Cure Childhood Cancer

CURE Blog


September 29th, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Cole

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Cole. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Cole’s fundraising page.

1142912_39151025483377

Cole was born July 29, 2013. He was a tiny baby at 2 pounds 8 ounces. He was in the NICU for three short weeks. He amazed all the nurses in the NICU. We knew then that Cole was so special. On March 16, 2015, our world turned upside down.

Cole had a runny nose that he couldn’t seem to kick. We made a doctor’s appointment with his pediatrician. He didn’t have an ear infection or anything else. The doctor noticed Cole’s belly looked funny. She did an exam and felt something. She sent us to have an ultrasound. Not long after that ultrasound was done, I got horrible call to have Cole come to Memorial Hospital as quickly as we could get there. I will never forget that phone call. We were told that Cole had Hepatoblastoma, a rare liver cancer.

These are words that a parent will never forget “Your child has cancer.” We devised a plan of treatment. We met amazing families that were going through similar situations with their children. I remember sitting in Cole’s hospital room crying about all the children that were in their rooms fighting for their lives. Cole endured 2 rounds of chemo, then on May 18th he had the right lobe of his liver removed. He amazed us once again with his strength and bounced back quickly. On July 20th, we found out that Cole was in remission. He is now going through the terrible 2s, and we love it! 

Donate Now


September 29th, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Nolan

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Nolan. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Nolan’s fundraising page.

1142912_19815856461199

Nolan is 12 now and Aubrey is 10. Nolan was only 8 when we learned he had AML Leukemia.

As an adult oncologist, Nolan’s Dad speaks to patients about their cancer all day long, but it was very different when it came to telling his son he had cancer. The first few days he could not bring himself to say the word “cancer.” He said “blood disease.” I remember one of the first Get Well cards that Nolan received; we stuck it to the wall with the other cards and it read, “I am sorry you have leukemia.” It was the first time he had seen the word spelled out. I would sound out the word Lou-Key-Me-A so he could remember how to say it.

Looking back on that time is a very emotional blur; I often think of how Dorothy felt waking up in The Wizard of Oz – “But it wasn’t a dream, it was a place and you and you and you and you were there.” So many people were there for our family, never before have we felt so cared for and supported. Our community, friends and family were nothing short of amazing.

Now Nolan is healthy and we are blessed. We have met and learned of other cancer kids on this journey; we follow them, we pray for them, we celebrate good news, and we cry at bad news. Every year we do our best to raise money and awareness for CURE Childhood Cancer, please help us by donating. 

Donate Now


September 29th, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Ashley

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Ashley. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Ashley’s fundraising page.

Ashley

At the beginning of August, thousands of Metro Atlanta teenagers began their senior year in high school. Ashley Anderson would have been one of those students had Acute Mylegenous Leukemia (AML) not invaded her body in early 2006. This sweet 8 year old girl went from being healthy and energetic child to suddenly fighting for her life due to a rare and aggressive blood cancer in a matter of a couple of weeks. Children with AML are given a 50% survival rate at diagnosis.

Doctors immediately began chemotherapy to get Ashley into remission but after five weeks in the hospital, her bone marrow biopsy revealed that the chemotherapy was only partially effective. Ashley would need a bone marrow transplant to survive. As Ashley’s parents and younger sister were not suitable donors, doctors were forced to use stem cells from cord blood of an unrelated donor.

After an additional nine weeks of inpatient chemotherapy at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the treatment finally reduced her leukemia to an acceptable level for transplant. On August 1, 2006, doctors began her transplant. Even though the transplant was initially successful and her new white cells were beginning to function, Ashley’s body began to weaken from the intense chemotherapy and side effects of the bone marrow transplant. Ashley lost her courageous battle on November 17, 2006.

Ashley’s courage and determination continue to be an inspiration to all. She and her story have made a profound impact on the lives of others. Her beauty, intelligence and sweet spirit will always be remembered by those who knew and loved her. We will never forget her incredible smile, abundant energy, and terrific hugs. We love and miss you Ashley.

CURE is an organization that strives to bring happy endings to stories like Ashley’s.

Childhood cancer research continues to be woefully underfunded, and we hope that CURE will continue to receive the financial support to fund the pediatric cancer research projects that are so desperately needed to save the lives of our precious children. Friday night football, proms and high school graduation are just some of the experiences Ashley and thousands of other childhood cancer patients miss. Please consider helping CURE with supporting the patients and families of childhood cancer and funding the research needed to cure these terrible diseases.

Thank you CURE for being there for us and for your continued efforts to make a difference. 

