to our guest list for priority seating: Cumberland 770.612.3311 and Kennesaw 770.919.9612.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to seeing you Saturday, March 31st!


March 19th, 2012

UB4Me Voting – Shirts that Give Back to CURE!

Last year, UB4Me Apparel partnered with CURE Childhood Cancer to sell the “LOVE CURES ALL” shirt to benefit CURE. With each of these shirts sold, at least 15% of the profits are doted directly to us. The long-sleeved, burnout tee has been great for the cold months. But now that it’s heating up outside, UB4Me is back with three options for the new, Spring design!

Which is your favorite? We’re asking all of you to visit UB4Me’s Facebook Page and select your favorite design. The winner will be produced and sold online at ShirtsThatGive.com as well as select Atlanta-area boutiques. There are only three days left to vote, so pick your favorite soon.

Get voting!


March 15th, 2012

Sips N’ Strokes Night for CURE

The 20 Something Tridelta Group has organized a Sips N’ Strokes fundraiser for CURE Childhood Cancer. You are invited to join us for this fun evening event:

Thursday, March 22, 2012
7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Sips N’ Strokes of Toco Hills
3019 North Druid Hills Road N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30329

Sips N’ Stokes is a fun, laid-back art class where all participants go home with an original piece of art. Guided by an instructor, you will go step by step to create your masterpiece. As the title implies, feel free to bring any beverage of your choice to enjoy while you’re creating your painting! Tickets cost $25 each (regularly $35) and a portion of each ticket sold will be donated to CURE.

The room holds 100 people, so please RSVP to Melissa Mitchell at mmitchell1983@gmail.com if you would like to attend. We hope to see you there!


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    INAUGURAL BELIEVE BALL - SOLD OUT!

    On Saturday, May 3, 2014, at the St. Regis Atlanta, CURE will honor Tom Glavine, and his wife Chris, for their tireless dedication to CURE's mission as well as celebrate Tom's recent induction into the MLB Hall of Fame. Click here to learn more about the event and check back soon for a link to bid in a fabulous online auction.

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    LAUREN'S RUN & CURE PICNIC

    Register Now for the 20th Annual Lauren's Run 10K, 5K, 2K and Tot Trot on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at Concourse Office Park in Atlanta, GA. After the run, walk to the ultimate family-friendly CURE Picnic, a day including lunch, football with NFL players, inflatables, games, prizes, and more!