Cure Childhood Cancer

CURE Blog


May 23rd, 2016

Introducing CURE’s Latest Named Fund – United for a CURE: The Mary Elizabeth, Melissa, Lake Fund

When the tragedy of cancer strikes a family, their whole world shifts; they transition into fight mode – fighting for their children and fighting for a cure. Sometimes, families take this fight head-on for life. We’re humbled to introduce you to three such families; families who have faced the tragedy of losing their children’s lives and have made it their mission to make a difference for the lives of others. Meet CURE’s latest Named Fund, United for a CURE: The Mary Elizabeth, Melissa, Lake Fund.

Screen-Shot-2016-03-30-at-10.49.09-AM
United for a CURE was founded in honor of three incredibly brave children: Mary Elizabeth, Melissa and Lake. While to an outsider these children may have seemed unlikely friends, to those who knew them, their connection was crystal clear. You see, Mary Elizabeth, Melissa and Lake not only shared a fiery spirit, but they also shared a battle against a monster of a disease: Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

Three children. One diagnosis. One treatment protocol. Mary Elizabeth, Melissa and Lake bonded instantly in the hospital and brought together three families for a united circle of support. If determination and prayers were enough, these three precious children would still be with us today. But AML is a monster, and it took the lives of Mary Elizabeth, Melissa and Lake within months of one another in 2015. Despite the tragic loss, three times over, their stories inspired hundreds of thousands and forever ignited a fire within three families – three families United for a CURE.

Mary Elizabeth’s Story

No one saw it coming. Mary Elizabeth was a vibrant, happy 11-year-old in the spring of 2014 when the headaches, tummy aches and bruising started. Spring Break vacation was cut short when Mary Elizabeth visibly just wasn’t herself. She was soon diagnosed with AML – an aggressive leukemia requiring not just chemotherapy, but a bone marrow transplant. Despite Mary Elizabeth’s tortuous journey – including three bone marrow transplants from her brother, father and mother – Mary Elizabeth’s personality and love of life was simply infectious. Hundreds of thousands followed Mary Elizabeth’s fight, cheering her on and praying vigorously for her cure. She suffered through chemo burns over 90% of her body. Cranial radiation, near paralysis, induced coma, three lung bleeds – and indescribable pain. Mary Elizabeth minimized the suffering, complaining only of missing her cats and her brother and sister, who held such a precious place in her heart. Her family and friends – and thousands of strangers – prayed for a miracle. Mary Elizabeth died on September 2, 2015. And while her life was cut short, she left us with the miracle of having created an astounding level of awareness about the reality of an awful disease – childhood cancer. And she left us a challenge: to end the disease that cuts short such valorous, promising lives as Mary Elizabeth’s.

melissa depa3Melissa’s Story:

It seemed Melissa was born to confer on the rest of us her infinite love of life. Adoring butterflies and princesses; singing and dancing her days away. Melissa’s parents always knew she was special and going to do big things with her life. They just didn’t know in what way. Melissa offered more inspiration in her three short years on this earth than most do in their lifetime. Her diagnosis of AML when she was only two years old was heart-stopping. Melissa’s parents braced for the onslaught of chemotherapy on such a young body. Melissa defied it, riding through the hallways on her bike after doses and doses of chemo. Unfortunately, Melissa relapsed after a bone marrow transplant. Melissa’s parents searched the world for life saving treatment options. But there were none. Melissa never stopped dancing and smiling through it all, always amazing her doctors and nurses with her strong mind and beautiful spirit. Her parents believe their little girl’s brief life is a giant lesson on how we all should love the life we have been given. To the utmost.

Lake’s Story:
Lake was all boy; he was non-stop motion. A basketball, his closest companion. Lake had a way of lifting people’s spirits just by being there. So his diagnosis of AML hit Lake’s family like a meteor. But chemotherapy, remission and a new baby sister cured everything. For a while. However, the cancer returned with a vengeance and Lake needed a bone marrow transplant. But this was Lake! Give him the ball and he was back to his old self. After the transplant, Lake was back in remission – back to being the Rock Star he was. But the cancer returned again. This time, with the heartbreaking news it was incurable. Lake’s parents decided their son should live his remaining months to the fullest. School, sports and the beach. Lake left us in May of 2015. Fittingly, he left with the Rock Star image that remains with the lives he lifted.

