Cure Childhood Cancer

CURE Blog


March 7th, 2011

Life on Purpose

Life on Purpose is a fun and creative networking experience for empowered women living a healthy, wealthy, rich life on purpose. Event is Saturday, March 19 from 10-5 and Sunday, March 20 from 10-4 at the Holiday Inn Capital Conference Center, Atlanta GA.

Event will feature powerful keynote speakers and life coaches discussing finances, friends, faith, family and friends. CURE Childhood Cancer Executive Director, Kristin Conner will be speaking during Sunday’s event. Social events include wine tasting, flash networking and live band. Gift bags and lunches provided.

All proceeds from the silent auction will benefit CURE Childhood Cancer. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to click here or contact April Cummings at 678-851-4992.


July 6th, 2010

From the Desk of Kristin Connor

In these complex economic times, it has become increasingly common that organizations cannot succeed alone, and many nonprofits are embracing the concept of collaboration for mutual benefits. Indeed, collaboration has become quite the buzzword in the nonprofit world as the economic crisis has gripped our country and resources to support charitable efforts have continued to shrink.

However, collaboration is nothing new to CURE Childhood Cancer. Maintaining collaborative partnerships with other organizations has been a longstanding practice for CURE. CURE was founded in 1975 by Dr. Abdel Ragab, the first pediatric oncologist at Emory University. Because of the urgent need to fund a pediatric oncology research program at Emory and to provide support for families afflicted by childhood cancer throughout Georgia, Dr. Ragab organized a group of parents who formed CURE.

CURE’s first mission was in partnership with Emory and was to help raise funds for a special microscope and other equipment to assist in diagnosing different types of childhood leukemia, using newly developed techniques. In 1978, CURE contributed $20,000 to purchase the microscope and related research equipment. Additionally, CURE was soon able to provide partial support for the training of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellows during their research rotations.

From 1975 to 1981, the childhood cancer research lab was located at Grady Hospital. Since most of Dr. Ragab’s patients were being treated at Emory Clinic, CURE provided a significant donation in 1981 to establish a research lab on the Emory campus. This was designed as a temporary facility while plans were made to build a permanent lab on the campus.

Finally in 1987, a new outpatient clinic for childhood cancer was opened on the campus. Over several years, CURE raised more than one million dollars to build and equip a laboratory on the second floor of the pediatric oncology clinic. The Childhood Cancer Research lab was dedicated in 1989 and represented a huge step forward in providing an up-to-date facility with almost 3,500 square feet of space devoted to research in childhood cancer, the first of its kind at Emory.

Under Dr. Ragab’s leadership and with CURE’s backing, the childhood cancer research program at Emory continued to grow and soon became one of the largest pediatric oncology programs in the country in terms of patients diagnosed and treated each year.

From those early days and continuing today, CURE has worked collaboratively  and cooperatively with the staffs at children’s hospitals in Georgia and beyond to provide important support to families. We also work with other wonderful organizations like Camp Sunshine, Ronald McDonald House and Remember the Rainbows, meeting regularly to discuss the activities of each organization, assess the needs of the children and families we serve and the collective resources available and determine collaborative means to address the needs.

We firmly believe that the more we are able to work together successfully, the more we will achieve our goals of helping families suffering at the hands of cancer navigate the difficult road they are traveling and the faster we will be able to achieve our mission of curing this dreaded disease. Every step in that direction counts.

With hope,

Kristin Connor


December 22nd, 2009

Kristin Connor Looks Back on Childhood Cancer Awarness Month

Before my own son was diagnosed with cancer in 2001, I had no idea Childhood Cancer Awareness Month existed much less that it took place in September. If I had known, would I have done anything to get involved or support the awareness efforts? I’m not proud to admit that I might not have. I suppose I never felt I needed to be concerned about childhood cancer. Afterall, childhood cancer is something that happens to “other people,” right?

Wrong.

Childhood cancer affects thousands of children every year. It happened to my child. It could happen to any child. I have heard cancer in children described as “rare.” From a statistical standpoint, particularly compared to incidence of cancer in adults, I know this is true. However, once it touches your life, whether directly or indirectly, I believe you are never the same.

