Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Childhood Cancer Facts

Childhood cancers are the #1 disease killer of children — more than asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and pediatric AIDS combined.

One in every 330 children will develop cancer before the age of 19.

The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.

Childhood cancer is not a single disease, but rather many different types that fall into 12 major categories. Common adult cancers are extremely rare in children, yet many cancers are almost exclusively found in children.

One out of every five children diagnosed with cancer dies.
Common cancer symptoms in children — fever, swollen glands, anemia, bruises and infection — are often suspected to be, and at the early stages are treated as, other childhood illnesses.

Three out of every five children diagnosed with cancer suffer from long-term or late onset side effects.

Childhood Cancers are cancers that primarily affect children, teens, and young adults. When cancer strikes children and young adults it affects them differently than it would an adult.

Attempts to detect childhood cancers at an earlier stage, when the disease would react more favorably to treatment, have largely failed. Young patients often have a more advanced stage of cancer when first diagnosed. (Approximately 20% of adults with cancer show evidence the disease has spread, yet almost 80% of children show that the cancer has spread to distant sites at the time of diagnosis).

Cancer in childhood occurs regularly, randomly, and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region.

The cause of most childhood cancers are unknown and at present, cannot be prevented. (Most adult cancers result from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, occupation, and other exposure to cancer-causing agents).

Nationally, childhood cancer is 20 times more prevalent than pediatric AIDS yet pediatric AIDS receives four times the funding that childhood cancer receives.

On the average, 12,500 children and adolescents in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer each year.

On the average, one in every four elementary schools has a child with cancer.

On the average, every high school in America has two students who are a current or former cancer patient.

In the U.S., about 46 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every single school day. That's about the equivalent of two entire classrooms.

While the cancer death rate has dropped more dramatically for children than for any other age group, 2,300 children and teenagers will die each year from cancer.

Today, up to 75% of the children with cancer can be cured, yet, some forms of childhood cancers have proven so resistant to treatment that, in spite of research, a cure is illusive.

Several childhood cancers continue to have a very poor prognosis, including: brain stem tumors, metastatic sarcomas, relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and relapsed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

So, now you're saying, "Wow! That's absolutely ridiculous ... what can I do to HELP???" (right?) :)

Here are some things you can do this month (and ALL YEAR ROUND, for the most part!) to support Childhood Cancer Awareness. None of these things involves any financial burden of any kind (except for eating at Chili's ... but hey, ya gotta eat right??)

Join Team Unite to become part of a unified voice against childhood cancer.

Join People Against Cancer(PAC2) to learn of efforts being made around the world to find a cure, raise awareness, and lend support.

Tell everyone you know (and even those you don't know) how you, or someone you love, has been touched by childhood cancer.

Donate blood.

Eat at Chili’s on Mon., Sept. 29, when Chili’s will donate 100 percent of profits from participating restaurant sales to St. Jude. Check your local Chili's to see if they are participating and ask how you can help.


Register to become a bone marrow donor

Let a family that's been touched by childhood cancer know you STILL CARE and haven't forgotten about their struggles ... let a family of an angel know their child remains in your heart

Sign theCure Childhood Cancer Petition and ask your friends and family to sign, as well!

Read this article on Childhood Cancer..Where's The Money?

Offer to volunteer at a local childhood cancer center

See there? That's a LOT of stuff you can do and most of it only requires a bit of TIME and LOVE on your part. I know each and every one of you could do at least one thing on that list. Please do.

(Courtesy of Heidi Randall)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Stand Up To Cancer

Brown Bag For A Cure is joining others across the country in the STAND UP TO CANCER campaign and invites you to join us!

Friday, September 5th @ 8pm (EST & PST) and 7pm (CST) the three major networks will air Stand Up To Cancer, a star-studded television event to raise money for cancer research.

Some ideas for the evening....

Host a viewing party! It’s a great way to bring your family and friends together. Set up your computer and your guests can make donations online while they watch.

