On January 9, 2013, the Egleston campus of the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta cut the ribbon on a state of the art MIBG therapy room in memory of Patrick Chance, a brave young boy who battled cancer for six years. Patrick passed away last January 9th on his 9th birthday.
At only three years old, Patrick was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma, and over the course of the next six years, Patrick spent more than 200 nights in the hospital, and visited clinics in Atlanta, New York and Philadelphia more than 400 times.
Neuroblastoma is an aggressive childhood cancer which attacks the sympathetic nervous system and is diagnosed in approximately 650 children in the United States each year.
In 2006, the Chance family created the first “Named Fund” under the CURE umbrella, Press On to CURE Childhood Cancer, which provides desperately needed funding for innovative research relating to neuroblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Recently, the Press On fund granted $200,000 to the Aflac Cancer Center for a new treatment room which is lined with lead and will be used by children who need targeted MIBG intravenous radiation treatments, available in only a handful of hospitals in the United States. Additionally, the room in connected to a room where the child’s parents can stay so they can see and talk to each other through a closed-circuit TV system while limiting the parent’s exposure to radiation.
“The fund Press On to CURE Childhood Cancer completely funded the room and the Chance family was instrumental in the creation of this state of the art treatment room,” said April Voris, CURE’s Board President. “It is incredibly special, as our families will no longer have to travel out of Georgia for this treatment!”
“We are proud to continue to help the Aflac Cancer Center become one of the nation’s top pediatric cancer centers by equipping them to deliver this important radiation therapy,” remarked Kristin Connor, CURE’s Executive Director. “The Aflac Cancer Center is the only center in this region of the country to have this capability.”
With the room complete, Patrick’s sisters are raising money to stock the patient room with toys, since anything the kids bring in could be contaminated with radiation.
“We are always remembering Patrick,” said Kristin Connor. “He touched our lives in a profound way and we are honored to be able to help continue to build upon his legacy. CURE is proud to house the Press On Fund and work with the Chance and Simkins families to make a difference for children fighting cancer.”