Cure Childhood Cancer

CURE Blog


December 19th, 2014

Rise and Drive Community Drive Raises $5,000 in Donations and Collection Items

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Rise and Drive Community Drive in November to raise funds and collect food, clothes, toys and books for
CURE Childhood Cancer
and Forsyth Family Haven families! Volunteers and staff from both groups worked long and hard to raise awareness and household items for Family Haven domestic violence victims and families battling childhood cancer.

Weeks leading up to the food drive, the Stepping Stone Montessori School community posted signs in and around local businesses in Cumming and Suwanee, Georgia. All their hard work definitely paid off! The groups received $250 in cash donations and just over $4,750 worth of canned goods, household items, toys and books. All the toys and books collected for hospitalized children will definitely make a difference as they are facing the biggest challenges and most difficult days of their lives.

Thank you to CURE and Family Haven supporters for the impressive donations! We would also like to thank the following businesses for providing collection bins for donations:

 

Stepping Stone Montessori School, Suwanee 

                         

Stepping Stone Montessori School, Cumming

 

Subway on Suwanee Dam Road and PIB

 

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit of Cumming, GA

 

Choe’s HapKiDo of Cumming Karate, Martial Arts and Kickboxing

 

Sweet and Sassy of Cumming, GA

 

Totally Running

 

Hairllucinations, Inc.

 

SwimKids of Georgia Featuring Infant Aquatics

 


December 16th, 2014

Towns County High School Student Honors Friend and CURE for Senior Project

Without the many fundraisers hosted by neighborhood groups, local businesses, schools and inspired individuals, we would be many steps further from finding a cure for childhood cancer within our lifetime. Thanks to the help of many generous supporters, each day we are one step closer to ending this disease once and for all.

You may have heard of Caps for CURE, a fundraiser started by a local Henry County school to raise money for Sarah Barr while she was being treated for cancer. Students simply bring $1 in support of the fight to end childhood cancer, and they can wear a cap to school. This fundraiser has been going on strong for about 5 years now, and many other schools in the area have followed suit!

We would like to share with you another student who is making a difference in the lives of those affected by childhood cancer. Ashley Abrahamson, a student at Towns County High School in Hiawassee, Georgia chose CURE Childhood Cancer as her recipient of funds raised for her senior project. Ashley chose to do a senior project on childhood cancer, specifically Acute Myeloid Leukemia, because she lost her friend, Jessi Patrick, on Thanksgiving Day 2010 to AML. Jessi would have been graduating with Ashley this year if this cancer had not taken her precious life. It is admirable that Ashley chose to honor Jessi during this time.

Ashley asked Jessi’s mother, Kathi, if she knew of an organization specific to cancer that she could donate to, and Kathi recommended CURE because of the great support her family experienced during Jessi’s treatment at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. As part of her senior project, Ashley organized a 5K run to raise money for CURE. She raised $255!

We are so grateful for leaders like Ashley, who have raised awareness and funds for childhood cancer through various community fundraisers and projects. We hope through sharing this story, that you will also be encouraged to support this important cause. No matter how big or small, there is always something you can do give back.


December 11th, 2014

Random Act of Kindness Ensures Cancer Family’s Safe Travels to and from Hospital

The kindness of strangers can move mountains. Recently, a CURE mother shared with us a story that brought tears to our eyes. Please read her letter, and how the generosity of the team at AutoNation Ford of Marietta helped make a REAL impact on her family’s life.

“In September I attended the Quiet Heroes luncheon in Atlanta, put on by Chris and Tom Glavine along with CURE Childhood Cancer. At the event they give the moms these wonderful goody bags filled with great stuff. And this year my bag included a free oil and filter change from AutoNation. Since we were heading to Atlanta for my son’s doctor appointment, I called and Spoke with Chris Brown at AutoNation and let him know that I drive a 2004 GMC Yukon Denali XL. We decided the best place to bring my car would be the AutoNation Ford of Marietta off Cobb Pkwy. Chris hooked me up with Jeff Jackson, at that dealership.

I had a few strange noises coming from my car and asked if they wouldn’t mind looking at that and pricing it for me, but not to do anything but the oil change because money is very tight for us. He said they needed to keep the car for at least for 24 hours to figure out the noises. They put me into a really nice 2014 Ford Fusion Titanium overnight and said he would call before they did any work and would let me know my cost. The day and night went on, as normal.

