Cure Childhood Cancer

CURE Blog


July 2nd, 2015

Cancer Families Live Life in the Fast Lane at Atlanta Motorsports Park

60f2c46a-f43c-4a83-a6a1-62c6d053201bEvery day, 250 children lose their life to cancer, and despite having the same youthful wishes we often have as children- becoming a superhero, meeting characters from a favorite bedtime story, even driving your first car at 16- the days of those diagnosed with cancer are often filled with medical treatments and hospital visits. Over the years, CURE Childhood Cancer has gained numerous community supporters to help give these loving children and their families the resources and encouragement needed to remain positive and beat this terrible disease. In particular, Ferrari Maserati of Atlanta hosts an annual event titled “Rides to Remember” to grant children battling cancer at least one wish of riding in an exotic, high-speed car at the Atlanta Motorsports Park in Dawsonville, GA.

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On June 6, 2015 Atlanta Motorsports Park hosted the 10th annual Ferrari Maserati of Atlanta’s Rides to Remember event. The inspiration for the event came from within Ferrari Maserati of Atlanta’s family when the daughter of one of the owners was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and spent several years fighting the disease. The first event, originally called “Dream Ride,” involved around 18 cars and 15 children. This year more than 115 exotic cars and owners were in attendance, and 100 children were able to ride the cars around the track and experience a carefree day away from the hospital.

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Proceeds from the event totaled nearly $49,000, and all donations were divided amongst the 2015 charitable partners: Camp Sunshine, Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities and CURE Childhood Cancer. It is so great to see how much this event has grown over the past 10 years. The support from the community and sponsor organizations is simply amazing. Thank you Ferrari Maserati of Atlanta for giving families affected by childhood cancer a chance to escape this challenging time of their lives and instead, have the time of their lives.

For information about next year’s event or to view pictures from the 2015 Rides to Remember day, visit http://www.fmoaridestoremember.org.


June 25th, 2015

2nd Annual Howard Brothers Pinebox Derby Raises $3,000 for CURE

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Normally, a pinebox derby wouldn’t have been on the radar of an outdoor power equipment company like Howard Brothers. However, after envisioning how customers, kids and vendors could interact and raise funds for an important cause, this small idea began to stick out in the minds of the Howard Brothers team. They’ve just wrapped up year two of the race, and we are excited for this tradition to continue.

DSC_0194Money raised from the race entry fees, donations and chicken biscuits donated by Duluth Chick-fil-A on Peachtree Industrial and Pleasanthill the day of the race helped raise $3,000 for CURE Childhood Cancer– $1,000 more than last year’s race! With a much larger and visible track than before, participants could see all the creative car designs race down each lane. Competition was high, but all hearts were set on changing the lives of those affected by pediatric cancer. Of the three race divisions- Under 18, Adult and Sponsor- first, second and third place trophies were given to those with the fastest cars. Prizes were also given to the 4 best designs of the day.

DSC_0374Aside from the true winners, it’s important that we also thank the volunteers who helped make this day a success. Peachtree Ridge Robotics Team not only participated in the race, but helped sell Chick-fil-A biscuits, took photographs and directed participants to the right areas within the store. Thanks again to the Cub Scouts Pack 420 based out of Duluth First United Methodist Church for loaning the track and computer software for the race.

Why should proceeds benefit CURE Childhood Cancer? The Howards’ family is no stranger to this disease. Many of them are familiar with the Meyers Family and have helped share their daughter’s story by being advocates of Smiley for Kylie. Last year, about the same time Howard Brothers was planning the first pinebox race, Kylie Myers, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. Kylie fought bravely for 10 months, but her battered body finally succumbed to the disease on Feb 13th, 2015.

No child should die from cancer and because childhood cancer research is terribly underfunded, we need others to step up and make a difference. We are grateful for Howard Brothers for leaving their mark. Every little bit truly does count.

For more photos and a full recap of the race, visit the Howard Brothers blog.


June 15th, 2015

Corporate Giving Makes a Difference: North Atlanta Business Post Leadership Summit

IMG_0090.JPGOn May 14, 2015, more than 150 business leaders attended the North Atlanta Business Post’s Leadership Summit at Ruth’s Chris in Alpharetta. Guests enjoyed gourmet food and live music from the Fly Cats, which kept everyone dancing all night. A portion of ticket proceeds was donated to CURE, raising $6,000 for pediatric cancer research.

