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Women Curing Pediatric Cancer

In honor of Women in Science Day, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation would like to proudly recognize some of the brilliant women funded by PCRF who are leading the way in their fields and working to cure pediatric cancer.

Take a look at some of the women who are making a difference and changing the futures of kids fighting pediatric cancer.

Dr. Anat Epstein – Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Dr. Epstein seeks to understand the biology of brain tumors, now the most deadly form of pediatric cancer, in order to create new and better treatments against them. Her focus is to better understand the biology of medulloblastomas, in order to find new ways to approach its treatment.

The results of this work will inform on critical aspects of medulloblastoma biology and may lead to novel approaches against the treatment of medulloblastoma and/or possibly repurposing of existing medicines for it.

Dr. Kathleen Sakamoto – Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

Dr. Sakamoto’s goal at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is to bring new drugs to children with relapsed acute leukemia. She is making progress not only in understanding how these new drugs work, but also studying how to best use these drugs in patients. Her hope is to improve the overall survival of children with relapsed leukemia so that they will live healthy and productive lives.

Dr. Amanda Saratsis – Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital

Dr. Saratsis hopes to bring new therapies to clinical trials and improve outcomes for patients with pediatric brain tumors. Initial research will focus on pediatric high grade glioma (pHGG) and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). Children affected by these tumors are in dire need of improved treatment options and outcomes.

It has already gained global attention due to the initial findings from the project and the work will be accelerated through generous philanthropic support from the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

New 2019 Researchers

Dr. Lingling Chen – Johns Hopkins University – School of Medicine
Dr. Chen’s research focuses on Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), the most common soft tissue tumor in childhood. Over the last 40 years, the treatment has been largely unchanged, consisting mainly of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Children who have high risk disease and fail front line treatment have extremely poor 5-year survival outcomes. New treatment options are desperately needed and Dr. Chen is working to change this.

Dr. Sarah Injac – Baylor College of Medicine
Dr. Injac’s research focuses on Medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood with approximately 500 cases diagnosed in the United States each year. The current standard therapy for medulloblastoma consists of a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. For patients who fail to respond to initial therapy or have disease that recurs following treatment, however, the outcomes remain dismal. There are currently no effective second line therapies for relapsed medulloblastoma. In addition, many long-term survivors of childhood medulloblastoma face significant treatment-related side effects. Long studies of these patients have shown high rates of learning issues with associated academic failure and unemployment, as well as hormonal problems, and an increased risk for secondary cancers. New therapies, therefore, remain urgently needed.

The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation is proud to fund these Women in Science. These are just some of the amazing researchers focused on putting your generous donations to work in 2019. You can help us fight cancer with research.

The post Women in Science: PCRF Funded Researchers Who Are Leading the Way appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) is gearing up for its 21st annual Reaching for the Cure Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, And Kids Run on Sunday, March 17, 2019. This event is a true community favorite, family-friendly, high energy race day to raise money for pediatric cancer research. There are so many reasons our participants come out each year to run or walk the Reaching for the Cure. And we love hearing them! Even though each story is unique, every individual has one thing in common; they all want to be part of the solution and make a difference for kids fighting cancer.

Running for Community

Meet Alex, our Run4Hope Running Club Captain!

“Up until a few years ago I would never have considered myself a runner.  Running a single mile was a monumental feat, let alone a number of miles! In 2016 my husband found a running club with an organization that supports his recently-diagnosed auto-immune disease.  In an effort to get to know those involved in the run club & to build a family of love and support for David, I signed up for the half marathon that the team was training for. It was a huge leap for me.  Each week, as another mile was added on to the training, I continued to worry I couldn’t make it through the mileage.  And each week I surprised myself!

Last year one of my best friends and I were asked to lead a run club for PCRF.  Running a half marathon was one major leap, leading others to do the same seemed out of reach.  Each week the Run4Hope Club meet-ups became something I looked forward to, not so much to get my run in, but to see all the runners & build our mini-community.  Within this community I’ve made so many friendships & have become so much stronger mentally and physically to pursue many more half marathons.

I run for the community that I get to enjoy!”

Make a Difference

Participating in the Reaching for the Cure event is greater than the miles ahead of you. Your race is saving lives. You can help us make a difference!

