Cure Childhood Cancer

CURE Blog


September 2nd, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Callie

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Callie. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Callie’s fundraising page. 

Callie Cheer Updated Photo

On September 5th, 2011, our precious Callie was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia subtype M7. At just 2 years old, Callie had to face the reality that 69% of her bone marrow was cancerous. She immediately began treatment and endured 6 months of inpatient chemotherapy at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Egleston. Callie’s chemo was successful and she achieved remission just 6 weeks after her 1st chemotherapy dose & has remained in remission ever since.

Today you would never know that Callie is in remission from this awful disease. Leukemia has not kept her down; she is full of life and has not missed a beat. Since being released from Children’s, she has entered 1st grade, takes Jazz at the N Ga Dance Studio, tumbles at the Auburn Jayhawks Gym, is a competitive cheerleader with the Hebron Hornets and plays Basketball at the Mill Creek Athletic Association!

Over the past few years there have been numerous efforts to raise money and awareness for CURE Childhood Cancer in Callie’s name. There was a Concert for Callie that raised $1,750. There was a tricycle race at Callie’s school in her honor and the release of “Sometimes You Gotta Fight,” a song inspired by Callie with all proceeds going to CURE Childhood Cancer. She most recently was a part of the Home Run Derby event at the Gwinnett Braves Stadium and raised over $825 for CURE Childhood Cancer. She also recently won a ribbon for her PTA drawing “The world would be a better place if kids did not get cancer….” She initiated a toy drive at her pre-k school as part of a mission that her cheerleading organization started, where they ended up delivering 15 huge barrels to the orphans in Haiti.

Callie is a courageous hero who inspires everyone she meets.

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September 1st, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Trenton

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Trenton. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Trenton’s fundraising page. 

Trenton Kindred Photo 2

As many of you already know, our son, Trenton is celebrating his 10th year of surviving Stage IV Neuroblastoma Cancer. This has been a ginormous celebration for our family, as is each and every day.

Trenton has endured more medical treatments and hospital stays than most people will in a lifetime. He’s 11 years old and enjoys being a kid. What an accomplishment for a child that endured 5 rounds of intense chemo, 2 bone marrow transplants, 21 days of being put to sleep to endure radiation treatments, several surgeries, 27 port line infections and 6 months of oral chemo, all before reaching the 25th month of life. What that description doesn’t describe is the agony and utter brokenness of our family during this nightmare.

Despite the horror he faced, Trenton enjoys football, basketball and snorkeling/Scuba. And to look at his physical growth, it’s a far cry from the emaciated and fragile child that we brought home from the hospital after a long 18-month battle. He continues to amaze us with his infectious smile, humor, shyness and love for life at such a young age. He is fearless, but reserved and has a soft soul that we think comes from staring into the darkest of places. He is truly a miracle and our family lives each day not taking anything for granted.

Although Trenton is now considered a “survivor”, we know and live with the fact that his cancer has a 70% chance of recurrence. To say Greg and I have sleepless nights is an understatement. And on top of that, we also know that he could suffer a heart attack instead of making plans for graduation down the road. Although we are grateful that he is with us today, we know that the drugs that saved him when he was a child will have long lasting effects as he becomes an adult…we pray he becomes an adult. The sad fact is the survival rate statistics that are widely shared are misleading. If a child survives for 5 years and then passes away due to the chemical onslaught of drugs they were given to “cure” them, that child is still considered a survivor. And even if the child survives but has permanent hearing loss, brain damage, loss of eyesight or disfiguration, that is considered a win. We can do better! WE MUST DO BETTER!

Trenton and the entire Kindred family have hosted and promoted many fundraisers through CURE Childhood Cancer over the years such as “CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time,” which honors all the kids who have battled this disease and remembers those who sadly lost their battle to cancer.  We do this through CURE CHILDHOOD CANCER because all of our funds raised go to CURE’s commitment to finding better treatments and cures for the kids battling today and for all of the kid’s that will soon be diagnosed.

Trenton’s experience in our own lives has shown us the huge need for less toxic cancer treatments specifically tailored to kids and their growing bodies. Our family hopes that in the future, no other family will ever hear the heart sinking words “Your child has cancer.” But if that does happen, there will be hope; a hope of a cure and less toxic treatments tailored to kids that will allow them to be kids that grow into healthy adults.

That is our goal…. That is our mission.

