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Press Release – IRVINE, CA (May 29, 2019) – The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) prepares to kick off the summer with its 26th Annual Western Roundup on Sunday, June 9th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This fun-filled day solely devoted to celebrating and honoring pediatric oncology families from all over Southern California is PCRF’s only non-fundraising event of the year. For 26 years, this event has remained dedicated to providing children and their families with a “cancer-free” afternoon outside of the hospital walls with outdoor fun.

The event will take place at a private venue, Oak Canyon Park, and include activities such as carnival game booths, rides, reptiles and petting zoo, pony rides, fishing, arts and crafts, raffle prizes and more – free for the whole family. Entertainment will include face painters, balloon artist, country line dancing and a live music performance by Sterling Sylver Band. Lunch will be generously donated by In-N-Out Burger, a treat the kids look forward to every year thanks to In-N-Out Burger’s years of support.

PCRF relies on the support of community donors, underwriters and volunteer organizations to help make this day extra special. Longtime supporters include National Charity League Juniors, who support with their volunteer efforts, donating Build-a-Bears for oncology children, and with fundraising dollars raised at functions prior to the event. Other returning partners include MaxLove Project. New partner this year, Beauty Bus, will be providing complimentary beauty and grooming services for children and their caregivers to experience.

Offering Hope, Every Year

“Western Roundup is a chance for oncology families walking the same path to connect and make hope-filled memories. For individuals and corporations wanting to make a direct impact on a child’s day, this is that opportunity. Your support can be underwriting a specific cost of the event or simply sponsoring a family to attend. By supporting this event, you will be helping oncology families celebrate the mission that drives the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. Your gift builds memories,” commented PCRF Philanthropy Manager, Christine Farwell.

The Flight of the Doves, a special dove release ceremony, will be held at the end of the event to honor and remember loved ones who are in all stages of their journey: some who are just starting their treatment, others who are in remission and are survivors, as well as remembering those we have lost.

Admission is free and by reservation for pediatric oncology kids and their families. Please contact PCRF at (949) 859-6312 or admin@pcrf-kids.org for more information.

The post PCRF to Host 26th Annual Western Roundup for Oncology Kids and Families appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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Funding Lifesaving Research with Dr. Elliot Stieglitz

We’d like you to meet Dr. Elliot Stieglitz, Translational Research Grant recipient from UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. This type of grant primarily funds new research protocols and therapies that hold promise for improved outcomes and accelerates cures from the laboratory bench to the bedside of children and teens with high-risk cancers. Dr. Stieglitz is innovative in discovering new targeted therapies for patients with Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia also called JMML, a type of blood cancer that affects infants and young children.

The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation is looking forward to the new hope offered by the work of Dr. Steiglitz.

Why are you interested in finding a cure and/or better treatments for JMML?
Compared to other pediatric blood cancers, JMML affects very young patients, typically infants and toddlers. One of my first patients in fellowship had JMML and that experience had a tremendous impact on me. I saw firsthand the toll that chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant takes on such a young patient and their family. I left that experience wanting to reduce the intensity of treatments for patients by finding more targeted therapies and by identifying patients who can be cured without a transplant.

Share your thoughts on why you think it’s important to fund pediatric cancer research.
Although JMML is rare, the lessons we have learned about genetic predisposition to cancer, how to treat Ras mutated leukemia and how to risk-stratify patients are things that can be applied to many other more common diseases. Don’t be fooled by the rarity of this disease, it is a treasure chest of information that is broadly applicable to most other cancers!

What advice would you give to a child diagnosed with cancer?
My advice would be to find a doctor who you can trust and who views you as a person not just someone with cancer. Rely on the people who care about you and try and make things as normal as humanly possible while recognizing that nothing you are going through is normal.

What is your point of view on the climate of pediatric cancer research?
We are in an unprecedented time in pediatric oncology when revolutionary treatments are now available and are being offered to children not just adults. That being said, there is still much progress to be made and there is no panacea for cancer. Every type of cancer is unique and has its own particular vulnerabilities. It is up to researchers to take advantage of these vulnerabilities using the extraordinary tools at our disposal to improve patients’ lives.