For more information about the Run4Hope Running club, visit: http://run4hopeclub.com/

To register for the Reaching for the Cure Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Kids Run or make a donation, visit: www.reachingforthecure.org

The post Running for Community and Cures appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) is gearing up for its 21st annual Reaching for the Cure Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, And Kids Run on Sunday, March 17, 2019. This event is a true community favorite, family-friendly, high energy race day to raise money for pediatric cancer research. There are so many reasons our participants come out each year to run or walk the Reaching for the Cure. And we love hearing them! Even though each story is unique, every individual has one thing in common; they all want to be part of the solution and make a difference for kids fighting cancer.

Running for Survivors

“My name is Ian Engdahl. I am a runner, but greater than that – I am a survivor.”

In May of 2005, the Engdahl family was told that their only child, their 4 year old son Ian, had been diagnosed with cancer. Adult Melanoma, an aggressive and often fatal form of cancer. Ian was the youngest child at the time to be given such a diagnosis.

Today, Ian has been cancer-free for nearly fourteen years. He has dedicated part of his life to telling his story and being an ambassador for PCRF for almost 9 years. Not only is Ian surviving, he is thriving! “I run varsity cross country and track for Dana Hills High School, one of the top high school distance running programs in the Country. I will be running cross country and distance track in the NCAA next year for Central Washington University,” Ian shared.

Despite his hardships, Ian always looks at the positive side. “Nonetheless, running at such a level requires great determination and understanding why you run. I run to prove to others that although cancer may be deadly, survivors can still go on to live successful lives,” said Ian.

Ian hopes to be an example of hope for other kids battling cancer. “I run to prove to the world that I can overcome anything. I’m proof to those that are still battling for their lives that there is hope, and that remission is not just a dream, it is a possibility. I will not stop running until remission is a guarantee to every family that hears those fateful words “Your child has Cancer”, he shared.

“I run for hope, remission and for the survivors.”

Make a Difference

Participating in the Reaching for the Cure event is greater than the miles ahead of you. Your race is saving lives. You can help us make a difference!

For more information about the Run4Hope Running club, visit: http://run4hopeclub.com/

To register for the Reaching for the Cure Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Kids Run or make a donation, visit: www.reachingforthecure.org

The post Why I’m Running for Research, Told by a Survivor appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) is gearing up for its 21st annual Reaching for the Cure Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, And Kids Run on Sunday, March 17, 2019. This event is a true community favorite, family-friendly, high energy race day to raise money for pediatric cancer research. There are so many reasons our participants come out each year to run or walk the Reaching for the Cure. And we love hearing them! Even though each story is unique, every individual has one thing in common; they all want to be part of the solution and make a difference for kids fighting cancer.

Meet Dave, Hope Squad Planning Committee member and Run4Hope Running Club member. Dave was a casual runner for many years until a friend suggested that they train for a marathon. He was up for the challenge, so he agreed. His friend had to stop training due to injuries, but Dave kept going. That was in January of 2008. Since then, Dave has run three full marathons and nearly 40 half marathons in that time. He then found the PCRF race.

Running for a Cause

He initially started running the Reaching for the Cure race because it was close to home. Plus, it went through trails that he already enjoyed running on. After completing the PCRF Half Marathon three times and the 10K once, he thought it was time to get more involved with the cause. 

“My next thought was that I had time in my life and I needed to give back to the sport that has given me improved health and fitness, goals to reach, and the ability to see many places across the country”, Dave shared.

Dave joined our “Hope Squad” Planning Committee to help with race planning, outreach and fundraising. He wanted to get involved in any way possible. When he heard about the Run4Hope Running Club launch, he knew right away that he had to be part of it. The Run4Hope Running Club is free running club dedicated to runners of all skills, abilities and ages. Runners train together each week leading up to the Reaching for the Cure race in a fun, motivating, friendly run environment. “I hoped to be able to provide any support possible for the organization as they raised awareness for the race, and the cause that PCRF fights so hard for every day, the research that will save lives.”

“I want to be part of showing runners that training can be fun, beneficial, and that their efforts can make a difference,” he said. “People see them training and achieving goals that they may not have thought that they initially could. Running and achieving things once thought unattainable is inspiring to those around you.”