Donate Now


September 29th, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Abby

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Abby. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Abby’s fundraising page.

Abby

My journey started in 2009 after being diagnosed with a Brain Tumor. I was 12 years old in 7th grade and I am now 18 starting my freshman year of college. My journey is still going strong with many bumps and challenges along the way. I was blessed that I was able to complete my High School requirements and graduate on time but had many challenges along the way. This past year consist of chemo for a third time, port access, MRI’s, CT scans, emergency rooms, missing school events, being sick, life fight to Children’s hospital, more surgeries and countless doctor appointments.

I have learned a lot about myself. I looked to God to open new doors for me and to give me strength to focus on my goals. I had to change many of my interests and find ways to continue to participate in as many things that I could. It is important to find ways to be involved. In high school I served as manager for football, girls’ basketball and baseball on days I did not feel sick. I tried to stay active in clubs, yearbook and work base learning.

My plans are to continue to serve others and to help others who have to face similar medical issues like me. I have made many special friendships with the Child Life specialist which has influenced me to become a Child Life specialist so I might help children going through difficulties one day.

I will be living at home since I am still on treatments and not driving yet. I will be attending Dalton State at our off-campus facility in Ellijay. I hope to one day intern at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and eventually work there.

By giving to CURE you are helping thousands of children who have gone through what I have and some much more. I am doing well right now but we never know what tomorrow holds for us. I have many friends who are very sick and do not have many options left. I want people to understand how important it is to find cures for children. When we finish chemo we are not cured. We will always have MRI’s, CT scans, doctor appointments and a higher risk of developing another type of cancer as we get older. Our lives have been forever changed physically and emotionally.

It is your turn to help! By supporting CURE you are helping not just me but thousands of children. You are helping parents that stand by our sides and parents that have lost their child because there are no more options.

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! Help find a Cure!

Donate today.

I cannot see what God is doing but I have faith and believe it is good and that God has special plans for me and will continue to use me and direct my life.

2 Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by Faith, not by sight”

Thank you for your Love and Support.

Abby 

Donate Now


September 28th, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Natalia Sofia

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Natalia Sofia. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Natalia Sofia’s fundraising page.

1142912_169151326282300

Natalia Sofia is a childhood cancer survivor. In August 2013, at the tender age of 8, she was diagnosed with localized Ewing’s Sarcoma of her femur bone.

In addition to surgery, she endured an intense chemotherapy for a year and radiation treatment every day for a month. Due to harsh treatments, she is still suffering from the side effects of her treatment.

By the grace of our MIGHTY GOD, she has overcome cancer and has been cancer free for 13 months!!! 

Donate Now


September 28th, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Natalia Sofia

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Natalia Sofia. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Natalia Sofia’s fundraising page.

Natalia Sofia

Natalia Sofia is a childhood cancer survivor. In August 2013, at the tender age of 8, she was diagnosed with localized Ewing’s Sarcoma of her femur bone.

In addition to surgery, she endured an intense chemotherapy for a year and radiation treatment every day for a month. Due to harsh treatments, she is still suffering from the side effects of her treatment.

By the grace of our MIGHTY GOD, she has overcome cancer and has been cancer free for 13 months!!! 

Donate Now


September 28th, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Owen

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Owen. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Owen’s fundraising page.

1142912_19815817437650

Backtracking from the beginning, on March 31st, Owen threw up shortly after going to bed, and several times throughout that night. Thinking we were dealing with a stomach bug of some sort, we just did the usual crackers and ginger ale. After several days of the same pattern (fine during the day, sick late at night and especially early in the morning) we took Owen to the doctor. At the appointment we were given the typical anti-nausea medication and sent away. The vomiting continued for two weeks, in spite of numerous trips to the clinic and ER, and all the home remedies you can think of. Not to mention that Owen has two brothers and two sisters – none of whom had become the slightest bit sick from this mysterious bug. On the 14th of April, Tommy and I returned to the hospital demanding further testing and answers.

Finally, an abdominal scan was completed, which ultimately showed the presence of tumor growth throughout his abdomen and spine.

This, of course, was not the point of a full diagnosis; in fact we were not even told the results of the scan until days later. But this 5-minute x-ray was the beginning of Owen’s journey with cancer, or at least a conscious journey.

Owen had become so dehydrated he could barely hold his head up from two weeks of vomiting and misdiagnosis; therefore we were transported to the Children’s hospital in Oklahoma City. The following morning, Owen had a seizure which prompted a CT and resulting in the discovery of what looked to be a large mass in his brain. An MRI was scheduled for that afternoon, and on the way down, Owen had a second seizure in the elevator rendering him unresponsive just over two minutes. Almost immediately an EVD was placed, and we spent the next few days in ICU.