What is your proudest accomplishment so far in regards to your research?
Our team discovered several new genes in JMML like RRAS2 and SH2B3 which had not been previously recognized to be mutated in this type of leukemia. Our hospital now offers a test that anyone in the world can use to have their blood or bone marrow sent for testing. I have interacted both virtually and in person with several patients whose diagnoses were made by the identification of mutations in those genes which allowed them to begin therapy and eventually be cured. We are now working hard on developing a new test that will let parents and providers know which patients will require stem cell transplants and which patients can be observed instead of transplanted.

How has the support from PCRF allowed your research to be successful?
The PCRF grant not only provided resources to fund my work but also represented the first grant I received as an independent investigator after starting my own lab in 2017.

Can you tell us something about you not many people know?
I have twin younger brothers who also live in California, though we all grew 3000 miles away on the East Coast.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like playing tennis, doing the crossword, and traveling to other parts of the world.

Learn more about Dr. Elliot Stieglitz, our impact and the future of curing childhood cancers.

The post Behind the Science Q & A with Dr. Elliot Stieglitz appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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Funding Lifesaving Research with Dr. Sarah Injac

We’d like you to meet Dr. Sarah Injac, Emerging Investigator Grant recipient from Baylor College of Medicine. This type of grant is designed for emerging pediatric cancer researchers to pursue exciting research ideas and encourages and cultivates the best and brightest researchers of the future. Dr. Injac’s research offers hope to children with Medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children. There are approximately 500 cases of children diagnosed in the United States each year. The current standard therapy for medulloblastoma consists of a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. This approach results in cure rates of approximately 75%. For patients who fail to respond to this initial therapy or have disease that recurs following treatment, the outcomes remain dismal.

Dr. Injac is making progress towards finding new and effective treatments for Medulloblastoma through her research thanks to support from the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. She tells us more about her role in helping to ensure all children have a chance at a long, healthy future.

Share your thoughts on why you think it’s important to fund pediatric cancer research.

Funding from non-profits like the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) are critical to developing better treatments for childhood cancers. Thankfully, children develop cancer at much lower rates than adults. Because of this, however, even the most common childhood cancers represent relatively rare diseases. Many funding sources prefer to focus on diseases that impact a large number of patients leaving pediatric researchers at a disadvantage. Pediatrics focused organizations provide a vital support allowing us to continue advancing our understanding of these devastating diseases.

What advice would you give to a child diagnosed with cancer?

Your life has changed but you are stronger than you ever knew. It is ok to be scared and it is ok to have a bad day or week or month. Ask questions and tell people how you are feeling. It may seem like adults have all the answers but you know yourself best.

What is your point of view on the climate of pediatric cancer research?

We are currently in an exciting time in the field of pediatric cancer. Major advances have been made over the last decade in our understanding of the basic biology of tumors and we now are starting to incorporate this information in a clinical setting. There is enormous optimism that in the coming years we will see improvements in both survival and quality of life for children battling fighting childhood cancer.

Can you tell us something about you not many people know?

When I started residency, I was actually in a program to train in child neurology.  All first year doctors at my hospital, however, did a rotation on the inpatient oncology service. The strength of the pediatric cancer patients and their families that I met inspire me. After one week I switched programs and started applying to pediatric oncology fellowship.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I am a mom of 4 year old twins so spare time is not something that I have a lot of. When I do have time to relax, I enjoy spending time doing out outdoor activities with my family, going on bike rides and working in the yard.

Learn more about Dr. Sarah Injac, our impact and the future of curing childhood cancers.

The post Behind the Science: Q & A with Dr. Sarah Injac appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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Funding Lifesaving Research with Dr. Ting Tao

We’d like you to meet Dr. Ting Tao, Emerging Investigator Grant recipient from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This type of grant is designed for emerging pediatric cancer researchers to pursue exciting research ideas and encourages and cultivates the best and brightest researchers of the future. Dr. Tao’s research studies will investigate a novel pathway of how neuroblastoma develops, revealing new targets for improved therapy of high-risk neuroblastoma.

Since PCRF’s inception, through our funding of emerging research, we have made a positive impact in improving childhood cancer survival rates from 10% to over 80%.

With this grant from the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, Dr. Tao is working to understand the mechanisms of how cancerous neuroblastoma cells can turn into noncancerous ganglioneuroma cells using the Zebrafish model.