Not only was this event a great networking opportunity for local businesses and professionals, it was also a fun way to introduce the business community to CURE Childhood Cancer and our mission to fund life-saving research dollars that will support childhood cancer research.

Because less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget is allocated towards childhood cancer research, corporate support makes all the difference. All year long, CURE partners with corporate foundations and philanthropic divisions to host family and community events throughout Georgia to fund pediatric research. Last year, CURE raised $4.2 million to support research initiatives at local and national university medical research divisions, including the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University.

In addition to supporting CURE’s research initiatives, companies can also get involved with CURE’s Open Arms program, which is a more direct way to support families affected by childhood cancer by providing meals during their hospital stays at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. It’s one thing to support charities as a business, but it’s another to genuinely know that you are making a difference in the lives of others. When you support CURE, your help truly does go a long way.

Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease of children in the U.S. This disease affects families all over the world and, right here in Georgia. This message is worth spreading, and we thank the North Atlanta Business Post for creating awareness of childhood cancer and the need for research.

 

 


June 8th, 2015

Coaches Come Together to Cure Childhood Cancer

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.45.15 AMAdrian Peterson was raised to believe he could overcome any obstacle in life. From a young age, Peterson experienced difficulties with his speech. He worked hard and attended speech therapy for many years to overcome a severe stuttering problem. Peterson not only overcame his stuttering, but now he travels the US speaking with young people about overcoming obstacles and the benefits of hard work. Peterson is better known for his football career that began at Georgia Southern University in 1998. During his time at GSU, Peterson received numerous school and NCAA class 1-AA records, won two national championships, and received the Walter Payton Award for Most Outstanding Player as a running back. After college, Peterson went on to play in the NFL. He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 6th round. He spent seven successful years with the Bears. During his football years, Peterson didn’t know that life’s events would present him with an even greater obstacle… pediatric cancer.

On May 16, 2015, Peterson tried to fight back the tears as he shared his story with an audience of football coaches and fans at the first annual Coaches for Curing Cancer Football Coaches’ Clinic and Dinner Gala benefiting CURE in Savannah, Georgia. In June 2014, Peterson and his wife, Angela, were faced with devastating news. Their first born son, Adrian Junior (AJ), was diagnosed with a rare inoperable brain tumor known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). “Everyone thought I had accomplished a lot,” said Adrian. “They thought I was strong. They thought I was a hero. But during his battle with cancer, AJ proved that he was strong. He was the real hero. He never complained. Even once the cancer had progressed and AJ couldn’t see or hear, he never cried or complained. My son is my hero.”

AJ lost his battle with cancer in February of 2015. The Petersons find peace in their faith in God. They know that AJ is 100% healed in heaven.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.45.05 AMWhen Jenkins High School Athletic Director and Coaches for Curing Cancer President, Tim Adams, and CURE’s Patient and Family Services Manager, Mandy Garola, were looking for a keynote speaker for the Dinner Gala, Peterson was an obvious choice. “We couldn’t think of anyone better to appeal to a football loving audience, and speak on the need for assisting pediatric cancer families and funding research,” commented Garola. “We knew that Adrian would be the perfect speaker, but we weren’t sure he’d be ready because his loss was so fresh. We wanted to approach him, but let him know that there was no pressure. We presented him with the idea, asked him to think it over, and let us know later. We were thrilled when Peterson agreed to speak on behalf of CURE and Coaches for Curing Cancer a few days later.” At the Dinner Gala, Peterson shared with the audience that he accepted the invitation because he did not want other families to experience a loss like his.

Coaches from all over the state of Georgia and beyond came together Friday and Saturday at The Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Savannah. They shared ideas and attended sessions led by some of the leading coaches in the Southeast including: Willie Fritz, Head Coach at Georgia Southern, Mike Sewak, Offensive Line Coach at Georgia Tech, and Mitch Ware, Assistant Coach at Army-West Point.