Fast forward a few months, we now know Owen was vomiting because tumors were blocking the flow of fluid between the brain and spine, causing a build of pressure high enough to cause a life-threatening herniation of his brain stem. We know the type of tumor is PNET.

We know it’s far spread, and the odds are very much against us.

We know a lot, and we know nothing.

We know nothing that can stop this, we know nothing to blame for why this is happening in the first place, and we haven’t begun to know how we are going to guide our other children through this process while we are very much lost ourselves. 

Donate Now


September 28th, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Robbie

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Robbie. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Robbie’s fundraising page.

Robbie Moore Photo

“Your child has cancer.” Fours words that parents never want to hear – Those four words which will impact your life and the lives of those around you forever. And yet, those four words, as much as you hate them, would not be the worst you would ever hear. Imagine the heartache of hearing your child sobbing and repeating, “I don’t want to die.” When you are in complete shock, how do you comfort them? What do you say? What do you do?

Our son, Robert “Robbie” Moore, was diagnosed with a tumor in the brain stem at age 15. He was experiencing some symptoms that I was down playing as a virus, vertigo, or the need for eye glasses. After all, he was a child that was rarely, if ever, sick. The only visits we ever had to the doctor were for swimmers ear. In the hot Georgia summers, he loved to play in the pool with his brother and cousins. Everyone always knew he was having a grand time, because you could hear his laughter a block away.

Robbie was a sweet, loving child who took great interest in racing go karts. Six months before his diagnosis, he had managed to save enough money to purchase his first kart and every spare minute of his time was spent working on his new hobby. We had never seen him have such a passion about anything. And we had never seen anyone have such heartbreak and disappointment at the fact that his passion would end before it ever got started.

Treatment options are not very effective for Glioblastoma Multiforme, a grade 4 astrocytoma which was located in the pontine area of Robbie’s brain. The tumor was located in a place so sensitive that biopsies were rarely performed and removal was impossible. Our neurosurgeon was confident that he could biopsy the tumor. He sent a sample off to pathology so that we would know exactly what we were dealing with and the best possible treatment option.

Little did we know, successful treatment options were very few, and our hopes would be in a clinical trial. One of the hardest decisions to make is one where no matter what you choose, the odds are still stacked against you. A lot of the information that was available to help us make our decision was based on adult trials.

After Robbie had his biopsy, his life changed completely. He went from attending school with his friends, to having teachers come to our home when he was feeling well enough to complete school work. He went from being able to walk, run, and race, to using a walker and then a wheelchair. He lost his independence and his ability to live the lifestyle that healthy teenagers should live.

His days were spent at home with family and many friends visiting him. The clinical trial was not successful, and shortly after he was withdrawn. He began to experience paralysis on the right side of his body. By his 16th birthday, he was unable to walk, yet his spirits were still high. He never complained or gave up the fight.

Several different chemotherapy drugs were used to try to control the beast that was robbing our precious child of his livelihood and his life. With every new drug that was tried, we had high hopes of this being the MIRACLE drug that would cure our son. After all, he still had so much living left to do.

The drugs were often hard on his body and caused swelling, weight gain, skin breakdown, nausea, hair loss, and rashes. There were many trips to the doctor and several to the hospital for overnight stays for rehydration. There were additional treatments for blood clots and home visits for physical therapy.

Two days before Thanksgiving, we got the results from an MRI that showed the chemo was no longer effective. The tumor had grown, and there were no more options available to him. “We’re sorry, there is nothing more we can offer,” ranks right up there with “Your child has cancer.” It causes as much heartache as when your child sobs, “I don’t want to die.”

Robbie, our precious teenage son, a handsome young man with brown hair, beautiful hazel eyes, and a heart of gold, touched the lives of people young and old. He was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, uncle, and friend who brought joy to others. He fought a courageous battle with a beast that medicine couldn’t cure. We cried, we laughed, we prayed, we talked…and yet all of that time we spent together was never enough…never enough for those of us who loved him dearly and would give anything to have just one more day with him.

After a 13 month battle, Robbie crossed the finish line. Taking the checkered flag as he raced his way into heaven. He will live forever in our hearts.

While on this journey, we have met or read of many other children battling cancer. It is our wish that one day, no other parent who has a child with cancer will ever have to hear the words “We’re sorry, this is nothing more we can offer.” We are happy to be teamed up with CURE to raise funds to find a cure for childhood cancer. 