Luckily, Dave has never experienced any children in his life that have been afflicted by cancer. Still, he is determined to make a difference for others who have. “Knowing that there are people out there that have is a heartbreaking thought. One that family and friends should not have to deal with,” he said. “I will do my best to help people be prepared for the race, to meet their goals, and to have fun doing it!”

Get Involved

Participating in the Reaching for the Cure event is greater than the miles ahead of you. Your race is saving lives. You can help us make a difference!

For more information about the Run4Hope Running club, visit: http://run4hopeclub.com/

To register for the Reaching for the Cure Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Kids Run or make a donation, visit: www.reachingforthecure.org

The post Why I Run the PCRF Half Marathon: Dave appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) is gearing up for its 21st annual Reaching for the Cure Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, And Kids Run on Sunday, March 17, 2019. This event is a true community favorite, family-friendly, high energy race day to raise money for pediatric cancer research. There are so many reasons our participants come out each year to run or walk the Reaching for the Cure. And we love hearing them! Even though each story is unique, every individual has one thing in common; they all want to be part of the solution and make a difference for kids fighting cancer.

Meet Dave, Hope Squad Planning Committee member and Run4Hope Running Club member. Dave was a casual runner for many years until a friend suggested that they train for a marathon. He was up for the challenge, so he agreed. His friend had to stop training due to injuries, but Dave kept going. That was in January of 2008. Since then, Dave has run three full marathons and nearly 40 half marathons in that time. He then found the PCRF race.

Running for a Cause

He initially started running the Reaching for the Cure race because it was close to home. Plus, it went through trails that he already enjoyed running on. After completing the PCRF Half Marathon three times and the 10K once, he thought it was time to get more involved with the cause. 

“My next thought was that I had time in my life and I needed to give back to the sport that has given me improved health and fitness, goals to reach, and the ability to see many places across the country”, Dave shared.

Dave joined our “Hope Squad” Planning Committee to help with race planning, outreach and fundraising. He wanted to get involved in any way possible. When he heard about the Run4Hope Running Club launch, he knew right away that he had to be part of it. The Run4Hope Running Club is free running club dedicated to runners of all skills, abilities and ages. Runners train together each week leading up to the Reaching for the Cure race in a fun, motivating, friendly run environment. “I hoped to be able to provide any support possible for the organization as they raised awareness for the race, and the cause that PCRF fights so hard for every day, the research that will save lives.”

“I want to be part of showing runners that training can be fun, beneficial, and that their efforts can make a difference,” he said. “People see them training and achieving goals that they may not have thought that they initially could. Running and achieving things once thought unattainable is inspiring to those around you.”

Luckily, Dave has never experienced any children in his life that have been afflicted by cancer. Still, he is determined to make a difference for others who have. “Knowing that there are people out there that have is a heartbreaking thought. One that family and friends should not have to deal with,” he said. “I will do my best to help people be prepared for the race, to meet their goals, and to have fun doing it!”

Get Involved

Participating in the Reaching for the Cure event is greater than the miles ahead of you. Your race is saving lives. You can help us make a difference!

For more information about the Run4Hope Running club, visit: http://run4hopeclub.com/

To register for the Reaching for the Cure Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Kids Run or make a donation, visit: www.reachingforthecure.org

The post “Why I Run” Series: Dave appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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Press Release – IRVINE, CA (April 3, 2018) – The government allocates only 4% of annual funding for cancer research towards pediatric cancer research. Pediatric cancer researchers rely on private foundations such as the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) to support projects that would otherwise go unfunded. PCRF is proud to award 9 new grants with a total of 17 grants in 2019. These new grants are comprised of three Basic Science, two Translational and four Emerging Research grants totaling $565,000. PCRF is funding over $2.2 million in total funding in 2019. Each of these grants are designed to improve the care, quality of life and survival rate of children with malignant diseases.

Pediatric cancer is a growing problem worldwide. Every 2 minutes, a child gets the news that they have cancer. The lives of many children and their families have been profoundly impacted by grants funded by PCRF.

“PCRF continues to rank as one of the best charities to support as defined by Charity Navigator and Guidestar,” said Jeri Wilson, Executive Director of the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. “When donors support our foundation, they can be assured their gifts will be used to support this superior class of researchers listed below”.