Purpose of the Fund:
The primary purpose of United for a CURE, The Mary Elizabeth, Melissa, Lake Fund, is to fund clinical research relating to Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) or research reasonably expected to provide significant and direct benefits to children diagnosed with AML. The Fund is managed by CURE Childhood Cancer, an organization dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through funding targeted research and supporting patients and their families.


April 28th, 2016

Thank You to our 3rd Annual Believe Ball Sponsors

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.06.06 PMThe 3rd Annual Believe Ball is coming soon, on May 14th at The St. Regis Atlanta. This year, CURE will be honoring Jeff Foxworthy, the largest-selling comedy-recording artist and multiple Grammy nominee, for his extraordinary contributions to CURE and the Atlanta community. The Believe Ball is one of the premier social and philanthropic events in Atlanta. This elegant black-tie affair features a cocktail reception, silent auction and a seated dinner along with an awards presentation, silent auction and a lot of fun and dancing.

Last year’s Believe Ball raised an amazing $890,000 towards CURE Childhood Cancer. This event would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors. We are extremely grateful for our 3rd Annual Believe Ball Sponsors who have helped us make this event so successful and even bigger than the previous year. Our sponsors are one of the reasons we are able to host this event to raise the necessary funds towards needed research dollars for pediatric cancer research. Thank you to our sponsors:

CURE-BB-Sponsor-Listing-2016-3


April 28th, 2016

Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead Joins the 3rd Annual Believe Ball as Diamond Sponsor

On May 14th, the 3rd Annual Believe Ball will take place at The St. Regis Atlanta, benefitting CURE Childhood Cancer. This year, we will honor the largest-selling comedy-recording artist, Jeff Foxworthy, for his extraordinary contributions to CURE and the Atlanta community. With all the help of our amazing sponsors, the Believe Ball is able to continue into its 3rd year. We want to show our appreciation for Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead for joining us as a sponsor for the upcoming Believe Ball.

mercedes

Beyond sponsorship of the Believe Ball, Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead has been a huge supporter of CURE for years. Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead has organized a group of volunteers called “The Caring Crew” as part of their giving initiative to help CURE’s goal to find a cure for childhood cancer. From forming a race team at our annual Lauren’s Run to decorating their dealership with “Go Gold” posters during the month of September to hosting special fundraisers for CURE, their dedication never ends. They have been a significant help in successful events and in raising funds towards our mission.

Last year, the Believe Ball raised $890,000 to further CURE’s mission. We are grateful that Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead will join as a sponsor for the Believe Ball once again, and for all their help raising funds towards the research of childhood cancer.


April 28th, 2016

Delta Air Lines Join 3rd Annual Believe Ball as Diamond Sponsor

Delta-logo-1024x768The 3rd Annual Believe Ball is soon approaching – May 14th at The St. Regis Atlanta. As one of Atlanta’s premier social and philanthropic events in 2015, CURE is honored by all the support we receive to continue this special evening, which raises so much awareness – and funding – for our our children’s fight. We are pleased to announce Delta Air Lines is teaming up with CURE again as a sponsor to this year’s Believe Ball.

Delta Air Lines is more than a sponsor, but has been a true partner for years when it comes to CURE’s mission and efforts. Delta Air Lines has sponsored several other events, including our most recent event, the 22nd Annual Lauren’s Run. Delta Air Lines has also been heavily involved in helping families by supporting CURE’s Open Arms meal program, hosting fundraisers which benefit CURE and donating valuable travel packages and air line tickets to raise money during CURE auction events. Thanks to Delta Air Lines, and other sponsors, our events are able to raise a significant amount of money to fund life-saving pediatric cancer research.