For everyone fighting to end cancer, this is a must watch show.
E-mail all of your friends – join in, as we as a nation, Stand Up To Cancer...

To learn more about the Stand Up To Cancer campaign, visit Stand Up To Cancer

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will be a featured hospital as part of Stand Up 2 Cancer. Katie Couric and Abigail Breslin visited the hospital as part of the Stand Up 2 Cancer filming. Abigail met with patients, nurses, child life and others from 3south. She also filmed a public service announcement for Stand Up 2 Cancer in one patient's room.

Watch a video clip from the local news here.

Please register here... Once you are registered, go to the "Get Involved" Tab and click on "The Teams". From there you can search for a Team. Brown Bag For A Cure would be honored to have you on our TEAM.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

5 Minutes Could Mean $2.5 Million For Pediatric Brain Tumor Research

5 minutes of your time could mean up to $2.5million for pediatric brain tumor research...

The PLGA Foundation is in the running for a HUGE grant from American Express's philanthropic program. The hitch is that we need to get 10,000 people to NOMINATE the project BEFORE August 30th in order to be considered as a candidate for the funds.

This is where we need YOUR help. Nominating is EASY. Just four steps:

1) Go to American Express Members Project which will automatically bring you to the summary of the "Project Brain Child" project

2) Click the "NOMINATE PROJECT" button

3) Sign in (If you are an Amex cardmember use your ONLINE user name and password as if you were viewing your credit card statement. If you are not an Amex cardmember sign in as a "Guest")

4) Click on "Nominate Project" again to register your vote.

For those of you who have time to do a little more.....when you are at Project Brain Childyou can also click on the "Discussion Board" link at the bottom of the page and write a message that tells American Express why this is so important. (For example, no funds available, current treatments are toxic and punishing, not to mention ineffective, etc.)

The ultimate thing you could do is reach out to your friends, colleagues, family, and any other groups where you might get the membership to vote for the project as well. (Feel free to also put the request on Facebook,MySpace, carepages, caringbridge, website, etc. page. and ask everyone to do the same.)

The goal is HUGE, but 'viral marketing' can work...if each one of us reaches out to their email contact lists. We stand a chance if we stand together!!!!

PLEASE, PLEASE help us get these funds for pediatric brain tumor research.

Thanks so much!

" Children with brain tumors should be able to fight for their dreams, not for their lives."

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Pediatric Brain Tumor Traced To Normal Cells Gone Bad

An aggressive childhood brain tumor known as medulloblastoma originates in normal brain “stem” cells that turn malignant when acted on by a known mutant, cancer-causing oncogene, say researchers from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

Reporting in the Aug. 12 issue of Cancer Cell, the scientists say they have uncovered new origins for these tumors from early stem cells as well as more mature cells. Previously, scientists had assumed the tumors might only come from a single source: more mature cells which become neurons and do not have “stem” cell properties. The findings hint at potential new treatment approaches for medulloblastoma by targeting the origins of the tumors, and further suggest that not all patients’ tumors may be born from the same cells.

“We now have a better idea of where these brain tumors come from and their relationship to normal stem cells in the brain,” said Keith Ligon, MD, PhD, co-senior author of the report and an investigator at the Center for Molecular Oncologic Pathology at Dana-Farber and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Co-senior author, David Rowitch, MD, PhD, currently a professor of pediatrics and neurosurgery at UCSF and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, commented that mouse experiments shed light on how normal stem cells – cells with the power to create all types of cells in the brain – can be transformed into tumors. The transformation occurs when a cell-signaling pathway known as Sonic hedgehog (named for a cartoon character) is reactivated by a chance mutation.

Sonic hedgehog plays an important role during the embryonic development of the brain, but normally shuts down when it’s no longer needed. When turned on again by a mutation, the signals can trigger cell processes leading to tumors – not just in the brain, but in other organs as well.