He tells us more about his role in helping to eliminate childhood cancer through leading edge research.

What interests you in finding a cure and/or better treatments for neuroblastoma?

Cancer is the number one cause of death by disease among children.  When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it affects all family members and nearly every aspect of the family’s life.  Neuroblastoma is a solid tumor of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system in children. This type of cancer is very difficult to treat and accounts for 15% of childhood cancer deaths.  The survival rate for children with high-risk neuroblastoma is still low despite improved treatments. Survivors often suffer side effects of the treatment.  This motivates me to find and develop safer, more effective treatments for neuroblastoma.

Share your thoughts on why you think it’s important to fund pediatric cancer research.

The incidence of childhood cancer is increasing.  However, pediatric cancer research receives less than 5% of the federal funding from the National Cancer Institute.  There are fewer drugs available for pediatric cancers than for adult cancers because they are less profitable.  Most childhood cancer survivors will have one or more significant health-related issues, commonly due to the side effects of treatment than the cancer itself.  We need funding from donors and foundations like PCRF to conduct research and turn the innovative results into new treatment options through clinical trials to improve treatment and outcomes.

What is your point of view on the climate of pediatric cancer research?

Major treatment advances in pediatric cancer have been made in past several decades. The 5-year survival rate has increased greatly since the mid-1970s.  With current available technologies and the expansion of personalized medicine using immunotherapy, targeted therapies and epigenetic therapies, now is the golden era of pediatric cancer research.  Although some cancer types have seen little progress in survival rates, I am optimistic that we will continue improving survival rates and reducing side effects with better therapies.  Pediatric cancer research should continue to be a “moonshot” priority.

How has the support from PCRF allowed your research to be successful?

With the support from PCRF, I am able to explore this high-risk but potentially high-reward idea.  This significant award is very important for me to generate strong evidence to support my hypothesis and compete for additional federal funding in the future.  It will also help me to advance my career towards independence and translate the results to treatments in the clinics.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I enjoy hiking, fishing, gardening, and playing with my kid!

Learn more about Dr. Ting Tao, our impact and the future of curing childhood cancers.

The post Behind the Science: Q & A with Dr. Ting Tao appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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Funding Lifesaving Research with Dr. Lingling Chen

We’d like you to meet Dr. Lingling Chen, Emerging Investigator Grant recipient from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. This type of grant is designed for emerging pediatric cancer researchers to pursue exciting research ideas and encourages and cultivates the best and brightest researchers of the future. Dr. Chen is tackling the the most common soft tissue tumor in childhood, Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). 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.

Dr. Chen is making progress towards these challenges through her research which is supported by the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. She tells us more about her role in helping to ensure all children have a chance at a long, healthy future.

Why are you interested in finding a cure and/or better treatments for Rhabdomyosarcoma? My interest in Rhabdomyosarcomas come from treating and caring for children with this diagnosis. The current treatment for Rhabdomyosarcoma includes multiple toxic drugs, surgery and radiation. Children who are diagnosed with this cancer undergo multiple rounds of intensive chemotherapy exposing them to drugs that can harm their heart and also cause secondary cancers. Despite this, children with high risk or relapsed disease do poorly and jump from toxic drug to toxic drug, before ultimately succumbing to the disease. It is a terrible cancer and treatment has been unchanged for the past four decades. There is an urgent need to develop more effective and less toxic treatments for this group of patients.

Share your thoughts on why you think it’s important to fund pediatric cancer research.
Over the past 50 years, the progress of pediatric cancer research has positively influenced cancer research as a whole. Our success in treatment of childhood leukemias reflects the success of research collaboration across multiple institutions and serves as a model for clinical trials. Research from the Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study Group has allowed us to understand clinical features that predict prognosis in children with rhabdomyosarcoma, allowing us to better tailor therapy for different risk groups.

Pediatric cancer research benefits not only children, but all of cancer research. Federal funding, however, is much lower for pediatric cancer research compared with adult cancers. The majority of funding comes from philanthropic sources. Because of this, we need to raise awareness for pediatric cancers and fund research for this vulnerable group of patients. Only through scientific research can we move the field forward and develop new cures. 