We are excited to have Delta Air Lines as a sponsor once again. We look forward to another successful event, and to have Delta Air Lines there with their support.

delta-airlines


April 27th, 2016

University of Georgia Head Football Coach Kirby Smart Selects CURE Childhood Cancer as Charitable Recipient at 2016 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge Golf Tournament

The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge has announced the official pairings for its 10th annual charity golf tournament. A 13-team field of NCAA head coaches and celebrity alumni will compete for a first-place prize of $100,000, split evenly between their University’s scholarship fund and the coach’s charity of choice. We are thrilled to announce that University of Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart has selected CURE Childhood Cancer as his charitable recipient!

Even greater news – all participating teams will receive a portion of the $540,000 total purse, which means CURE will receive a minimum donation of $10,000.

Kirby-Smart

“We created this event to help fulfill our mission to positively impact people’s lives through best-in-class events that create scholarships and charitable donations,” said Gary Stokan, president and CEO of Peach Bowl, Inc.

Over the past nine years, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge has provided $5.3 million in scholarship and charity. Proceeds from the event benefit endowed scholarships at the participating universities and charitable foundations selected by the coaches, benefitting a wide range of organizations throughout the Southeast and the nation.

The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge is a significant contributor to the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl’s overall charitable and scholarship donations, which total more than $19.5 million since 2002, making the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl college football’s most charitable bowl game.

Competing teams will play a two-man scramble format over 18 holes using confirmed handicap adjustments. Schools will be paired for a shotgun start on the first nine holes and then re-paired, based on scores, and the round will continue with consecutive tee times for the second nine holes. Highlighted by four Dodd Trophy-winning coaches, five College Football Hall of Famers and three Heisman Trophy winners, click here to view all of the participating coaches.

The nation’s premier head coach and celebrity golf event will be held May 1-3 at the Reynolds Lake Oconee resort outside Atlanta. The tournament will be broadcast on ESPNU in August and December. Specific air dates will be announced this summer.

We’re thrilled to partner with Coach Kirby Smart, and are grateful for his dedication to our fight against childhood cancer.

Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson, left, talks to Auburn's Gus Malzahn during the 2015 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge Round on the Oconee Course at Reynolds Plantation on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. (Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl/Abell Images/Todd Kirkland)

Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson, left, talks to Auburn’s Gus Malzahn during the 2015 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge Round on the Oconee Course at Reynolds Plantation on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. (Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl/Abell Images/Todd Kirkland)

 


April 21st, 2016

Parking and Driving Directions: 22nd Annual Lauren’s Run

 

20026-187We can’t wait for Lauren’s Run and the CURE Childhood Cancer Picnic Sunday. Because of the race route, roads will be closed, so it is VERY IMPORTANT that you follows these driving and parking instructions.

If you arrive BEFORE 7:45 am or AFTER 10:00 am:

Westbound on I-285 from I-85
Take I-285 North/West to Exit 28 (Peachtree-Dunwoody Road) and turn right.  Proceed to the first traffic light and turn left into the Concourse Office Park. Follow signs to parking decks 1 and 4.

Southbound on GA 400
Take GA 400 South and exit at Hammond Drive.  Turn left off the exit ramp onto Hammond Drive.  Go to 2nd traffic light and turn right into Concourse Office Park (adjacent to Kindercare).  Take 1st right and park in parking deck for Buildings 5 and 6.

Northbound on GA 400
Take GA-400 North to the Glenridge Connector (Exit 4A). Turn right at the end of the ramp onto Glenridge Connector. Proceed to the second traffic light, and turn left onto Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. Proceed north on Peachtree Dunwoody Road to the 6th traffic light (2nd traffic light after going under I-285bridge) into Concourse Office Park.  Follow the signs to parking decks 1 and 4.

Eastbound on I-285 from I-75
Take I-285 North/East to Exit 26 (Glenridge Drive). Turn left at the end of the ramp onto Glenridge Drive. Proceed to the 4th traffic light and turn right on Hammond Drive.  Continue to the 4th traffic light and turn right into Concourse Office Park (adjacent to Kindercare). Take the 1st right and park in parking deck for Buildings 5 and 6.

