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Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

A September to Remember

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and a month of continuous action for CURE. There are so many components that our staff, partners, and volunteers stay busy all thirty days. We loved the constant events and activities and watching so many people get involved. You have been a big part of September’s success! We would like to share a little of what you did for children fighting cancer.

CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day at a Time

Each day in September, CURE shared the unique stories of children who have been diagnosed with cancer. At the same time, these brave families fight back, setting a goal to raise at least $1000 to support life-saving pediatric cancer research. This year the families of 129 children shared their stories and raised more than $292,000. Wow! What an impact that will have!

 

 

A Tribute to our Quiet Heroes

The 14th Annual A Tribute to Our Quiet Heroes was an amazing, inspiring day. Among the 600 in attendance at this very special luncheon were our honored guests – 250 mothers who have guided their family through the unimaginable journey of childhood cancer. Pediatric oncologist and theology professor, Dr. Ray Barfield shared a keynote message from the unique perspective of a career spent fighting right alongside mothers like our guests in hopes of saving the lives of their children. His compassion and understanding set a special tone for the mothers and guests. The event not only encouraged everyone in the room, it raised its highest total ever: more than $470,000 to further CURE’s mission.

 

29th Golf Classic benefiting CURE

The 29th annual Golf Classic was one for the ages. More than 150 golfers teed off at The Oaks Golf Course in Covington on September 28 for an amazing day. The preliminary total of money raised is $75,000 – all benefiting CURE Childhood Cancer.

 

 

Mailbox Bows

All across the state, mailboxes were adorned with this beautiful gold bow. These mailbox bows created awareness for those passing by and solidarity in the fight against childhood cancer as entire neighborhoods went gold. The bows also raised a lot of money. Those CURE tags and gold bows sat atop 3129 mailboxes and generated more than $78,000!

 

 

 

 

Coins4CURE

Coins4CURE is a very simple coin drive fundraiser. Over the past 3 years, more than $200,000 has been raised for CURE Childhood Cancer! This year, 222 people participated in the coin drive. The coins are still being counted, but we anticipate another great total.

 

 

 

Facebook Fundraisers

Your birthday matters! Literally hundreds of people celebrated their September birthdays by creating a Facebook Fundraiser for CURE. The totals for September blew us away! You raised more than $83,000 for CURE!

 

 

 

September Partners

From burgers to cars, hardware to jewelry, coffee, and cupcakes, our September partners stood with us. They held events, donated a portion of proceeds, shared our stories, and even put us on the radio. Their donations are still rolling in, but the benefit of having so many friends in our community is invaluable. Thank you to old friends and new ones who joined us last month.

 

Gold Out Games 

Dozens of games across the state carried a Gold Out message. Many of them also raised money for the fight and all of them raised much-needed awareness of the issues surrounding childhood cancer.

 

 

 

 

September proves that our message is getting out into the community. Whatever part you played, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Whether you think your role was big or small, it is vital to us. These funds raised literally enable us to provide tangible support to patients and families and fund innovative research. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

Preschool Hosts “Flush Away Cancer” Fundraiser

CURE loves new and creative ideas to support the fight against childhood cancer! For example, at any time, you may open your window and find a giant purple potty, marked with “Flush Away Cancer” set in your front yard! How do you get rid of it? Call a number and pay a fee! All proceeds for “potty services” are donated to CURE. What a fantastic fundraising idea!

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Coins4CURE Goes WORLDWIDE! Raises $60,000 and Counting this September

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Coins4CURE is a coin drive fundraiser developed in 2014 by Alpharetta Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics as a way for children to help other children by raising money for CURE Childhood Cancer. The first Coins4CURE coin drive took place in February 2015 at participating Forsyth County schools and raised more than $17,000 for CURE Childhood Cancer!

As if that wasn’t an amazing accomplishment, we are even more impressed at the endless amount of support shown during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! The September Coins4CURE drive had 230+ schools, businesses and organizations in 23 states and 4 countries sign up to participate. Yes, the Coins4CURE fundraiser went WORLDWIDE!

Coins4cure3When you sign up for Coins4CURE, getting started is easy because Alpharetta Children’s Dentistry sends all the supplies you need for your fundraiser. More then 330 jars of Coins4CURE supplies were sent in September. The average filled jar holds an estimated $700-$1000; a little simple math will tell you that the results are guaranteed to be outstanding. The Coins4CURE September grand total is currently at $60,000 and continues to grow everyday, as more and more donations come in!

100% of all Coins4CURE donations made go directly to CURE Childhood Cancer, with no administrative costs taken out. Coins4CURE will be happening again in September 2016, and we hope will join us next year for this great cause.