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.44.49 AMSaturday night’s dinner gala was not just for coaches. Guests enjoyed a great selection of sports memorabilia in a silent auction, sports trivia with WJCL Sports Director, Frank Sulkowski, testimonies from several local pediatric cancer patients, and keynote speaker, Adrian Peterson.

This inaugural event was a success. “I’ve wanted to do something for pediatric cancer for a long time,” said Coaches for Curing Cancer’s President, Tim Adams. “I lost my nephew to cancer five years ago, and I’ve seen how devastating it is to the family. I don’t know a lot about fundraising, but I do know about football. I have a lot of football contacts, and I’m so appreciative of them coming together to support CURE. I’m especially thankful to Adrian for sharing his story.” The weekend raised $10,000. Coach Adams hopes to make it an annual event.


June 8th, 2015

What Can a Girl Do? Brownie Troop 13550 has an Answer.

Mary Tipton Carter has been a member of troop 13550 since Kindergarten. She is an energetic, smart and compassionate young lady — a great all-around Girl Scout. On February 4, 2015, she went to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite with abdominal pain and fever. Soon after, she had surgery to remove an ovarian tumor identified as Ovarian Dysgerminoma. Mary Tipton’s friends and family were all thankful that this appeared to be a treatable form of cancer; however, this diagnosis meant that Mary Tipton would have to undergo chemotherapy and weeks in the hospital. She would miss school, Girl Scout meetings, softball, play dates with friends, and much more. Mary Tipton’s brownie troop quickly went into action and asked the question, “What can our troop do?”

Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.09.34 AMThe troop’s ambitions started out rather small. The girls wore turquoise bandannas, Mary Tipton’s favorite color, to show their support. They made cards to send to the hospital and agreed to participate in CURE’s Lauren’s Run. Then the troop leaders asked the girls if they would like to vote on an activity that they, as a troop, could do to raise money for CURE in honor of Mary Tipton. The girls were instantly excited to come up with their own ideas on what they could do to support their friend. The ideas kept coming, and they settled on a roller Skate-a-Thon. They found a church that was willing to host the event and went to work promoting the Skate-a-Thon to other troops, their school and community. But it didn’t stop there.

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Screen Shot 2015-06-08 at 10.09.53 AMWhile planning the event, the troop found out that CURE needed toiletry kits to provide to patients who are admitted without notice or have to spend the night at the emergency room. With just a few phone calls the troop raised $650. And, within a few short weeks, they secured donations for toothpaste, tooth brushes, shampoo, body wash, lotion, and a gift card from Publix. The girls made more than 280 kits.

During the Skate-a-Thon, the troop worked hard to manage the assembly of the toiletry kits, run concessions, and accept monetary donations. By the end of the evening, they had put together a nine-month supply of toiletry kits and raised $900 for CURE! What’s even more amazing is that the day the Skate-a-Thon took place happened to be the same day Mary Tipton went back to the hospital for her CT scans. Everyone was thrilled to hear that her scans came back all clear. This event turned out to be a great way to show not only the scouts but all of the young people who attended just how easy it is to get involved with a very important cause.

Mary Tipton’s troop now has a better perspective on the question, “What can a girl do?” For starters, a girl can beat cancer! And together these girls are capable of doing truly amazing things that continue to inspire us every day.


June 2nd, 2015

Committed Hearts for CURE: iHeartMedia

IMG_1422iHeartMedia Atlanta is more than just a supporter of CURE community events – their hearts are truly committed to finding a cure within our lifetime. No matter the occasion, iHeartMedia selflessly offers support year-round, with no other motivation than simply making the lives of children with cancer a little bit easier. 

CURE’s relationship with iHeartMedia began with the President of the Atlanta branch. He has always been an advocate for helping children battling cancer, and reached out to CURE to see how he – and his company – could help. His passion and dedication for the cause instantly spread to all of the the employees at iHeartMedia Atlanta, and over the years their support has simply grown. Whether it’s producing and airing CURE radio commercials, donating priceless music experiences and memorabilia to raise money for pediatric cancer research, or serving an Open Arms meal in the hospital, their support never stops.