 

If you arrive BETWEEN 7:45 am and 10:00 am:

Because of the race route, certain roads will be closed. Please follow these directions:

Westbound on I-285 from I-85
Take I-285 North/West to Exit 28 (Peachtree-Dunwoody Road) and turn right.  Proceed THROUGH the first traffic light and turn RIGHT into the Palisades Office Complex (this is the second Palisades entrance – not the main entrance).  You will be across the street from the Concourse. After parking, walk down sidewalk to police officer who will help you cross Peachtree Dunwoody and direct you to the event.

Southbound on GA 400
Take GA 400 South and exit at Hammond Drive.  Turn left off the exit ramp onto Hammond Drive.  Go to 2nd traffic light and turn right into Concourse Office Park (adjacent to Kindercare).  Take 1st right and park in parking deck for Buildings 5 and 6.

Northbound on GA 400
Proceed on GA-400 to the Glenridge Connector (Exit 4A). Turn right at the end of the connector onto Glenridge. Proceed to the second traffic light and turn left onto Peachtree-Dunwoody Road. Turn right at the 6th light into Concourse Office Park.  Follow the signs to parking decks 1 and 4.

Eastbound on I-285 from I-75
Take Interstate 285 North/East (Exit 51) to GA 400 North.  Take the first Abernathy Road exit. Veer right off the exit ramp.  Turn right at the first intersection – Peachtree Dunwoody. Proceed south on Peachtree Dunwoody Road through several traffic lights crossing over Hammond Drive.  Make a U-turn at the next traffic light (Concourse Parkway).  Turn right into the SECOND Palisades Office Complex entrance. You will be across the street from the Concourse.  After parking, walk down sidewalk to police officer who will help you cross Peachtree Dunwoody and direct you to the event.


April 20th, 2016

Kristin Connor Honored at 2016 Atlanta Womenetics POW! Awards Ceremony

There are multitudes of noteworthy and hardworking individuals who devote their time to CURE, help spread our message and allow for CURE to continue to grow. CURE is honored to have such selfless people on our team, and we are especially proud when outsiders recognize these individuals for their commitment as well. CURE’s very own Executive Director, Kristin Connor, was honored at the annual Atlanta 2016 Womenetics POW! Awards. We can’t think of a more deserving individual.

13001244_10210079223683959_658401023946746368_n

Womenetics is a community of ambitious businesswomen with one goal in mind: to accelerate women’s careers and encourage women leaders. Every year, Womenetics honors top women leaders who have made an impact through their career, and who have displayed an excellent example of what it takes to succeed in their field of work.

Held on April 19th at the Georgia Aquarium, Kristin Connor was invited to attend as one of the 11 honorees to receive the 2016 Womenetics POW! Award. Kristin stood alongside an equally impressive group of women, including Carol Tome, CFO and Executive VP of Corporate Services at The Home Depot; Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, President of Agnes Scott College; and Maggie DeCan, President and COO of The Honey Baked Ham Company. All award recipients were given the opportunity to speak, sharing their stories on their leadership and careers.

12994568_10210079224523980_8350094462707703474_nKristin Connor experienced childhood cancer first hand when her son was diagnosed with cancer as a newborn. In 2004, at just two years old, her son was finally declared cancer-free. Kristin knew it was her mission to help other children and families experiencing the same battle. Under her leadership, CURE’s revenue has increased 452% in the past 10 years. Kristin’s dedication to CURE’s cause and her ability to impact the organization is the ambition that Womenetics honors and hopes that other women will follow.

“What an experience! I had the opportunity to meet so many inspiring women. But best of all, I had the chance to share the childhood cancer story with 600+ mostly seasoned professionals,” says Kristin.