What is your point of view on the climate of pediatric cancer research? We are in a very exciting time for pediatric cancer research. Cancer research as a whole has significantly progressed and led to many novel discoveries such as targeted drugs and immunotherapy. In the pediatric realm, we have taken advantage of this scientific progress as seen with the success of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell therapies for childhood leukemia as well as antibody targeted therapy in neuroblastoma. Immunotherapy has become the fifth pillar of oncology and led to lasting responses in many adult cancers. My goal is to translate this success of immunotherapy to rhabdomyosarcoma patients by understanding how the immune system interacts with the tumor. This information can help us determine which combination of immunotherapy agents can lead to anti-tumor immunity and help us unleash the immune system to recognize cancer cells and attack.

How has the support from PCRF allowed your research to be successful?
As a pediatric sarcoma researcher, funding is difficult to obtain as rhabdomyosarcomas, though common in children, is rare in the general population. Despite this, rhabdomyosarcoma strongly impacts many children and their families.

“PCRF’s support for my research validates the importance of rhabdomyosarcomas and has been key in allowing me to focus on my research.”

My project involves studying the tumor microenvironment of rhabdomyosarcomas in hopes of developing successful immunotherapy trials for children affected by this disease. Thus far, I have discovered an immunosuppressive niche in rhabdomyosarcomas that is predominated by myeloid cells. My hypothesis is these myeloid cells release chemokines and cytokines that restrain effector T-cell function and also promote tumor angiogenesis allowing for tumor growth. If we can target these myeloid cells, we may be able to disrupt the immunosuppressive niche and create a tumor microenvironment that can foster anti-tumor immunity leading to tumor regression. There is still much work to be done, but the funding and support provided by PCRF will allow me to continue this research and help us find better cures for pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma patients.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love to cook and consider myself a chef. Recently, I learned how to make a Spanish omelet, which is delicious but quite tricky (the flipping part requires some muscle). My goal, aside from finding better cures for pediatric cancer, would be to participate in a cooking competition like Top Chef.

Learn more about Dr. Lingling Chen, our impact and the future of curing childhood cancers.

The post Behind the Science: Q & A with Dr. Lingling Chen appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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Did you hear?! The Orange County Register has announced its 2019 “Best of OC” voting categories and look what’s back – the Best Run/Race in Orange County! The “Best of Orange County” determines OC’s favorite businesses and organizations.

Help us put the Reaching for the Cure Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and 1K Kids Run back on this list. Mark your calendars, voting begins Monday, April 29th and ends on May 31, 2019.

Why vote Reaching for the Cure?

The why is easy! Proceeds raised from this event go to fund the best pediatric cancer research in the country. The Reaching for the Cure Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and 1K Kids Run is more than crossing a finish line, it’s about making a difference. It’s about running for those who can’t. This year PCRF celebrated 21 years of life-saving research dollars raised at this event in honor of pediatric cancer warriors, patients, and survivors everywhere.

What makes the Reaching for the Cure unique?

The Reaching for the Cure Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and 1K Kids Run is the race with heart, team spirit and highlights commitment and resilience. The family friendly atmosphere is packed with positive energy making it a community favorite event.

How can I help?

We count you as a partner in the search for the cure! The more awareness raised, participants running, and fundraisers means more research dollars. Imagine the impact we can make when we put those dollars towards finding a cure.  Use your voting power to select this Orange County favorite race as the Best of OC, and together we can eliminate childhood cancer through leading edge research.

The post Vote Reaching for the Cure for OC Register’s “Best of OC” appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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Teams are the most integral part of our annual Reaching for the Cure event. Ranging from corporations, to families, to local schools – not only do these teams play a key role in moving our mission forward, they often know firsthand why funding research is important.

Carter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on October 2, 2015 – one month before his 5th birthday. He underwent chemotherapy treatments at CHOC for 21 months before finding out he relapsed on July 5, 2017, essentially starting over at day one of 3.5 years of treatment. When he passed suddenly due to a rare infection that occurred as a result of chemotherapy treatment, it sent shock waves to the community and all who knew him, loved him, and cared for him. Carter was a fighter, a leukemia warrior, who faced every battle and challenge head on and usually with a smile. He was a ball of light who lived life with passion, tenacity, and immense love.