Here is a top list of some fun ways that schools, business and organizations raised money for their Coins4CURE drives:

  1. coins4cure4Collecting donations at the am/pm carpool lines at schools.
  2. Classroom or grade level challenges for popsicle or pizza parties.
  3. Themed dress-up days for donations to Coins4CURE (hat day, silly sock day, etc.).
  4. Dress down at the office days (wear jeans for a set donation).
  5. Dollar goals to reach in order to throw a pie at teachers, administration, managers or bosses.
  6. Football game coin collections in the stands through a 50/50 raffle, GO GOLD football and volleyball games with donations going to Coins4CURE.
  7. Teacher department lunches with donations going to Coins4CURE – then everyone gets together to throw their pies.
  8. coins4cure7Host a “pie day”—each “pie” is a set donation to Coins4CURE –then everyone gets to throw the pies.
  9. Restaurant proceed nights for Coins4CURE or setting up coin jars at cash registers.
  10. Company/corporate 100% match challenges—companies matched 100% of what their business raised during September.

 

 

 

 

Click here to learn more about Coins4CURE and how you can get started: http://coins4cure.org/sign-up/.

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Flowery Branch Volleyball Team Goes GOLD for CURE

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On September 1st, the Flowery Branch High School Volleyball Team kicked off National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month by hosting a special “Volley for a CURE” match. All proceeds from concession sales as well as T-shirt sales benefited CURE. The Falcons took advantage of their amazing student fan base and community to GO GOLD for childhood cancer research!

In addition to the T-shirt and concession donations, the team held a car wash and created a Gofundme page so supporters could give back in multiple ways. Altogether, they raised $3,011 for CURE Childhood Cancer! Also during Volley for CURE, the mother of CURE’s Kid Liam, Mrs. Howell, spoke to the crowd about pediatric cancer and her son’s recovery.

The FBHS volleyball team’s connection with CURE first began when a family member of a player was diagnosed with childhood cancer. Because CURE was a significant part of the recovery process, the Flowery Branch Volleyball Team decided to support CURE through fundraisers. One year after the first charity event for CURE, one of their own players, Kristen Wells, was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma. After almost a year of chemo, radiation, long hospitals stays and care, Kristin lost her battle with cancer. As unfortunate at this experience was, her battle with cancer has strengthened the bond between Flowery Branch High School and CURE. We are forever grateful for their ongoing support!

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It’s amazing how far a simple idea can go when it’s for a great cause! Thanks to all the dedicated sports teams that went GOLD this September to fight for the futures of children with cancer.

CURE Childhood Cancer Honors MJ

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

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Our son, MJ is an intelligent, funny, and warm hearted 6 year old. He absolutely loves sports, mainly football and baseball, wrestling and above all he loves school. As a kindergartner, he was awarded for being the top reader in his class, reading at a 2nd grade level. He loved playing baseball (although I, as his mom, was very scared of him getting hurt).

In March 2015, after one of his baseball games, he started complaining that his wrists were hurting. We gave him pain medication and he fell fast asleep. We sent him to school the following day but the pain was still there. We decided to take him to the ER and many tests and bloodwork were done. We followed up with his pediatrician the day after and he was admitted to the hospital for further testing. He was given heavy pain and anti-inflammatory medication and was released with no answers.

Unfortunately, the pain came back stronger and within the time span of a month, this pain traveled to his ankles, elbows and fingers. The pain and swelling was so bad, it left him unable to walk or even move. Finally, we got an answer to this horrific pain. He was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and we were sent to the Children’s hospital in Dallas, TX.

We arrived to Dallas on April 10, 2015, and after more testing there, we were advised that what was thought to be Arthritis was actually Leukemia. Our world and his childhood were turned upside down. We came back to our hometown on April 13, 2015, and he was immediately admitted and started treatment.

As of now, MJ is currently in remission but is still undergoing aggressive chemo treatments, lumbar punctures and bone marrows. His strength and spirit is out of this world amazing! He is back in school and is praying for the day he can go back to playing sports again. He is truly our CHAMP!!!

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CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Silas

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

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Silas Nathanael Edenfield was born on June 4th 2008. He was our 4th son. He was a little ham and was always saying silly things and making people laugh. He had a contagious smile and big beautiful eyes. He loved his brothers and his momma and daddy, but most of all he loved Jesus.

At just 3 ½ years old his diagnosis was Stage IV Hepatoblastoma, liver cancer. Over the next 15 months he had half a dozen surgeries, two of them major. He had over 20 rounds of chemotherapy, blood tests too numerous to count, CT scans, x-rays, MRI’s, hospital stays, natural treatments, and yet, there was no cure. The beast shrugged off everything we threw at it. We prayed so hard, we prayed that the Lord would heal Silas in His way and in His time.