The next day I went to pick up my car. They had given me all four new tires, balance and alignment, new brakes, replaced all the belts, new windshield wipers all around the car, fixed the leaks from my antifreeze and window spray, cleaned my car inside and out, filled my gas tank full, and completed the oil and filter change. It was all COMPLETLY FREE. They went above and beyond anything I could have imagined. I cried a lot. I am so very thankful for everything they did to ensure a safe drive for me and my kids as we travel back and forth from Savannah to Atlanta for my son’s oncology appointments. I just cant say thanks enough to AutoNation enough for everything.

Pretty much everything they fixed I would have put off, especially the tires. It’s just not a good time for us right now and I couldn’t afford it. But this means the world to me and I wanted to give many, many thanks to Jeff and AutoNation Ford of Marietta. I am so very blessed for this to have happened for us and never thought anything like this would ever happen. Also a huge Thank You to Chris and Tom Glavine and CURE for the Quiet Heroes luncheon. If it wasn’t for them this would have never happened.”


December 11th, 2014

CURE’s Executive Director Kristin Connor Named Departures “Montblanc Great Character”

We are excited to share that CURE Childhood Cancer Executive Director Kristin Connor has received the Departures “Montblanc Great Character” philanthropic award. Through “Great Characters,” Montblanc and Departures Magazine is spotlighting nine men and women who set an example in their communities through generous charitable involvement. By sharing their stories, Montblanc hopes to ignite the philanthropic flame within all those who can contribute meaningfully to their communities.

Kristin was nominated for the award by a former neighbor and longtime CURE supporter, Robby Schultz.

“As someone whose brother was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma as a child, I saw firsthand how CURE helps families of children with cancer. Knowing what my own parents went through almost 30 years ago with my brother, and then being able to see someone like Kristin who took her son’s fight with cancer beyond just caring for her son is incredible. She completely stopped a successful law career and took that drive and determination in a different direction. When she talks with the families and parents of children with cancer, she knows what they are going through, and it shows.”

“I am incredibly lucky that I have known and know many, many great people, and Kristin Connor ranks as one of the most incredible and deserving of any accolade that could be awarded,” says Robby.

In January, Kristin and the other eight award winners will be featured on departures.com. Later in the spring, Montblanc will host a private fundraising reception benefiting CURE in her honor. Join us in congratulating our leader and friend, Kristin Connor.


December 10th, 2014

Volunteer Spotlight: Mari Wall

The following spotlight was written by one of our dedicated volunteers, Mari Wall. We are grateful for Mari’s passion for CURE and the families we serve.

 “I learned about CURE years ago after one of my cub scouts was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I was heartbroken for him and his sweet family and even further had my heart broken upon learning about the lack of money for childhood cancer research. I started reading about CURE and all the great work they were doing to make hospital life better for the kids and their families, and I was impressed to learn about the money CURE raised for cancer research aimed at saving children and creating better, safer treatments. In addition, I heard about the CURE’s Quiet Heroes Luncheon that honored the mothers of these wonderful children, but it was not until after I heard those dreaded words “I’m sorry, but your child has cancer” addressed to me that I thought about volunteering with CURE.

My first CURE volunteer opportunity was to serve an Open Arms lunch at Scottish Rite. I enjoyed the experience and told CURE that I was available to help anytime. A week later the call came and I was off and running. Looking back, I wish I had started volunteering with CURE years ago. I find that I can be having the worst day and as soon as I get to the hospital and see the sweet faces of the kids and the appreciative parents my mood completely changes. I feel blessed to be able to offer a smile to brighten their day and an ear to listen while serving a meal provided by CURE.”

Interested in volunteering for CURE? Sign up for our monthly volunteer e-newsletter, outlining the volunteer opportunities for the upcoming month.

 


December 3rd, 2014

Gwinnett Ballet Theatre Nutcracker Performance and Raffle for CURE

We believe every child and family affected by cancer deserves a few special days throughout the year to forget about this disease and have a great time with friends, family and the community. This holiday season, Gwinnett Ballet Theatre is offering discounted tickets for CURE families to attend The Nutcracker. Select showtimes are available for a discounted price of $18.00 per ticket:

December 6th at 2:30pm

December 6th at 7:30pm

December 7th at 2:30pm

If you are a CURE family and are interested in a discounted ticket, please email Paula Collins at Paula@curechildhoodcancer.org.