Blessings to you and your healthy families – we thank you for every dime of consideration to donate to our cause! God Bless You!

 

Believing in Miracles in our lifetime, one day at a time!

Ginger, Greg, Taylor & Trenton

The Kindred Family

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September 1st, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Jadelyn

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Jadelyn. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Jadelyn’s fundraising page. 

Jadelyn Sanchez

My beautiful baby girl Jadelyn, lovingly knows as JJ by friends and family, was diagnosed with ALL Leukemia in April of 2014. She was 3 years old at the time.

She was always vibrant and full of energy, your typical 3 year old little girl. She started running fevers, developing infections, and I noticed small tiny looking bruises all over her body. I knew deep down something was not right.

I took her to the ER, and they did blood work on her. Her white blood cells were awfully low, so they transported her to Memorial Hospital in Savannah where they admitted her. Within the next few days, they did X-rays, bloodwork, and spinal taps on her. I got the news that no parent would want to hear. My little baby had cancer.
I remember that day like it was yesterday. It tore our world apart. Her doctors explained to me what she would need and what she will have to go thru. They told us they were very optimistic that she would beat this awful disease.

It’s been over a year since she was diagnosed. She has had her ups and downs with getting sick, but it does not get her down. She keeps a smile on that beautiful face of hers! As of now she’s on maintenance chemo for hopefully just another year.

She is currently in pre k and is doing very well. She is still that spunky, sassy, vivacious, fully of energy little girl she’s always been. JJ gives all 4 of her big brothers a run for their money. She will always be her mama and daddy’s little princess. I know JJ will beat this! She has the spirit, and I know God is watching over our precious little princess.

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September 1st, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Lauren

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Lauren. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Lauren’s fundraising page. 

Lauren Morris Photo

March 2014 started out like any other month, with school projects and stirring plans for the upcoming Spring Break. For Lauren and her two sisters, March also brought a yucky stomach bug that was making its way around the schools. Her two older sisters got better after 24 hours, but Lauren’s nausea wouldn’t subside. After 3 days of nausea and headache, Lauren’s pediatrician suggested that her parents take her to the Emergency Room to be treated for possible dehydration. While there, the Emergency Room Physician suggested that Lauren undergo a quick CT scan of her head to make sure that there was nothing else causing the headache. To everyone’s surprise, there WAS something there.

Just two weeks before her 10th birthday, Lauren was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The next morning, Lauren underwent a six-hour brain surgery to remove the tumor. After waiting approximately a week for lab results to confirm, Lauren’s doctors discovered that the cause of her tumor was a rare and aggressive form of cancer called atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor, or ATRT. Over the next several weeks, Lauren underwent a series of tests and surgeries to prepare her body to fight the disease. In early April, Lauren began a treatment protocol for her type of cancer, which included 51 weeks of chemotherapy, and six weeks of radiation. Although the chemotherapy could be done locally at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Lauren and her family had to spend two months in Jacksonville, Florida for the radiation portion of her treatment.

Lauren endured significant side effects from chemotherapy, including skin burns, loss of hair, hearing damage, and extreme pain and weight loss. Thankfully, though, Lauren completed her treatment protocol in April 2015, and she has been such a trooper through it all. Despite some setbacks and the many side effects of chemotherapy, Lauren continues to smile and be strong. Her motto is, “I am tougher than cancer!” Lauren has proven this motto to be true by enduring many tests since treatment completion, including several questionable MRIs. But, the most recent MRI result declared that she is cancer free! Now her focus is on living the life of a normal kid and helping other kids through their journey by raising awareness and spreading hope! Due to Lauren’s diligence in keeping up with her studies throughout treatment, Lauren will be entering middle school on schedule in August with all of her friends there to cheer her on! Lauren and her family are so extremely thankful for the support and encouragement from CURE Childhood Cancer.

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September 1st, 2015

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Mary

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Mary. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Mary’s fundraising page. 

Mary Tipton Carter Photo

Mary is a vibrant 8 year old who loves rollerblading, tennis, swimming, softball, Girl Scouts and all things Star Wars.  In February 2015, she was admitted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite for abdominal pain, nausea and fever.

Her pediatrician suspected appendicitis or a stomach virus on top of the ear infection she already had. During an ultrasound of Mary’s abdomen to examine her appendix, the technician spotted an “abnormality” on her ovary.