New Pediatric Cancer Research Grants in 2019

For the last 36 years, PCRF has remained committed to funding cutting edge research endeavors at leading institutions across the country. The following principal investigators and institutions have been awarded a new grant in 2019:

-Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Lingling Chen, M.D.

-Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brian Crompton, M.D.

-Stanford University, Agnieszka Czechowicz, M.D., Ph.D.

-Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Stewart Goldman, M.D.

-Baylor College of Medicine, Sarah Injac, M.D., Ph.D

-Stanford University, Kathleen Sakamoto, M.D., Ph.D.

-Seattle Children’s Hospital, Surojit Sarkar, Ph.D.

-University of California, San Francisco, Elliot Stieglitz, M.D.

-Dan-Farber Cancer Institute, Ting Tao, Ph.D.

PCRF is unique in its approach to funding pediatric cancer research. Working directly with doctors and researchers, the foundation identifies the challenges faced in bringing new treatments to and caring for children with cancer. This careful distribution of grants has allowed these doctors to speed up the process of bringing the latest and most promising treatments. The result is bringing hope to pediatric cancer patients now and in the future.

PCRF is making tremendous strides toward cures and better outcomes for so many children with cancer. To see all researchers and where PCRF is funding near you, visit the grants page on the PCRF website. To learn how you can get involved, visit www.pcrf-kids.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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The post Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Funds 9 New Research Grants in 2019 appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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Survivors of pediatric cancer overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles in order to fight their cancer, regain their health and live a normal childhood. That’s why PCRF is committed to improving the quality of life for those affected by pediatric cancer by offering annual scholarship awards to cancer warriors and survivors.

2018 Scholarship Awardee: Grace

We’d like you to meet another one of our 2018 PCRF Scholarship Awardees. We’re so incredibly inspired by Grace’s strength to overcome the most difficult obstacle any child should face. Grace lives up to her name in every sense of the word by remaining positive, uplifting and optimistic despite being given the worst possible news.

Grace’s Story:

“I was in dance class when I first noticed it. A person cannot really dance when her foot is going numb, or at least that was the best way my 5th grade, 10-year-old self would describe it. I was dancing and then all the sudden it came on; I abruptly lost all control of my right foot. After a week of these episodes, I decided to tell my parents. We scheduled an appointment with our local pediatrician, but when she could not find anything, she decided to send us to Children’s Hospital Colorado for further evaluation. After a very long day of tests, I was diagnosed with malignant brain tumor. The MRI scan revealed that there was a tumor about the size of a grape pressing on the “foot portion” of my brain – the culprit of my foot going “numb” problem. During my treatment, I met my nurses Molly and Laura who have, in turn, inspired me to become a nurse. Their kindness and compassion toward me and other children had inspired me to do the same. My nurses helped me get through the tough chemotherapy and radiation, a feeding tube, more MRIs than I can count, a wheelchair and several surgeries.

The journey was rough, I’ll admit it, but I have become a better, more compassionate person from it. 

While I was going through my treatment, I realized how many other kids needed help too. There was a whole floor of kids as sick or even more sick than I was. I wanted to do something to help, but at the time I was too sick. When I went into remission a year-and-a-half later, I convinced my parents to help me start a 5K race dedicated to raising money for pediatric brain tumor research. I wanted to give back to the nurses and the doctors who helped save my life. About 750 people came to the first annual Grace’s Race 5K in 2013, and we raised $44,000! Since then, we have partnered with the Morgan Adams Foundation and have raised $228,000 in 5 years. All of the money I raise go through the Morgan Adam’s Foundation, directly to Dr. Nick Foreman, one of the top neuro-oncologists in the world. He uses the money to further his research into cures for pediatric brain cancer. 

Through this experience I have learned that empathy is very important. The ability to understand what someone else is feeling, and to use compassion when talking to that person, is the best medicine. I would like to pursue nursing because of this reason. I have been inspired by my nurses to have the same kindness and compassion that they possess. When I go to college, The Morgan Adam’s Foundation will organize the race, and it will continue to raise money for pediatric brain tumor research as a legacy to what I have started.”

You have the power to help kids, like Grace, become cancer-free and live a healthy life beyond their diagnosis. Now is the time to become a vital part of advancing pediatric cancer research.