Silas was a brave boy. He was smart, smarter than most little boys his age. He was silly and sweet, he made people laugh, and everyone loved him. One day as I lay next to him on the bed he said to me, “Momma, tell everyone to paint their fingernails gold for all of the kids with childhood cancer.” I posted this on his facebook page and within a day hundreds of people were posting pictures of their gold fingernails.

I showed some to him and said, “Look what all of these people are doing for you!” He got upset and said, “No! Not for me! For the other children that have childhood cancer! I won’t have cancer soon.” He knew that soon, he would be in Heaven and would no longer be suffering from this terrible disease.

On May 25th 2013, just 10 days before his 5th birthday, Silas went home to Heaven. He is no longer suffering, no longer in pain. Yet I keep saying to myself, “He should be here.” When we should have been planning a birthday party, we were planning a funeral. He should be learning to read and ride a bicycle. He should be playing with his brothers and making everyone laugh, but he is not here.

There are answers out there. There is a reason kids get cancer, there are cures for all types of cancer. We need awareness, support, funding, and research to get to where we can find those answers and those cures, so that other children don’t have to leave us too soon.

We miss you Silas. 

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CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Tanner

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

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Tanner was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma when he was 7 years old!

He had just started second grade, and two weeks into the school year, he had to leave school and spend months in the hospital for chemo and radiation. The closest children’s hospital was almost 2 hours away, which meant being away from his brothers and sister and the rest of our family.

Tanner was cancer free after 8 months of treatment and is still cancer free 8 years later! Today Tanner is a healthy active 15 year old Sophomore in high school. 

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CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Bowen

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

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

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

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

In August 15, 2011, a month shy of his fourth birthday, Bo received his well-earned angel wings. Bo’s cancer had spread to his liver. Bo took his last breath surrounded by those who loved him most. Bo taught many people that hope, faith, and love are essential during his battle against cancer. 

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CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Caps for CURE

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

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2015 marks the 6th year that many schools in Henry County are participating in the Caps for CURE effort to raise much needed funding for childhood cancer research! Sarah Barr and her family got the idea to start this effort after a local school held a cap day to raise money for them while Sarah was on treatment in 2009. When schools host a Caps for CURE day, students can wear a cap to school if they bring a dollar for the cause.

With little childhood cancer funding from the government and large cancer organizations, the task of raising enough funds for research is a huge challenge. When schools choose to participate in this effort, they give their kids a chance to help other kids! Imagine how much can be raised in a day from just $1 per student! “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” (Helen Keller) We are grateful to all participating schools for joining in the war against childhood cancer! 

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CURE Childhood Cancer Honors Burke

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

Burke

On February 4, 2015, we received news from the results of an MRI that no parent should ever hear: “Burke has metastatic disease in multiple areas in his head, go to the ER now and an oncology doctor will be waiting on you.”

Later that day we discovered Burke had Neuroblastoma, a word we had never heard of until then. Now, we can tell you more about Neuroblastoma than you would ever want to know. Burke’s symptoms started in mid/late November, a few weeks after our third child was born. Daily fevers, night sweats, stiff neck at night, leg pain and swelling of the right eye lid. The first admission to the ER was early December. After three days inpatient with symptoms subsiding, he was released with “perio-orbital cellulitis.” Then not even a week later, symptoms started back again. This time, his left eye lid started to swell. On Christmas morning, we went back to the ER. After a week stay and a negative “flow test” for Leukemia, Burke was diagnosed with Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Several weeks later, his right eye started to wander. After seeing and being referred to multiple eye doctors, we finally fell in to the right hands to see Dr. Phoebe Lenhart at Emory Eye Center who ordered the MRI.

Burke has gone through 5 rounds of various chemos, surgery in New York to remove the main tumor, two MIBG Therapies and multiple CTs, MRIs, MIBG scans, xrays, blood transfusions and pretty much weekly visits at the hospital. All of this and we are only a little past half way through the standard “protocol.”

Fifty percent of kids that have Neuroblastoma were misdiagnosed. Only 700 kids are diagnosed with NB in the US every year. Burke is 1 in 100,000. Only 4% of the funds from the National Cancer Institute go to pediatric cancer and almost nothing of that goes to research. This obviously needs to change, but in the meantime everyone can help by donating to non-profits like CURE that fund pediatric cancer research. There are both short term and long term side effects of the current treatment plans from the toxicity of the medicines. The current survival statistics are also unacceptable.

Life can change in an instant. Burke has been unbelievable throughout this entire process and continues to amaze us and every doctor. Going to the hospital for him is basically like going to school for most kids… he is used to it. He continues to fight this nasty disease and we plan to win. He has major scans upcoming in mid-October which will provide us direction on continuing with front line protocol or to have to take a turn down another path to try other treatments to get him to remission, then back to protocol. Burke is our hero, our champion and our little ninja… he will win the battle and the war, but he and other kids need help along the way to raise awareness and to fund research for childhood cancer. 

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