Not only is this weekend a special weekend for CURE families, but also to everyone who attends! In addition to the wonderful performances, a raffle will also take place to support CURE. 100% of raffle proceeds will support children and families battling cancer, and all attendees are encouraged to participate. Raffle tickets can be purchased in the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre lobby before each show. You must have a ticket to either of the three Nutcracker performances to purchase a raffle ticket.

The raffle item list includes the following prizes:

  • Tom Glavine autographed limited ed. CURE Childhood Cancer baseball bat
  • Tom Glavine autographed baseball
  • 2 tickets Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers game 12/28/14 ($280)
  • Atlanta Hawks tickets
  • Gwinnett Gladiators tickets
  • Gwinnett Braves tickets
  • Citizen watch ($550 value) – Van Adams Jewelers
  • Christmas Family Fun- Giant nutcracker, 4 Pink pig tickets and a $100 voucher for Aurora Theatre for any upcoming show.
  • 2 specialty “Frozen” cakes – Blue Rooster bakery
  • Princess Basket- custom tutu, tiara, pointe shoe, Nutcracker Barbie, American Girl “Isabella” books
  • Carter’s Baby Basket
  • ….And more!

For more information regarding the raffle, please contact Susan Haglund at Susan@hfamilyinc.com.

If you are looking to enjoy a Christmas show this holiday season, this is definitely a performance you won’t want to miss. Invite your coworkers, family, friends and community groups to the special showings to support CURE through this exciting raffle and witness the amazing talent of the Gwinnett Ballet Theatre. We hope to see you there!

 

 Gwinnett Ballet Theatre

1800 MacLeod Drive

Lawrenceville, GA 30043

 


December 2nd, 2014

Whole Foods Market Briarcliff and Copeland’s of New Orleans Give Back to Inpatient Families This Thanksgiving

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The impact of childhood cancer affects everyone. It robs families of a normal life and fills their days with lengthy hospital visits and cancer treatments. However, despite what these families and children go through, they are still hopeful. They believe we will do whatever it takes to make their battle with cancer much easier, and so we offer them support in every way that we can.

Because many inpatient families and children aren’t able to spend the holiday at home, Whole Foods Market Briarcliff and Copeland’s of New Orleans graciously donated Thanksgiving feasts for families spending their holiday at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Robert Brunet is the Prepared Foods Team Leader at Whole Foods in Briarcliff. After hearing about CURE Childhood Cancer through one of his team members, whose niece had been battling pediatric cancer, Robert decided that it would be a great idea to donate food on Thanksgiving Day to the families being treated at one of the campuses of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

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For the past four years, Robert and Whole Foods has donated food so the families can have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal of turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pies and many other delicious items.

“The name of the organization and its purpose resonated with me as I am also a cancer survivor,” said Robert. “It’s always fun to get the food ready on Thanksgiving day and meet the amazing people who volunteer their time to transport all the goodies back.  You can tell there’s a real passion and joy in what they do.”

Although we may not be able to take away all of the stress and worry these families face, we hope this meal has brought them a small sense of comfort. We are thankful for Whole Foods, Copeland’s and our wonderful volunteers for their help.

 

 


November 20th, 2014

Canton Gymnastics Academy Tutus and Pirates 5K: Making a Difference In and Out the Gym

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Not only is the Canton Gymnastics Academy made up of talented athletes and aspiring Olympians, this team is also committed to fighting childhood cancer and raising awareness. When the Canton Gymnastics team thought of how to raise funds for their competitions, apparel and other team necessities, they decided to not only host an event that would benefit themselves but stand for something more. They wanted an event that would be fun and special for everyone, bringing people of all ages together in support of one cause. The team decided that causes concerning children best connect youth and adults. Of all the many organizations that focus on helping children, what was so special about CURE Childhood Cancer?