IMG_1322Most recently, the 94.9 The Bull Caffeinated Radio team went above and beyond with their support of  Lauren’s Run and CURE Annual Picnic. Leading up to race day, the morning show hosts Jason Pullman and Kristen Gates shared information on-air about Lauren’s Run, reaching families all around Georgia who may or may not know of all CURE does to support children and families affected by pediatric cancer. The hosts helped create excitement of the race and encouraged listeners to join their own teams or come out and support The Bull’s fundraising team.

Jason and Kristin put their mics down and 11Alive pulled the cameras out, as they also graciously filmed television commercials to promote Lauren’s Run and the CURE Picnic. If their radio and television support was not enough, Jason and Kristin didn’t want to simply promote the race. They wanted to get involved. So the pair formed a Lauren’s Run race team of their own and selected a very special team captain, a little girl named Nina who has battled pediatric cancer not once, but twice.

IMG_1321Despite Nina’s rough battle with cancer, her positive energy and caring spirit is infectious. Jason and Kristen invited Nina to come out to the studio to speak over the air, and she did such an amazing job! She was smiling from ear to ear and was truly a natural on air. Who knows, Nina could be the next big talk radio host. This experience meant so much to Nina – and so much to CURE. On race day, the Caffeinated Radio team showed up and walked with Team Nina. Everyone had a blast.

Whatever her dreams or the dreams of the many other children battling cancer, we will do whatever it takes to make those dreams a reality. With businesses like iHeart Media on our side, we can give these children a fair chance to live the lives they deserve.

 

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May 20th, 2015

Beating Cancer With Style and Grace: Pointe of Grace Ballet

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Pointe of Grace Ballet offers weekly dance classes for preschool, elementary and middle school students throughout Gwinnet and Dekalb counties. From ballet, jazz and tap, these children embody the style, beauty and grace of seasoned professionals. Since 1999, Point of Grace, led by School Director Amy Gilbert or (Ms. Amy as her students call her), has not only developed the talents of many students, but has also inspired these gifted children to contribute so much more to the community.

11081422_721166754647278_3695454615711721897_nOn March 28, 2015, Pointe of Grace held its first Dance-A-Thon recital and silent auction benefiting CURE Childhood Cancer, through which 100% of entry fees and proceeds from the silent auction were donated to CURE. Tickets were sold at $5 each, raising a total of $2,604 from tickets and silent auction donations alone. A local company, Elecktaalso donated $5,000 bringing the final donation total to $7,604!

So many generous businesses donated prizes to the silent auction, including a 3-day 2-nights stay at Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Gold Club & Spa donated by Marriott Resort. Guests also had a chance to win restaurant gift cards donated by Enzo’s Pizza, Taqueria Los Hermanos, The Blue Ribbon Grill and Bambinelli’s Italian Restaurant.

11102649_721165867980700_3118118037577317753_nThe Dance-A-Thon was so so much fun for participants and spectators. These kids deserve a well-earned round of applause for such a successful first-time event! We even spotted familiar faces like CURE’s Kid Adrienne who is now in remission and living life like every child should. Seeing all these children, singing, dancing and laughing reminds us of why we fight so hard to cure childhood cancer. Children should have the chance to live their BEST life. Thanks Pointe of Grace for helping us secure a better future for children with cancer.

 

 

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May 19th, 2015

Introducing The Bowen Story Fund


IMG_4827Bowen Alexander Story. Bo for short. On September 21, 2007, this incredible little boy burst onto the scene. Bo was presented a teddy bear by his Mepaw on the day he was born. The combined words he used stuck, and from then on, Bo was known as “BoBear.”

When Bo reached twenty-three months of age, he began his battle with Medulloblastoma, a highly malignant brain cancer. He developed posterior fossa syndrome that left him with the left side of his face paralyzed, his eyes crossed, and right side weakness of his body. Bo could not see far, so he focused on his favorite DVD case, “The Incredibles.” This helped his eyes repair themselves. It was during this time his father gave him his most fitting nickname: “Mr. Incredible.”

Bo would live up to this name and surpass it as he endured three major brain surgeries, three high-dose chemotherapy treatments, three stem-cell transplants and nine months of maintenance chemo. He did all of this as he dealt with posterior fossa syndrome and autism. During Bo’s two year cancer battle, Bo showed everyone strength and faith are some of the most basic of life’s wonders. Bo, with the strength and endurance he showed, became known for his motto, “Be strong! Be BO strong!”