Thank you, Kristin, for being such an advocate for children battling cancer. Your hard work, leadership and dedication is making a major difference for CURE Childhood Cancer as an organization. And most importantly, you are making a major difference in the lives of the families we serve.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 1.19.55 PM

 


April 19th, 2016

Victoria’s Story: A Second Chance at Life

This is Victoria. She doesn’t know it yet, but in a few months she will be diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare malignant liver cancer that affects, on average, 1 in a million children… and her life will never be the same

image1-e1458166324175On a fated September day, a playful tickling of her tummy revealed a mass in her abdomen which was quickly confirmed by an ultrasound. Fearing the worst, she was admitted to Texas Children’s Cancer Center where the next diagnostic studies (MRI, blood tests, biopsy) were promptly and efficiently scheduled. Victoria was diagnosed with stage III hepatoblastoma on Oct. 1, 2015.  This meant her tumor could not be removed by surgery. Victoria would have to receive chemotherapy prior to even discussing whether she would qualify for tumor resection or a liver transplant.

Victoria received four cycles of chemotherapy to reduce the size of her tumor while her oncologists, surgeon, radiologists and liver transplant team coordinated efforts to determine the best surgical approach and lay the groundwork for a possible liver transplant. Victoria underwent a successful complete surgical resection of her tumor on Jan. 6, 2016, and ultimately did not require a liver transplant. Should she have required an imminent transplant, it was heartening to know that the outstanding liver transplant team was ready.

Today, Victoria is in remission. The darkest clouds have dissipated and her parents hope to continue to watch their daughter thrive and develop. “The experience of treating Victoria’s hepatoblastoma has not only taught us to be the best parents we can be, but has also brought out the absolute best in everyone we have met,” says Victoria’s parents. Victoria has another chance at life.

A child’s second chance at life is what CURE is all about. Stories like Victoria’s is what drives us to continue the fight in order for more children to have the same opportunity at life. Victoria is an example that childhood cancer can be defeated, and with the proper amount of support and research for a cure, more children – whose whole lives are still in front of them – will be able to win the battle.

 


April 19th, 2016

Childhood Cancer Patient Robert appears on iHeartMedia’s 94.9 The Bull

For the past few years, iHeartMedia Atlanta has shown amazing support for CURE Childhood Cancer, and our families. This Spring is no exception! With the 22nd Annual Lauren’s Run just around the corner, Jason Pullman and Kristen Gates from 94.9 The Bull invited childhood cancer patient Robert, and his mother Kasie, into the studio to come on-air and share their story of Robert’s battle with cancer.

Below, listen to clips from Robert’s segment and check out some photos from the fun day.

 


April 18th, 2016

Morris Manning & Martin Joins 22nd Annual Lauren’s Run as Gold Sponsor!

morrismanningmartinlargeWith less than a week until the 22nd Annual Lauren’s Run, we are in the final stretch to reach our goal, and can see the finish line coming up! To reach our goal every year, we depend on the unfaltering generosity of our volunteers, donations and sponsors. We’d like to welcome Morris Manning & Martin as they join us as a Gold sponsor for Lauren’s Run this year.

Morris Manning & Martin is one of the top law firms in Atlanta with offices located worldwide. The law firm has received several awards for their success, and strives to put their clients first. Morris Manning & Martin also considers their social responsibility extremely important and have created a social strategy, known as MMMPact, as an integral part of the firm’s identity.

Screen Shot 2016-04-18 at 2.51.55 PMThat is why it’s no surprise Morris Manning & Martin have not been strangers to CURE. They announced their support for CURE in January 2013, and have been a significant contribution to our team ever since. They have been sponsors for Lauren’s Run previously, support CURE’s Open Arms meals program, and even and hosted Cheer to CURE, a beer and wine tasting event, that raised $28,000 for pediatric cancer research.

Morris Manning & Martin has been truly amazing partners in our fight against childhood cancer. Their continuous support throughout the past several years is the reason events such as Lauren’s Run continue to be such a success. We are extremely thankful to have Morris Manning & Martin by our sides while we continue our mission to find a CURE.

 


  • 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.