For all of us at CURE, September was a profoundly inspiring month. For years, I have heard parents lament that next to no one knows what September signifies. Compare that to October when everything is pink and everyone knows it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The fact that these months are back to back and awareness levels are at opposite ends of the
spectrum leaves parents of children with cancer feeling disheartened.

We really wanted to do our part to change this, so this year we launched a new initiative called “CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One day At A Time.” Through this initiative, we tried to give families a vehicle through which to share the stories of their children with a large audience. We felt that sharing the stories of “our” children is the best way to raise awareness of the need for the fight against childhood cancer to be a priority in this country. From the feedback which has poured in, along with the astounding number of
people who donated to CURE’s research efforts in honor or memory of a specific child, we are certain we made headway.

From our perspective, September was a very, very meaningful month. We think people were made aware of the devastating impact cancer has on a child, his or her parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, friends and the larger community.

We think awareness was raised about the dire shortage of funding dedicated to research for cures for childhood cancer, no matter that cancer takes the lives of more young people today under the age of 20 than any other disease. People responded. You responded.

One of my favorite quotes is by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Particularly after witnessing the progress the CURE community made in the month of September, I believe!

With hope,
Kristin Connor


December 9th, 2009

Share Your Photos with CURE

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. We believe this to be true.

CURE Childhood Cancer is currently seeking photographs of children with cancer, survivors or children who have been lost to cancer.  Siblings and/or other family members can also be included in the photographs.  We would like to be able to use these photos in our communication materials since “real” photos of children from our very own CURE community will best paint the picture of childhood cancer in an authentic light.

We welcome your photos for submission with your permission that they may be used for such things as brochures, emails, online or on our website. We cannot utilize photographs that are copyrighted, which includes Flashes of Hope photographs.

Thank you for sharing your children with us and allowing us to honor them and their journeys by utilizing their photos.

Please email all photos to kristin@curechildhoodcancer.org


December 7th, 2009

A Tribute to Our Quiet Heroes

“It is a day I look forward to all year long,” a sentiment expressed by one honored mom but shared by many as they expressed their love and appreciation for the annual “A Tribute to Our Quiet Heroes” luncheon, an event conceived of and hosted by Chris Glavine, wife of baseball superstar Tom Glavine.

The fifth annual luncheon was held on Saturday, September 19th and, by all accounts, continued the tradition of an elegant event packed full of inspiration and emotion. The luncheon is a very unique event that honors mothers of childhood cancer patients past and present. The mothers are hosted and presented with a beautiful luncheon, an inspiring speaker and a day to share their joys and their pains with the only people who truly understand them, their fellow moms.

CURE Childhood Cancer’s Executive director, Kristin Connor, explains that the event began and continues to be about a need that she, Chris Glavine and other committee members have to do something for the moms they love. “Almost selfishly, we need this day,” says Connor. “We need to have some way – however small – to show these moms that we care about what they’ve been through and continue to endure.”

“The Quiet Heroes luncheon is a very unique and special event,” explains hostess, Chris Glavine. “I believe the day remains in the hearts of those who attend. It is my hope that they will all be inspired to take a more active roll in the fight against childhood cancer.”

Ruth Hoffman, a Quiet Hero and Executive director of the National office of Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation, was the keynote speaker for the luncheon. Mrs. Hoffman discussed the need for more research and emphasized the need for less toxic treatments, citing her own daughter’s struggles as an adult survivor. As always, the talented and giving Jill Becker, also a Quiet Hero, emceed the event.

Even in a tough economy, this year’s event was an overwhelming success, raising $260,000 for childhood cancer research. “The fact that more than 550 people attended this luncheon on a busy Saturday in September and opened their hearts and their wallets to our cause proves that people really care,” remarks Connor. “It gives us so much hope.”

Below two Quiet Heroes share how much the luncheon means to them.