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In August 15, 2011, a month shy of his fourth birthday, Bo received his well-earned angel wings. Bo’s cancer had spread to his liver. Bo took his last breath surrounded by those who loved him most. Bo taught many people that hope, faith, and love are essential during his battle against cancer. The support shown to the Story family was overwhelming, so unintentionally, the fire had been ignited for the beginning of The Bowen Story Fund.

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The Bowen Story Fund was created to carry Bo’s legacy forward by helping and inspiring others to help families fighting pediatric cancer. Through CURE’s Family Emergency Fund, the fund provides financial assistance to families who are receiving treatment 50 miles away or farther from their homes, primarily concentrating on families receiving treatment at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. This includes gas cards and meal cards in addition to other forms of financial assistance.

bo2How to Donate to The Bowen Story Fund

Click here to donate online and choose “Bowen Story Fund” in the Designation section. Your gift will be directed accordingly.

Checks can be made out to CURE Childhood Cancer with “Bowen Story Fund” written on the notes line. Mail checks to:

CURE Childhood Cancer
1117 Perimeter Center West, Suite N-402
Atlanta, GA 30338


May 14th, 2015

United for One Cause: 2nd Annual Believe Ball Sponsors

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 11.40.56 AMOn Saturday, May 16, 2015 hundreds of supporters will again gather at the St. Regis Atlanta for the 2nd Annual Believe Ball benefiting CURE Childhood Cancer. We will honor award-winning, retired 11 Alive news anchor, Jill Becker, for her tireless dedication to curing childhood cancer in our lifetime and reconnect with the corporate elite and community of Atlanta. Now one of the premier social and philanthropic events in Atlanta, this elegant black-tie affair will feature a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by a seated dinner. Not to mention an awards presentation, live auction and lots of dancing!

Last year, the Believe Ball raised $750,000 to further CURE’s mission. We would like to thank our 2nd Annual Believe Ball Sponsors who have helped make this event a bigger and better success than before, while raising needed research dollars to improve the survival of children fighting cancer. Thank you sponsors!

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May 13th, 2015

A Record Breaking Year for Lauren’s Run & CURE Childhood Cancer Annual Picnic

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 1.55.37 PMMore than 2,700 walkers, runners, and supporters came out on a sunny Sunday the last weekend in April for Lauren’s Run and the CURE Picnic. The event, which was started in 1992 in memory of Atlanta toddler Lauren Zagoria, has doubled in size in just two years and raised nearly $4 million for CURE Childhood Cancer and pediatric cancer research since its inception. The race also honors another local girl, Lauren Kochman, whose young life was also cut short by cancer.

“We are humbled and thrilled that in our 21st year, we had the highest number of attendees and raised the most money ever in one day all while giving both of the Laurens, and other families, the opportunity to come together for fellowship and healing,” says Kristin Connor, Executive Director of CURE Childhood Cancer.

“The $300,000 raised provides critical funding for life-saving pediatric cancer research so, one day – within my lifetime – no other families will have to go through the devastating loss of a child,” she continued.

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Lauren’s Run and the CURE Picnic also provide families impacted by childhood cancer with an opportunity to meet and bond with others going through the same journey. This was evident with brightly colored team t-shirts, balloons, three generations (or more) of families walking hand in hand, and signs of children affected by cancer along the race route.

For Heather Kochman, whose Lauren is one of those remembered by the event, “it’s really special to see a large group rally around a family that has a child with cancer. Kristin and the staff and volunteers have done an amazing job growing the event, which is always special to our family.”

And for mothers like Kasie Hart, whose son, Robert, is going through treatment for leukemia, Lauren’s Run gives her hope.

“Not only do our family and friends get the opportunity to support Robert in a fun way while also supporting CURE, but I find myself looking around at all the people in attendance and can’t help but have some hope. Hope that each one of these people is spreading the word about childhood cancer, and it is in desperate need of attention.”

Save the date for the 22nd Lauren’s Run and CURE Childhood Cancer Annual Picnic on April 24, 2016.

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    SHOP AMAZON SMILE

    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.