In April 2008, Hayley Hunter was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive childhood cancer. She was only nine years old, but she met surgery, six cycles of toxic chemotherapy, twelve rounds of radiation, and an autologous stem cell transplant with determination and spunk. It worked. These effective, but harsh, treatments were able to rid Hayley of her disease.
Unfortunately, the current treatments available for neuroblastoma do not guarantee that Hayley is cured. She’s still at risk for relapse and secondary cancers like leukemia and thyroid cancer, as well as infertility, scoliosis and other significant side effects. Hayley’s parents, Eddie and Tammy Hunter, matched their daughter’s determination to get better with the determination to find a cure, by forming the Hayley Hunter Research Fund.
Purpose of the Fund
The purpose of the Hayley Hunter Research Fund is to provide funding for basic and clinical research relating to neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer of the central nervous system. Mainly affecting children, neuroblastoma is a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system, a nerve network that carries messages from the brain throughout the body. The fund raises money through increasing awareness of childhood cancer, and though their annual Hayley Hunter Golf Tournament.
A Note From Haley’s Mom
Throughout treatment Hayley showed a lot of spunk. She never wanted to just sit at home and feel badly. Immediately after chemotherapy, she would insist on leaving the hospital and going to the movies with her brother, Ewing, or to the gym to watch her sister, Hannah, play basketball. It is our hope that we take Hayley’s same spunk to this fight against cancer as we strive to raise awareness of pediatric cancers and to raise money for the development of new and better treatments that lead to a cure.
Researchers believe that neuroblastomas form when normal neuroblasts, the immature cells of the sympathetic nervous system, fail to mature into nerve cells and begin growing and dividing uncontrollably, leading to the growth of cancerous cells. Approximately six hundred children a year are diagnosed with neuroblastoma in the United States, the majority of which are under the age of five years. Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid tumor found in children and accounts for half of all malignant cancers found in infants. Neuroblastoma most commonly starts as a solid mass in one of the adrenal glands, which are located above the kidney, or in the nerve tissues in the neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis. The cause of neuroblastoma is unknown.
How To Donate to the Fund
Click here to donate online and choose “Hayley Hunter Fund” in the program section. Your gift will be directed accordingly.
Or checks can be made out to CURE Childhood Cancer, with “Hayley Hunter Fund” written on the notes line. Mail checks to: CURE Childhood Cancer, 1117 Perimeter Center West, Suite N-402, Atlanta, GA 30338