Even after he was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of four years, Carter continued to live life to its fullest enjoying baseball, football, Legos, dancing, music, Disneyland, games, school, playing with friends and family, and so much more. His contagious smile and spirit won the hearts of many and his attitude about life and ability to thrive in the face of cancer inspired all. A #CarterStrong community was born.  His family, friends and community now carry on his legacy of strength, kindness, and love by being #CarterStrongForever.

Today Carter’s legacy of caring determination is evident in the community spirit and dedication to advancing treatments and protocols so that no more families have to face this horrible reality.  That is why #CarterStrongForever is doing everything they can to promote childhood cancer research.

Team #CarterStrongForever pours their hearts and souls into everything they do – including setting the bar high with a $35,000 fundraising goal. Not only do they fundraise and raise awareness year round, but they inspire hope in the community and other families facing a cancer diagnosis.

The team leaders of #CarterStrongForever held 23 fundraisers in two months to help meet their goal. Hard work, dedication, spirit and countless hours of planning, promoting and organizing paid off. For this year’s event, they raised over $35,519, completely surpassing their goal! The impact of their effort will make a difference. This means PCRF can fund an entire Emerging Science Research Grant for a whole year. This amount of fundraising means over 700 hours of life saving research, one of these hours could be part of the next breakthrough. Emerging grants encourage and cultivate the best and brightest researchers of the future.

#CarterStrongForever’s Team Captain, Kristin and Carter’s mother, Jamie tell us their story:

How did your Reaching for the Cure team get started?

“About a month after Carter’s passing, I (Kristin) saw on Facebook that Jamie was interested in PCRF’s Reaching for the Cure event. My biggest running goal had been to complete a half-marathon, and I thought that making PCRF as my first half-marathon would make accomplishing that goal even more meaningful. I reached out to Jamie to see if her family was participating and offered that I would love to help with the team. The #CarterStrong community really took everything off from there, as they’ve been above and beyond amazing at supporting Carter and the Ankeny family through everything.”

Why is running the Reaching for the Cure race important to you?

“Building awareness is everything. Reaching for the Cure gives our team members a tangible way to reach out to friends and family, raise funds, and build awareness. It’s awesome having such a large and festive event to look forward to.”

What is your favorite or most memorable fundraiser?

“For me, Kristin, it would have to be our Pinot’s Palette paint night at Bella Terra. This was our final fundraising event of the season, and just earlier that week our team had surpassed a huge fundraising milestone. The paint night was SO FUN, and it was made even better by the fact that we could just enjoy each other’s company and celebrate the team’s accomplishments. Wine and painting didn’t hurt, either!”

“For me, Jamie, I loved the Crush Childhood Cancer Bash that we put together. Basically a Bunco night with a silent auction and raffle. It was a huge undertaking and it was pouring rain outside the night of the event, but it really brought together so many parts of our community under one roof for a night of fun. I loved seeing all the donations we received for raffle and auction items and everyone’s generosity and hard work that came together to make the event our most successful fundraiser!”

Highlight a team member:

“Stacey Delpit is AMAZING. She’s beyond creative and has so many incredible fundraising ideas. She single-handedly took charge of anything team spirit related, and it paid off on race day. Our team area was so full of spirit, and she thought of so many details to bring excitement to the team and to add to the energy that is characteristic of the #CarterStrong community.”

Why is raising awareness important to you?

“We raise awareness because awareness inspires ACTION. Before becoming a cancer parent I didn’t know the stats about childhood cancer and the lack of funding. For each person that becomes aware, like a small boat in the ocean, sending big waves into motion… that one person could be motivated to share, to take action and to find a cure for childhood cancer.”

What motivates your team to continue to raise funds?

“Our son Carter. When Carter was diagnosed with ALL he was given a 90% chance of complete cure. Even after he relapsed he was given a 75-80% chance of complete cure, but it wasn’t enough, and it wasn’t the cancer that he died from, it was side effects of the treatment protocol to help him beat cancer. For Carter, who had a treatable form of cancer, it still wasn’t enough. So we direct our attention into awareness and raising funds so we can CHANGE the outcomes of childhood cancer and find a CURE. We are motivated to find a cure and better treatment options so that no one feels the loss like we do every day since he passed away.”