For me, Quiet Heroes is one of the most special days of the year. It is a day when I am recognized for the struggle I have weathered with my child and, especially during her treatments, it was the one day I stopped to let myself be cared for. As I enter the hotel, I see all of the silent auction items and I watch as people playfully fight over bids. It brings tears to my eyes because I know that every dollar they bid means more hope for our children. Seated in this beautiful room for lunch, surrounded by so many other mothers who have fought or are fighting similar battles with their children, I am home again. I am amazed by the number of people there, and again I am touched and thrilled, knowing that many of those people chose to pay for their seats – more hope for our children. As I look around me on that day, I know that every face there represents either a mom or family member of a child, or they chose to be there because they care about this battle our children are fighting. How precious all of those people are to me. This is a day filled with love ~ and so much hope. And I am so grateful for it.

~ Quiet Hero Lisa Hanger

The annual Quiet Heroes luncheon is an event like no other. It is truly hard to put into words what the day represents and means to so many of us. It is an experience of the truest of sisterhood and total acceptance. There is probably no other venue where you have something in common with every woman in the room that has on a name tag with the Quiet Heroes reference. There are emotions of every type expressed on the faces of these women. There are smiles of joy in seeing their fellow cancer moms and confirming that their child is still in survivor status. There are smiles of hope as they are telling that their children are bravely still fighting their battles. There are tears of deep loss but smiles of gratitude for those wanting to know how they are coping with their loss or wanting to learn about who their child was. The connections that are made are ties of a lifetime that bond these women together. As all of the Quiet Heroes are asked to stand each year, we do it with pride but with such sadness. As we look around the room and see all of the other mothers, our hearts are filled with love and admiration for each other but with such sadness for all of the children represented there. The Quiet Heroes luncheon is one of the greatest gifts that I have personally received since I started the cancer journey with my daughter. It is an event that I cherish and look forward to every year. I always leave with renewed hope and am re-energized for the task at hand.

~ Quiet Hero Cathy Smith

Watch for details about the sixth annual “A Tribute to Our Quiet Heroes,”coming in September 2010.


November 16th, 2009

Elves From Catie

catieheart2-2For Jenny and Tré Wilkins, Christmas can be especially difficult. They lost their beautiful four-year-old daughter, Catie, nearly three years ago to cancer. If there is a glimmer of light in the midst of such loss, however, the Wilkins credit a mischievous elf for providing hope and honoring Catie’s legacy.

While Catie battled the ravages of cancer treatment during the holiday season, she took solace in the make-believe world of Santa’s elves. She was given a special stuffed elf from the company Host an Elf, and that beloved elf was “responsible” for all kinds of mischievous acts, such as covering the kitchen in flour, pulling clothes out of Catie’s dresser drawer, and even spending a night in the freezer because he was homesick for the North Pole.

“Catie’s elf provided a way for her to escape the reality of cancer and enjoy the magic of the holidays,” explains Jenny Wilkins. “We had so much fun with that elf. Every day, Catie woke up eager to find out what her ‘silly elf’ had done while she slept.”

But the whimsical fantasy of holiday elves was inexplicably replaced with the harshest of realities when Catie lost her courageous battle just weeks after Christmas.

Desperate to get through the first Christmas without Catie, her mom searched stores and the Internet for affordable elves to give to some of Catie’s friends who were still battling cancer. When she found the company which made Catie’s elf, she called, asking if they would consider giving her a bulk discount. After hearing Catie’s story, the owners of Host an Elf were so moved, the company decided to donate as many elves as the Wilkins needed – and then, they decided to take it a step further. The owners worked with Jenny to create a program called “Elves from Catie” which honors Catie by allowing others to purchase an elf for a child with cancer, with 30 percent of the proceeds going to CURE Childhood Cancer earmarked for pediatric cancer research.

“Far too many children will be spending the holidays in children’s hospitals receiving cancer treatment, and ‘Elves from Catie’ is a powerful way to share a special gift with them and make a significant contribution to fund a cure for childhood cancer,” says Kristin Connor, Executive Director of CURE Childhood Cancer.

For more information or to donate an elf to a child with cancer, visit www.elvesfromcatie.com.