The ER physician suspected a twisted ovary and assumed it was causing the abdominal pain and vomiting. Mary had emergency surgery to untwist the ovary, but the surgeon found a mass on her ovary instead. Pathology confirmed it was ovarian dysgerminoma, a rare type of germ cell tumor that is aggressive, but thankfully treatable.

Three children in eight years, and this was our first trip to the ER. We were shocked and terrified.

Mary had three rounds of chemotherapy, each of which required a 6-day inpatient stay at Scottish Rite. She started treatment in March and had her final dose of chemo on May 5th. Her post treatment scans have been all clear, showing no evidence of disease. NED is our new best friend!

We have been truly amazed at the outpouring of support we received from our community. It started with a Meal Train set up by our neighbor. Families we had never met signed up to bring food. I suppose that is the way of the South. Family emergency = casseroles and cookies. It was terrific. As Mary was not at school very often, she enjoyed the visits from friends and neighbors.

There were so many kindnesses bestowed upon our family. The elementary school Run Club made Mary an honorary member. All of the 2nd grade classes made cards and sent them to the hospital. Mary registered for softball the week before she was diagnosed, so she had to sit out the season; but the team played a game in her honor and wore gold wristbands for childhood cancer awareness. Mary is a Brownie Girl Scout, and the Troop showed solidarity by wearing turquoise bandanas when Mary lost her hair. (Turquoise is Mary’s favorite color). The Troop also organized a Skate-a-Thon to benefit CURE and donated over 280 toiletry kits for the tote bags that CURE provides to newly diagnosed families.

In between rounds of chemo we decided to participate in the CURE Childhood Cancer Lauren’s Run. Teachers, students, parents and even our school nurse showed up for the event! Mary walked the 2k race hand in hand with her friends.

The way our community’s children rallied around Mary and supported her was nothing short of incredible. Childhood cancer is horrific, but we did find great joy along the way. We were blissfully unaware of the prevalence of childhood cancer until our Mary was diagnosed. Our family is now determined to fight childhood cancer long after our personal battle is won.

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January 5th, 2015

Save The Date for the 5th Annual Sisters On A Journey Event

LETTERHEAD for other useJoin The Catie Wilkins Memorial Fund for the 5th year of its signature event  Sisters on a Journey, a fun evening including themed-tables, dinner, raffle, inspiring speakers and music. All proceeds will go towards CURE Childhood Cancer‘s targeted research projects.

The event will be held in two locations: Savannah, GA and Springfield, GA in Effingham County. This dinner benefits The Catie Wilkins Memorial Fund, which supports life-saving research for pediatric cancers. The name “Sisters On A Journey” is in honor of the many women (sisters) who supported the Wilkins throughout Catie’s journey.

Savannah Dinner
When: Saturday February 21, 2015
Where: Hellenic Center, Downtown Savannah, GA

Effingham Dinner
When: Saturday March 7, 2015 at 5:30 pm
Where: Effingham County High School, Springfield, GA

The event is a fun night for ladies to enjoy dinner, a raffle and a silent and live auction. Hostesses even get to decorate tables in different themes! The hostesses will also be responsible for selling the tickets for each table, providing desserts and favors, and serving your guests.

This event has sold out each year so make sure to reserve your table today! Five tables are left for the February dinner in Savannah. If you’d like to receive information on hosting a table, click HERE or email catiescurefund@gmail.com.

 

vintage table

catiekrisjen

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September 30th, 2014

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Miley Parker

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 30, 2014 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Miley Parker. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Miley’s fundraising page. 

Miley Parker Photo

Miley, our six-year-old daughter, is a cancer survivor. At just seven months old, Miley was diagnosed with retinoblastoma. The doctors found a less than three-millimeter tumor in her left retina. To kill a tumor that was about the size of a sharpened pencil lead, our infant daughter endured six months of chemotherapy and nine laser treatments to her retina; targeted at burning the tumor away. The laser caused not only the tumor to die, but also scarred the area around the tumor that resulted in her having a blind spot in her left eye. We are very thankful that today she has great vision with both eyes. She wears protective glasses to prevent an accidental eye injury and we have patched her right eye for a few hours every day, for nearly five years, to keep her brain exercising her weaker left eye.

We now know that Miley’s story is extremely unique. Her cancer was caught very early. Her doctors told us to, “expect, even plan on” more tumors. We refused to do that and truly, through God alone, she has never had another tumor develop.