Describe what you hope to see in the future for kids fighting cancer.

“Non-chemotherapy interventions and complete CURE!”

The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation is proud to recognize the #CarterStrongForever team and their elite fundraising efforts. Thank you to all Reaching for the Cure teams who support PCRF and make a difference for kids fighting cancer. You are part of the cure.

The post Carter Strong Forever Community Raises over $35,000 for Pediatric Cancer Research appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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At the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, we know that a cancer diagnosis affects the entire family. When a child is given the news that they have cancer, siblings are impacted right alongside their brother or sister battling cancer.

Ayelet’s younger sister passed away from cancer which is why she is so passionate about spreading awareness and making a difference. In her sixth grade class, she wrote an essay about the need for more funding for pediatric cancer research. After she shared her essay with the class, she felt inspired and was interested in expanding her audience. Her teacher sat down with her and helped her identify organizations to reach out to. After learning more about PCRF, she knew it was a good fit to share her important message.

Take a look at a sixth grader’s perception of pediatric cancer research, treatments and cures.

“More Money for the Gold Ribbon”

“Is it true that we care more about saving the lives of adults than the lives of children? Then why is not enough money going to pediatric cancer research? Only 4% goes specifically to childhood cancer. With more money the doctors can buy more equipment for research to reach the cure quicker. Why shouldn’t we focus on curing our children so that they can continue us? More money has to be donated towards pediatric cancer research.

Only 4% of federal government cancer research funding goes to study pediatric cancer according to the National pediatric cancer foundation. That means that 96% goes to adult cancer, and that is not balanced at all. You might argue that 60,000 adults are diagnosed with it and only 40,000 children are diagnosed with it so we need the money more for the adults; there are more adults than children. To prove that, 0-19 year olds are only 33.95% of the population. But children have so much potential in the life ahead of them. The money going to children’s and adult’s cancer is not fair.                      

If we can raise more money we can do more. Purchasing better/fancier and/or more equipment is one example. Second of all, they can also hire more staff such as oncologists, scientists, research nurses etc. to get there quicker. “It’s really important for pediatric oncology centers to be active in research to be able to offer the newest and most innovative therapies to their patients,” said Dr. Derek R. Hanson of Hackensack Meridian Health in a Tackle Kids Cancer video. The only way this can happen is with the money these centers are not receiving. Pediatric oncology centers need to receive more money.

If we are not dedicated to finding the cure, our children can, g-d forbid, die. Each year 100,000 [worldwide] kids under the age of 15 die from cancer according to cityofhope.org. Without children to continue us, there will be no more people. I’m not saying it’s not important to find the cure for adults, but, I believe, it is more important to find the cure for our children. We can not do this without the money. We need our children to survive.  

Pediatric cancer research centers goal is to make sure that there will be a cure for all cancers one day. They can’t do this without people donating. People need to donate so the children in our communities will be healthy and happy. If everybody gave a  small amount that would be enough, but only if everybody gave. These centers need more money. So please; ask yourself: how much am I going to donate?”

Essay submitted by Ayelet Poupko.

*Facts are not checked or altered by the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. 

Interested in contributing to the PCRF Blog? Send us your story!

The post Cancer Sibling Shares Why Pediatric Cancer Research is Important appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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Press Release – IRVINE, CA (April 2, 2019) – For the third year, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) is proud to support pediatric cancer survivors with its Survivor’s Scholarship program.

In 2017, the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and its Board of Directors approved and launched the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Survivor’s Scholarship with the intention to support the educational pursuits of cancer survivors attending vocational school, university, or college.

To date, the Pediatric Cancer has awarded 38 scholarships totaling $55,000 for pediatric cancer survivors. Since its launch, the submission of applications has grown exponentially each year. PCRF received 13 applications in 2017 and 38 applications in 2018. This year, PCRF received a record number of 100 submissions.

Through these scholarships, PCRF provides a tangible means of supporting quality of life for childhood cancer survivors in hopes to actively contribute to the long-term care of cancer survivors. This will help give them tools to succeed in their community and adult lives. And ultimately, improving quality of life and raising employment statistics for this population.