The post 2018 Scholarship Awardee: Grace appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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All of the PCRF scholars are worthy of having their story told. Each one has endured hardship and overcome obstacles that no child should ever be asked to face. Through these scholarships, PCRF is providing a tangible means of supporting quality of life for childhood cancer survivors.

2018 Scholarship Awardee: Ryan

We’d like you to meet Ryan – a warrior, pitcher and friend. Despite his diagnosis, he manages to find comfort during the tough days of missing out on his favorite sport – baseball.

Ryan’s Story:

“Over the last six months I’ve been the lucky recipient of an outpouring of love and support from my community. Friends and family came over to visit, people were dropping off food, and still others began organizing fundraisers for me. Dinners, wristbands and 5K races have all been orchestrated to support me and my family. All of this has been overwhelming, but this kindness, compassion, and generosity had given me so much hope. I didn’t know I would feel so grateful when my life took a dramatic turn in July.

What began as a day of volunteering at my high school’s baseball camp for younger kids, ended with my admission into the children’s hospital at the Westchester Medical Center. After a week of medical tests and blood work, doctors sat me and my parents down to deliver the results. Dr. Rosenbloom spoke the words very seriously. He said, “I am sorry to tell you, but results show you have stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.” At that moment, I thought to myself how quickly things had changed for me. But also, how I would beat this challenge. I have always been a positive person and somehow, I managed to tap into that mindset at that moment.

All the positivity in the world could not change the fact that my whole world turned upside down. Although I had noticed a small bump on my shoulder that day, it had never occurred to me or my family to be something serious. Thoughts raced through my head. “How will this affect my college plans? How am I going to continue to play baseball as team captain? Will I be able to attend my senior year of high school? How will I maintain my friendships? Would they change because of this?”

Within days I started chemotherapy treatments. I quickly learned that on a weekly basis I would be getting a needle in the vein of my upper shoulder. I was nervous about the colored liquids pumping into my body and what their side effects would be. As this first course of treatment came to a close, I quickly realized there were others on this journey; as I exited the treatment room, my eyes roamed the corridors and what I saw gave me both comfort and pain, but mostly comfort. It helped me to see other kids fighting the same fight, and although it was difficult to see infants sharing the same battle, I experienced a moment of relief. I wasn’t alone.

As I near the end of my treatments, I envision myself back on the pitcher’s mound and graduating with my classmates. To welcome me back, my school district has planned a “Strikeout Cancer Day” when I return in January.

Reflecting back to the hospital, I remember saying to my parents, “I don’t know why I’m going through this right now, but I believe I will be able to help others because of this someday.” I’m not exactly sure where this challenge will lead me, but I do know that I will pay this kindness forward whenever possible, just as my community helped me.”

You have the power to help kids, like Ryan, become cancer-free and live a healthy life beyond their diagnosis. Now is the time to become a vital part of advancing pediatric cancer research.

The post 2018 Scholarship Awardee: Ryan appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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Childhood cancer survivors are more than four times more likely to have difficulty finding employment as compared with healthy people (Hewitt, Weiner, Simone 2003). Through these scholarships, PCRF is providing a tangible means of supporting quality of life for childhood cancer survivors. Our hope is to actively contribute to the long-term care of cancer survivors, giving them tools to succeed in their community and adult lives.

2018 Scholarship Awardee: Cecilia

We’d like you to meet our 2018 PCRF Scholarship Awardees. We’re so incredibly inspired by their stories of strength, courage and resilience. Although a cancer diagnosis comes with its own set of challenges and obstacles, cancer helped Cecilia appreciate the little victories in life.

Cecilia’s Story:

“After I was diagnosed with a desmoid tumor in my left leg at the end of my sophomore year, everything changed. Most importantly, I thought, I had lost the ability to play basketball. I lost what I woke me up early every day, and made me stay up a little later at night. My sense of purpose was lost. 

I began playing competitive basketball when I was in third grade and continued through high school. In the summers, I traveled the country with my club team. I was even recruited by colleges as a freshman and sophomore. I was elected varsity captain as a freshman and every year since. Basketball was so much a part of my identity that I questioned what I was supposed to do without it. I failed to see a future where I didn’t play. Along with everything else, I had to deal with losing something I loved, and I was completely lost. 