Donate Now


September 28th, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Sam

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Sam. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Sam’s fundraising page.

1142912_1915754491552

Sam is a very special 8 year old. After receiving regular 4yr old shots and a flu shot, a fever set in and continued on for several days. After seeing the doctor twice, the third time Sam was admitted to the hospital for a bone marrow test.

He was diagnosed in November 2011 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). He started chemo Friday morning November 11, 2011. His port was also implanted below his collar bone in November.

Sam has had a handful of blood transfusions in the past 3 years. Sam has been through a lot, from losing all his hair, losing and gaining weight constantly, having numerous spinal taps, going through the difficult challenge of learning and taking chemo pills every night (that was a hard battle), being told that he can’t go outside to play, missing school, to avoiding certain foods when his immune system was low.

Through it all Sam has been an inspiration to all of us. In 2012 a local artist, Morgan Webb, painted Sam in a mural in the new remodeled wing in outpatient at Memorial Hospital. When he went to outpatient for his blood work, he was surprised to see himself in the mural. WOW! What an amazing feeling that brought us all to tears. We were so overjoyed to see how much of an inspiration Sam was to our community.

It is now August of 2015, and Sam is a survivor. He has been off treatment for almost one year. Sam will continue to visit the outpatient clinic for periodic blood work. He hasn’t stopped being our little hero! 

Donate Now


September 28th, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Team Thomasville

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Team Thomasville. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Team Thomasville’s fundraising page.

1142912_258151057235263

Team Thomasville 2015

CURE Kids Conquer Cancer

It’s amazing how oblivious you can be to the things that are affecting your community and the people that live next door to you, until you are faced with the reality of it yourself. Everyone knows that when they start to see the pink ribbons, Breast Cancer Awareness month is approaching. It does not take much thought; it is common knowledge that the month of October and the color pink is a reminder to get your “ta-tas” checked. But how many people know what the gold ribbons represent? It was not until my daughter was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, stage four brain cancer, that I was introduced to the world of chemotherapy, radiation and many sleepless days and nights. Truth be told, I had never met a child that was affected by childhood cancer. How could I have been in the dark about this life altering illness that affects thousands of kids each year?

According to Cureseach.org, every day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer. Of those 43 children diagnosed, 12% do not survive. Childhood cancer does not discriminate against gender, soci-economic status or race. More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year and the average child is diagnosed at the age of six. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta website reports that more than 400 of the 12,500 children diagnosed with cancer in the United States can be found here in the state of Georgia. But the most important statistic I believe is the amount of money that is contributed to help battle childhood cancer. Despite these facts, childhood cancer research is vastly and consistently underfunded. Research and development for new drugs from pharmaceutical companies comprises 60% of funding for adult cancer drugs and close to zero for childhood cancers. However, the National Cancer Institute spends 96% of its budget on adult cancers and only 4% of its budget on children’s cancers. In dollar terms, National Cancer Institute’s funding for pediatric clinical trials is $26.4 million while funding for AIDS research is $254 million, and breast cancer is $584 million (icareicure.org, 2015).

It is because of the statistics referenced above that our efforts in the small, rural community of Thomasville, Georgia are so important. Every year, families of children affected by childhood cancer rally together in a joint effort to raise monies as well as awareness for this worthy cause. We paint the community gold with bows in an effort to bring attention to this life altering disease that unexpectedly steals the childhood and innocence of many. In an effort to support organizations like CURE, we not only sell gold bows, but we also organize a community car wash, sell baked goods and lemonade. We have a two-fold mission with our efforts and they are to raise funds and raise awareness. It is our hopes that many will see our efforts and join in our rally to help find a cure for childhood cancer.

Written by: Jailah Armstrong’s mom, Vakesha Gordon

Donate Now


  • Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 3.34.56 PM

    CARNIVAL FOR A CURE

    Make plans to attend the first ever Carnival for a CURE on Saturday, June 11th from 12pm-5pm at Cogburn Woods Elementary School in Milton, GA. Enjoy food trucks, a caricature artist, games with prizes, raffles, vendors, pet adoptions, and much more, all benefiting United for a CURE: The Mary Elizabeth, Melissa, Lake Fund.

  • Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 3.30.06 PM

    BELIEVE BALL RAISES $1,000,000+

    The 3rd Annual Believe Ball brought together 600 individuals, honoring Jeff Foxworthy as well as raising more than $1,000,000 to further CURE’s mission. We are immensely grateful for every individual who helped make this event possible. To learn more about the Believe Ball, and order pictures from the evening, click here.