Miley has been screened closely for the past five years because of the probability of another tumor developing or the original tumor recurring. In five years, Miley has had anesthesia 29 times for eye exams under anesthesia (EUA) to check for more tumors in her eyes and regrowth of the original tumor and has had 12 sedated MRI’s to check for tumors outside of her eyes and in her brain, which are associated with retinoblastoma. We praise God that another tumor never developed and are thankful for the close watch her doctors have kept over her.

Today Miley is healed and a healthy six-year-old 1st grader. She is wise beyond her years. Miley loves her family and friends fiercely and is the best big sister to her little two-year-old brother, Eli. She loves life and Jesus Christ. She is cancer free and has been since March 30, 2009. We praise God with all of our being for the blessing of healing he gave to our daughter. Jeremiah 17: 14: “Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” We praise God for the gift of both of our children’s lives, for the gift of all life, and our family is forever changed with hearts of daily gratitude.

Screen-Shot-2012-09-07-at-1.56.52-PM27-150x1503Miley had ONE three-millimeter tumor. Miley’s cancer was a “best case” scenario (if there is a thing with cancer). It was caught early, the treatment worked, and the cancer has not recurred; that is too often not the case with childhood cancer. Join us to raise funding for research for better treatments, less side effects, and for a cure. Thank you so much for all the support you have shown our family. Join us for a cure for all.

 


September 30th, 2014

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Sophie Piller

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 30, 2014 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors CURE Kid Sophie Piller. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Sophie’s fundraising page. 

Sophie Piller PhotoOn December 10, 2013, our beloved five-year-old Sophie was diagnosed with a cancerous mass in her liver. She had only three days of occasional stomach discomfort, a decrease in appetite, and a few episodes of vomiting. An x-ray and exam were done by her pediatrician, which prompted an ultrasound the next morning. This showed the mass and he arranged for immediate admission to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.

After careful consideration, the oncology and surgical team agreed that the tumor was too close to vital structures to safely remove the tumor entirely without significant risk of causing further injury or leaving cancer cells behind. Sophie endured two rounds of weekly chemotherapy. After these two rounds, the tumor had shrunk enough to be removed in late January.

The surgery day arrived, but a huge snowstorm (by Georgia standards) threatened to delay the surgery. After a three-hour car ride to go 70 miles, along back roads avoiding stranded cars, we arrived safely at CHOA. Sophie had the surgery the next day and her tumor was successfully removed. Four more rounds of chemo would follow.

In mid-February, we discovered that Sophie had developed a rare but significant complication from her surgery. She was having more pain, not eating well and losing weight at an alarming rate. She was readmitted to CHOA and a battery of tests and scans revealed that her liver was leaking bile into her abdomen, and it had formed a huge cyst.

A drain was placed and she was discharged with a feeding tube in her nose and a bag connected to the drain. For a month, we fed her formula through the tube with a pump three times a day and all night. We had to empty the drain twice a day. Despite that, she kept a positive attitude, started gaining energy and weight; and she didn’t let it slow her down. Unfortunately, the drain alone did not stop the leak.

Between her fourth and fifth rounds of chemo, Sophie had another major abdominal surgery to fix the leak. She recovered well and completed the last of her six rounds of chemo in mid-May. The treatment was followed by the best news we could have ever hoped for – a clean scan and encouraging blood work. She is now off treatment and is having blood drawn every two months for monitoring. Her access port was removed as well.

Throughout this six-month process, Sophie spent 40 nights in the hospital and missed a significant amount of kindergarten. She was always brave and rarely complained. We drew tremendous amount strength from our amazing medical team, our family and friends, and our community here in Rome.

Screen-Shot-2012-09-07-at-1.56.52-PM27-150x1503We have had a wonderful summer. In addition to celebrating her sixth birthday, Sophie has spent time playing with her sister and friends, swimming, and going to camps. She has fully enjoyed feeling well again, and in many ways we have noticed that she seems more outgoing and confident than ever before.


September 29th, 2014

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Abby Collins

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 29, 2014 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Abby Collins. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Abby’s fundraising page. 

My journey started in 2009. I had just turned 12 years old and beginning 7th grade when I found out I had a Brain Tumor. My journey continues.