It wasn’t until recently that I came to peace with where I am in life. After my tumor resection surgery, the vascular surgeon told my parents I was an inch away from losing total function of my leg. My surgical oncologist said it was the hardest surgery he had ever done, as the tumor was embedded in my muscle and wrapped around my nerves and artery. I started to realize how lucky I am that I played again at all. I am lucky to be walking.

My outlook on life and who I am as a person has completely changed. My condition forced me to drop out of school during my junior year. In September 2015, I was absent for four months due to radiation therapy and surgery. When I came back in January, I was drowning, but determined to keep going. One day, however, it all hit me. The treatments, the surgeries, school, friends, the changes; it overwhelmed me. It was the first time I acknowledged that continuing like normal wasn’t going to work. I needed time to heal physically and emotionally.

By taking a year off and going to high school for a fifth year, I grew in so many ways. As I watched my best friends and classmates graduate without me, I had to accept that I was on my own journey. I rediscovered my love for learning by experiencing failure. When I had a recurrence this year and started chemotherapy, it provided a new challenge to keep my grades at the standard I hold myself to. On days when I am tired and sick from chemotherapy, I remember how grateful I am to be going to school. 

My life had not gone at all like I planned. When I lost basketball, I lost what I thought was my identity. But that allowed me to get past what I thought defined me, and discover who was hiding underneath. I have so much more to offer to the world than a sport.”

You have the power to help kids, like Cecilia, become cancer-free and live a healthy life beyond their diagnosis. Help us continue our fight to find a cure.

The post 2018 Scholarship Awardee: Cecilia appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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Children with cancer hope for the same things that healthy children hope for – to grow up and have a long, healthy life. That’s why PCRF is committed to improving the quality of life for those affected by pediatric cancer by offering annual scholarship awards to cancer warriors and survivors. At PCRF, we believe in giving hope and futures and thanks to research, these kids are able to do just that!

2018 Scholarship Awardee: Lucas

We’d like you to meet our 2018 PCRF Scholarship Awardees. We’re so incredibly inspired by their stories of strength, courage and resiliency. Although a cancer diagnosis comes with its own set of challenges and obstacles, cancer helped Lucas find his voice.

Lucas’ Story:

“My journey with cancer impacted my life in ways that I never imagined. When I was diagnosed with cancer at ten years old, I had no idea what was in store for me; the only thing I knew about cancer was that it was a deadly disease that affected a small fraction of the people in the world. As the first few rounds and even years of chemotherapy started, I only saw cancer as the worst thing to have happened in my life. I saw it as only a negative. As time went on and I started to mature, I began to realize that cancer wasn’t the worst thing to happen to me. In fact, it turned out to be the best thing I could have asked for.

By age thirteen, cancer taught me that for every negative, there is a positive – but it’s up to you to find that positive. Cancer gave me the opportunity to do things I never imagined of doing. It has allowed me to speak at events to people who were twice or triple my age. It allowed me to find my voice and meet new people who were just like me. Cancer allowed me to tell my story at PCRF and Make-a-Wish events and inspire thousands of people to help make a change so that children and adults no longer have to deal with the pain of cancer.

Cancer has molded my life and is part of me forever. Without it, I would still have no idea what I want to do with my life. After and during chemotherapy sessions at both the hospital and clinic, some of the most impactful moments were talking to child psychologists who would walk around and ask how I was feeling or if I needed to talk about stress. These child psychologists always made me feel as if I was a normal kid and they always understood me. Because of these psychologists I want to be a child psychologist so I can help cancer patients feel normal and connect to them a little more personally because I know what they’re going through. 

I will achieve this goal of mine by starting my post-high school academics at Arizona State next year. I plan on taking all the required classes I need so I can work on psychology. My plan is to get a 4.0 GPA by studying hard and putting my school work before anything else. My end goal is to become a child psychologist who specializes in working with children who are coping with a disease or disorder. I want to continue to make a difference in other people’s lives.

You have the power to help kids, like Lucas, become cancer-free and live a healthy life beyond their diagnosis. Help us continue our fight to find a cure.

The post 2018 Scholarship Awardee: Lucas appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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