 


October 13th, 2009

Make Your Purchases Count With Babble Baby Wear

We welcome business partnerships and appreciate companies that want to help support CURE Childhood Cancer. There are several organizations that are using their business to help raise money for CURE. Each business donates a portion of its proceeds to benefit CURE.

One of these businesses is Babble Babywear. Babble babywear™ is a dynamic, sassy new company designed to tell the world what babies are thinking through original sayings and fun graphics. These colorful onesies have been described as that “favorite t-shirt with minimal design and maximum impact but with great baby humor.” Show off your bundle of joy in baby gear with attitude or show up at the next baby shower with the gift that everyone will be talking about.

Visit www.babblebabywear.com to order and use code BABBLECCC and $1 will be donated to CURE Childhood Cancer for every onesie purchased.

For more information on these sponsors and products, click here.

For questions on how your business can get involved, please contact CURE’s Executive Director, Kristin Connor at 770-986-0035 or kristin@curechildhoodcancer.org.


October 7th, 2009

Make Your Purchases Count

We welcome business partnerships and appreciate companies that want to help support CURE. There are several organizations that are using their business to help raise money for CURE. Each business donates a portion of its proceeds to benefit CURE. Below we have listed each business that is participating in raising money for CURE so that you can make sure your purchases count by buying products from the companies that support CURE.

Babble Babywear

Tripp Bowden’s Freddie and Me

Patrick’s Paperwhites

Press On Charm

Virginia Rice Designs: CURE Childhood Cancer Ribbon Earrings

Survivor Tees

Global Monkey

For more information on these sponsors and products, click here.

For questions on how your business can get involved, please contact CURE’s Executive Director, Kristin Connor at 770-986-0035 or kristin@curechildhoodcancer.org.


September 9th, 2009

Governor Perdue Presents Proclamation to CURE Childhood Cancer

GOVpic1In an effort to call attention to the urgent need to find a cure for pediatric cancer, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue recently presented a formal proclamation to CURE Childhood Cancer Executive Director Kristin Connor, along with CURE board members Don Campbell, Lauren Gearon and April Voris, at the Georgia State Capitol. The proclamation supports the work CURE is doing to support cancer research, and to commemorate National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month throughout September.

“It is critical that we raise awareness and money to fund childhood cancer research and find a cure,” Connor says. “Our focus is on helping the thousands of children diagnosed each year with cancer, and their families, so that it is no longer the number one disease that kills our children.”

Cancer kills more children than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies and pediatric AIDS combined, according to Connor. “Childhood cancer crosses all racial, ethnic and social boundaries,” she adds.

The proclamation signifies that the State of Georgia recognizes the devastating effects of childhood cancer on the citizens of this State and, above Governor Perdue’s signature and the Seal of the Executive Department, reads:

“Therefore, I, Sonny Perdue, Governor of the State of Georgia, do hereby proclaim September, 2009 as CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS MONTH in Georgia in order to raise awareness and help promote life-saving research.”

For more information on CURE Childhood Cancer, visit us at www.curechildhoodcancer.org


July 9th, 2009

CURE Spotlight: Gracie Malloy

gracie-malloy-julie-metz-photoGracie is a happy five year old little girl who enjoys having fun with her two older sisters, Katie and Tricia.

Three years ago in April, Gracie was playing with her sisters, and my wife, Terri, noticed she seemed a little swollen around her glands. Terri called me at the office and said she was going to be cautious and have Gracie checked out by the doctor just to be safe. An hour later Terri called again to say they had taken a blood sample and thought we should take Gracie to Scottish Rite hospital. While we waited in the lab of Scottish Rite, we received a phone call from our pediatrician. Dr Empen told Terri we needed to go immediately to the emergency room because Gracie’s blood sample came back positive for leukemia. Terri broke down in tears. When Terri hung up with the pediatrician, Gracie walked over to her and told her that everything was going to be okay. Gracie obviously had no idea why Terri was crying, but only knew she needed some comfort.