Today, I am speaking out for all the babies, children, teens and young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer. It is important that I share what it is like to go through chemo, to feel yucky, to lose my hair, go through pokes, surgeries, having my port access, MRIs, missing out on parties, school events, not feeling like you fit in. And just when I think I am finished with everything, I go on chemo again. I have learned so much while on this roller coaster journey; about my friends, others and myself. I have also learned that going through with treatment does not mean you are cured. Things can be just as difficult to handle.

My Brain Tumor/Cancer controls everything I do. It affects my vision, emotions, hormones, growth, memory, appetite, sleep, headaches and much more. I want people to understand what children go through when diagnosed with cancer. I want people to understand why we need more research to find cures for childhood cancer. I want people to understand when we finish our treatments; it does not mean we are cured. We continue to have MRIs, pokes and doctor appointments. We deal with side effects from chemo or radiation. We have a higher chance of developing another type of cancer down the road. We have been affected emotionally and physically.

Every day, children all across the world will find out they have some type of cancer.

Giving to CURE will help provide more research for pediatric cancers. Giving to CURE helps support families financially with meals, places to stay, transportation and much more.

Today, I am blessed that I can write this letter and speak out on the importance of finding a cure for all pediatric cancers. Many children have lost their battle and will never see research find a cure.

Screen-Shot-2012-09-07-at-1.56.52-PM27-150x1503My name is Abby Collins and September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!

Help CURE, help others!

Donate today!

Thank You


September 29th, 2014

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Jared Forman

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Join us today, September 29, 2014 as CURE Childhood Cancer honors Jared Forman. Join our fight as CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time! Donate to Jared’s fundraising page. 

Jared Forman PhotoOn November 12, 2006, Jared Daniel Forman was born to Jordan and Jodi and was Joshua’s little brother. From the day he entered this world, he brought his family and those who knew him joy. He was an exceptionally beautiful child. He had blond hair and big, beautiful, soulful, baby blue eyes. He was very charming and tried to use that charm to get away with things from time to time!

Jared loved his family. He was adored by his preschool, kindergarten and first grade teachers, as well as by his classmates. He was a bright and sweet young boy. Jared often finished his school assignments before others in the class and would then help other students. He even defended his classmates on the playground if they were bullied by older students. Even at his young age, he made friends with all the boys and girls in his classes.

He was all boy. He loved to play soccer, football (where he was quarterback and hoped to be in the NFL someday), basketball, baseball, and especially in the summer, he loved to swim and play ball in the pool with his family. He was quite athletic and loved by his teammates. He also loved music and was studying guitar, as he also hoped to become a rock star one day. Jared loved animals, especially his shih Tzu, Reuben. He was artistically talented as well. He loved to draw and paint and was very good at it. He was a good writer and wrote a book at school about the need for community to help people in bad times. If he put his mind to something, he was good at it. Jared loved playing sports outside or playing video games and board games with his older brother, Joshua. The two of them were best friends. Jared was a gift and truly a special boy. He loved his family and life, as he wrote in his diary.

Jared’s cancer journey was so short, that he never even knew he had cancer or was sick. In fact, no one knew he had cancer until he slipped into an irreversible coma on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. His school had been on spring break for four days at the time. During those days he: played in a league baseball game, had a play date, played Frisbee and basketball outside, walked his dog, swam, played kickball, and had a good time celebrating the Jewish festival of Passover. He was a happy child and unaware he was sick right up until his last waking moments. On April 16, 2014, we learned that he had an inoperable brain tumor in his brain stem, a bithalamic glioblastoma multiforme. He died on Friday morning, April 18, 2014, at the age of seven.

Screen-Shot-2012-09-07-at-1.56.52-PM27-150x1503We hope that more can be learned about cures as well as causes of childhood cancer. We hope that someday soon, families will no longer have to suffer the sadness in our hearts that we feel from losing our precious angel Jared.


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    GO GOLD THIS SEPTEMBER

    September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and there are many ways individuals, groups, companies, and schools can #GoGold4CURE. Click here to download flyers and posters, view fundraising ideas, and learn how to support some of CURE’s GOLD partners.

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    BELIEVE IN A CURE

    Your donation to CURE Childhood Cancer directly supports CURE’s $2.5 million commitment to research aimed at finding cures for the 20% of children who do not survive their battle with cancer. In addition, it supports CURE’s Patient & Family programs, meeting the critical and urgent needs of our families.