When CURE was first established in 1975, the survival rate of children with cancer was 10%. Although survival rates are nearly 80% today, childhood cancer cure rates vary for each type of childhood cancer, and pediatric cancer still continues to be the #1 cause of death by disease of children. Furthermore, children that do survive cancer are faced with many life-threatening defects as a result of harsh treatments. CURE Childhood Cancer educates the community of these facts and will do whatever it takes to make sure no child or family has to suffer from cancer again.

On October 25, Canton Gymnastics held the first Tutus and Pirates 5K, Fun Run and Pet Parade at Boiling Park in Canton, GA to benefit the team and CURE. The race was not your typical 5K – participants were asked to wear ballerina or pirate gear in light of Halloween and to celebrate the fun, whimsical spirit of children. Pets were also dressed in their best tutus and eye patches!

Thanks to all those who braved the cold for this year’s race. We can’t wait for the next Tutus and Pirates 5K! Click here to view the Tutus and Pirates photo album.

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November 12th, 2014

Fashion That Makes a Difference: Healthy Souls Apparel

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 12.12.03 PMWe’re pleased to announce another perfect opportunity to purchase your holiday gifts or simply add apparel that is supportive of our cause to your closets.

Founded in 2012, Healthy Souls Apparel is an online apparel retailer that donates a percentage of each sale to a charity. Founder Ryan McNutt and partner Jessica Cohen are healthcare workers that decided to also spend their off hours helping others in need through Healthy Souls Apparel. The causes supported include: autism, breast cancer, Armed Forces, education, animal rescue, human trafficking, childhood diseases, diabetes and clean water initiatives.

Originally a seller of flip-flops and T-shirts, Healthy Souls Apparel now has a variety of products available to help shoppers make a unique impact on the world. Now, you can select any of the women’s, men’s, youth and toddler apparel to have 20% of your purchase donated to CURE Childhood Cancer!  Simply select “CURE” or “Children’s Cancer” as your charity-of-choice at checkout.

We hope you will consider shopping with this Make Your Purchases Count partner!

 

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November 11th, 2014

Major Breakthrough in Fight Against Pediatric Brain Cancer; CURE Funds Clinical Trial

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center approval to proceed with a new pediatric cancer treatment, called the NOAH Protocol. This investigative treatment aims at reducing and eliminating several types of pediatric brain cancer.  Children with recurrent refractory brain tumors currently have no therapeutic options, and unfortunately succumb to their disease. The NOAH protocol offers new hope for groundbreaking results.

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MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital is expected to begin enrolling eligible patients in the new, Phase- I clinical trial in January 2015. The NOAH Protocol stands for “New Opportunity Advancing Hope” and is designed to deliver patients’ own activated immune cells (natural killer cells) directly to the tumor area in the brain. This immunotherapeutic approach will use cutting edge technologies to promote a paradigm shift in brain tumor treatment.

The conceptualization and initiation of the study was due to the will of one mom (Amber Larkin who founded Noah’s Light Foundation) and the strength of one little boy (Noah Larkin), who fought long and hard, but unfortunately succumbed to medulloblastoma at the age of 9. They were joined very shortly thereafter by another mom (Amber Bender who founded Addis Faith Foundation) and one very little girl, Addison Bender, who lost her tenacious battle against ATRT at 2 years of age.

Propelled by these families and their foundations as well as additional research support from CURE Childhood Cancer and other organizations, a multidisciplinary team of researchers and fund-raising specialists at MD Anderson worked very hard to translate their dreams of developing novel treatment approaches for children with recurrent/refractory fourth ventricular brain tumors, into reality.  The team consists of neuro-oncologists, pediatric oncologists, immunologists/transplant physicians, neurosurgeons and basic neuroscience researchers.

More information may be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov under the identifier: NCT02271711 or through the trial Private Investigator, Dr. Soumen Khatua at skhatua@mdanderson.org.


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    HOLIDAY CARDS FOR CURE

    Purchase special CURE holiday cards and invitations from Paper Style and 20% of your purchase price will be donated to CURE. Fully customizable photo and non-photo cards are available. Click here to order.

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    SHOP AMAZON SMILE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

    Instead of shopping on Amazon, shop on Amazon Smile instead, and a percentage of any purchase will benefit CURE. Amazon Smile is identical to Amazon.com; you can even use your Prime account. Simply click here, set CURE Childhood Cancer as your charity of choice, and shop away.