Upon our arrival at Scottish Rite, we were whisked into the triage area of the emergency wing and introduced to Dr. Alan Anderson, a Fellow in the Oncology Department. Dr. Anderson proceeded to explain that normal white blood counts are anywhere from 5,000-10,000 white blood cells which fight off infection. Gracie’s counts were 363,000.  Due to the fact that her counts were so high, Gracie was classified as high risk.

The next day, Dr. Anderson introduced us to Dr. Glenn Lew.  The two doctors spoke to Terri and me about entering Gracie into a study which would not only  help her, but also help other children in the future based upon Gracie’s study results. They went on to explain that there were four different legs on this particular study, each varying in intensity as to the amount of medication to be administered.  The leg of treatment selected for Gracie would be determined at random.

As parents, we were still trying to digest and accept where we were and exactly what ALL leukemia is, and we were now facing decisions about whether to enter Gracie into a study. Terri and I proposed many “what if” questions to Dr. Lew and Dr. Anderson. After many prayers, we came to the conclusion that the best path would be to enter Gracie into the study. Later that day, we found out Gracie was randomized for the most aggressive of the four legs in the study.

Terri and I agonized over our decision because Gracie would need to take the highest dosage of medication. On the other hand, since her counts were higher than any other recorded at Scottish Rite at the time, we thought that the most aggressive leg would be her best hope for survival. Throughout the two and half years of treatment, we were reassured of our decision by Gracie’s response to the protocol of her study.

We tried our best not to let Gracie’s childhood be taken from her during her treatment.  Gracie, to this day, does not quite understand what she has just gone through and accomplished at such a young age. Last May, we found out Terri was pregnant and after we told the girls, Gracie asked me, “Will the baby go to Scottish Rite too?” I  realized Gracie thought every child went through what she had, and that it was just a part of growing up.

Gracie’s two older sisters, Tricia, now eleven, and Katie, six years old, were as supportive as any two sisters could be. They did not quite understand exactly just how sick Gracie was, but they understood she needed more attention than we could give the two of them. We were supported by our families, friends and our parish. Our families rallied to our aid without question and offered their time away from their lives to help us. We are truly blessed to have our families for all they have done. There isn’t enough room on the page to mention all of the kind acts of love we received from our friends and parishioners, from meals, to watching Tricia and Katie at a moment’s notice, to all of the gifts and prayers.  It is all so amazing that thinking back on it now is overwhelming.

Over the course of the past three years, we have come across some of the most amazing people, from other children’s parents who are some of the strongest individuals I have ever met, to volunteers who have taken time out of their lives to make sure that we were cared for as if we were royalty. There are so many who have contributed to Gracie’s successful treatment. CURE has played a major role in Gracie’s recovery. It was CURE’s “OPEN ARMS” program which allowed us to go home after our first week in the hospital. Dr. Anderson said Gracie could go home once she ate a meal. It was Thursday night on the third floor and it was pizza night! Gracie ate three pieces of pizza and Dr. Anderson was impressed enough to let us go home. It is CURE that funds two Fellows at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. It is CURE that invests a majority of their funds for studies and research in defeating childhood cancer.

I thought about all of those in the past who had volunteered their time in a way that benefited our family. The survival rate is so much higher today thanks to all of the volunteers and organizations like CURE. With that in mind, I contacted Kristin Connor at CURE and told Kristin to give me a call if there was any way I could help.  Hopefully some of my efforts will benefit a child or family in the very near future.

Today’s Spotlight Story was written by Gracie’s Dad, Bill Malloy


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    INAUGURAL BELIEVE BALL - SOLD OUT!

    On Saturday, May 3, 2014, at the St. Regis Atlanta, CURE will honor Tom Glavine, and his wife Chris, for their tireless dedication to CURE's mission as well as celebrate Tom's recent induction into the MLB Hall of Fame. Click here to learn more about the event and check back soon for a link to bid in a fabulous online auction.

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    LAUREN'S RUN & CURE PICNIC

    Register Now for the 20th Annual Lauren's Run 10K, 5K, 2K and Tot Trot on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at Concourse Office Park in Atlanta, GA. After the run, walk to the ultimate family-friendly CURE Picnic, a day including lunch, football with NFL players, inflatables, games, prizes, and more!