It has been estimated that by age 45, 95.5% of childhood cancer survivors will be diagnosed with at least one serious chronic health condition, and 80% will face a life threatening health condition. The treatments that saved their life later puts them at risk for greatly diminished quality of life. Further, childhood cancer survivors are more than four times more likely to have difficulty finding employment as compared to healthy people.

PCRF’s primary goal is to relieve the financial strain for cancer survivors who want to attend college, while concurrently giving them the opportunity to pursue higher education and improve their skills in our ever-evolving job market.

“The scholarship program is a fulfilment of the promise that PCRF makes for a quality of life. These young people face such challenges and to be medically stable enough for college is only half the victory.  They appreciate the vote of confidence that a scholarship sends to them that there is life after cancer and there is hope.  That is what PCRF is all about – hope,” commented PCRF Philanthropy Manager, Christine Farwell.

Help us Make an Impact

The Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation anticipates the scholarship program continually growing in future years. Feedback from the first class of applicants is that there are not enough survivor scholarships to go around and they are difficult to get. The Survivor’s Scholarship is solely determined by designated gifts from PCRF donors and the foundation is currently seeking funders to support this important initiative.

For more information about the PCRF Survivors Scholarship or to make a contribution to support the scholarship program, please contact (949) 859-6312 or admin@pcrf-kids.org.

The post Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation Receives Record Number of Scholarship Applications appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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Press Release – IRVINE, CA (March 21, 2019) – On Saturday and Sunday, Mar. 16 and 17, the Saddleback Spring Classic Gran Fondo and the Reaching for the Cure Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and 1K Kids Run was held on the Irvine Valley College campus benefiting the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF). Race weekend fell on the St. Patrick’s Day holiday this year adding a unique fanfare element to the race festivities. Participants ran and walked to celebrate 21 years of life-saving research dollars raised to help reach for a cure for pediatric cancer. Contributions for this year’s event totaled over $430,000.

The run/walk/bike event featured a Half Marathon, 10K Run, 5K Run/Walk, 1K Kids Fun Run and five bike route distances. Renegade Racing has partnered with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation to host the Saddleback Spring Classic Gran Fondo bike event as part of the Reaching for the Cure Run and Ride Weekend. PCRF was pleased with the turnout and support from the 37 Sponsors, 600 volunteers, and over 4,000 participants and spectators combined over the course of the weekend. A record number of 121 teams came out to participate and raise funds. The energy throughout the venue was contagious; kids were beaming with joy from all the fun, and families were overwhelmed by seeing the community come together to support their children’s fight against cancer.

PCRF is honored that Irvine Valley College has generously welcomed this annual race for 6 consecutive years with a beautiful venue and parking facility for participants. The campus provided a beautiful backdrop and ease of transport for our competitors and patient families. Included in the sponsor support was returning title sponsors Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Orange Aluminum, and Cox, Castle & Nicholson for the 10K Run, 5K Run, and 5K Walk respectively.

Post-race activities were supported by Firestone Brewing Company, Urbane Café, Jimmy John’s, and Sprouts Farmers Market Irvine. The Finish Line Festival featured an awards ceremony, health and wellness exhibitors and PCRF’s famous Kids Zone that included rides, a petting zoo, bounce houses, obstacle courses, face painting and more – all of which was free for the whole family.

These new funds will go immediately toward lifesaving research to help improve the care, quality of life, and survival rates of children with cancer. Fundraising efforts will support fifteen of PCRF’s highly esteemed group of research institutions funded by the organization. Local Southern California institutions to benefit from this effort include Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and City of Hope.

“We are humbled and honored by the work of corporations and individuals who come together to raise money and awareness to support families battling childhood cancer. Every year the outpouring of love and strength shown by our community reminds us that no one fights alone. As a foundation, we are grateful to all that join us at the event, or virtually in support of a loved one,” said Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation’s Executive Director, Jeri Wilson.

On behalf of everyone here at the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, THANK YOU! Join us next year, save the date for March 22, 2020!

Timing & Results: http://bit.ly/2FjMRh0
Bike Course Photos: http://bit.ly/2WzZFWG
Run/Walk Course Photos: http://bit.ly/2WzIfJI

The post Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation’s Reaching for the Cure raises over $430,000 appeared first on Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

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