Medulloblastomas, usually diagnosed in children between 2 and 5 years of age, affect the brain’s cerebellum region, which is involved in controlling body movements. They make up about 30 percent of childhood brain tumors, and account for 250 to 300 new cases per year.

With current treatments, approximately 60 to 70 percent of patients live at least five years, but often they are left with cognitive disabilities from surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, urgently suggesting a need for new, more-selective therapies.

“Medulloblastoma was one of the first tumors that was believed to fit the hypothesis that tumors are caused by ‘cancer stem cells’ that initiate malignancies and sustain them,” said Ligon, who is also on the faculty and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. “But the prevailing hypothesis — that medulloblastomas originate from non-stem cells -- just did not make perfect sense with this.”

The discoveries emerged from a series of experiments begun in the Rowitch Laboratory at Dana-Farber. The initial goal was to determine whether activating the Sonic hedgehog cancer pathway in multiple types of brain cells, including neural stem cells, could help pinpoint which cells brain cancers might come from. Surprisingly, the scientists generated just one tumor type, medulloblastoma, regardless of whether they activated the pathway in stem cells for other cell types called neurons and glia. This was a surprise: it had been thought that medulloblastoma arose purely from neuronal (“thinking”) cells and not “glial” or supporting cells.

An intriguing question for the investigators is why these cells, known as granule neuron precursors, seem to be uniquely vulnerable to the tumor-triggering effects of the Sonic hedgehog pathway, while other brain stem and progenitor cells are not.

Explained Rowitch: “There must be susceptibility factors in the granule neuron precursor cell that predispose it to forming cancer, so we now must try to understand what it is about this cell type that makes it susceptible to forming cancer in response to Sonic hedgehog signaling. This relationship between stem cells and oncogenes suggests a new point of potential therapeutic intervention.”

The paper’s lead authors are Ulrich Schüller, MD, an independent researcher in Munich, and Vivi M. Heine, PhD, of UCSF.

The other authors are Alvin T. Kho, PhD, of Children’s Hospital Boston; Allison K. Dillon, PhD; Tao Sun, PhD; Qiufa Ma, PhD, and Ying Qian, of Dana-Farber; Young-Goo Han, PhD, and Arturo Alvarez-Buylla, PhD, of UCSF; Emmanuelle Huillard, PhD, formerly of Dana-Farber and now at UCSF; Azra H. Ligon, PhD, of Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women’s; and Junhao Mao, PhD, and Andrew P. McMahon, PhD, of Harvard University.

The research was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health, the March of Dimes Foundation, the James S. McDonnell Research Foundation, and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

Source: UCSF News Office

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Everyday Is A Gift From God....

None of us know what tomorrow holds for us. What we are doing with our life this very minute is what is important. What are you doing with your time? Will you be remembered for what you did while here on earth?

At this very minute, in a hospital or clinic somewhere, parents are hearing those dreaded words, you child has cancer. Do you think they expected to hear those dreadful words?

Just look in the sidebar of this blog at all the names of children who fight a brain tumor everyday. All these families are taking life one day at a time and hoping a cure or treatment will be discovered to save their child.

Now scan down to the next section in the sidebar. The families of these children will never be the same. They have had to do the unthinkable, something no parent should have to do, bury their child.

I thank God everyday, I do not know that feeling. I do know what it feels like to hear, "your child has cancer". There are no words to describe that feeling.

Many have told me I wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to children with brain tumors. I never try to hide my passion and determination to help find a cure or at least, better treatment options. One never knows what the future holds and that is just one of the reasons, I work everyday trying to make a difference to children everywhere. There are very few children listed here, that I have actually met in person, but that does not stop my loving and caring for each and everyone of them.

You, as a reader, do not know what the future holds for your children or a child you know. You can only hope, you never hear those dreaded words, your child has cancer and there is nothing we can do for him or her. The important issue is what we are doing right now.

My plea to you...Please choose today to make a difference and support Brown Bag For A Cure. All you need to do, is brown bag your lunch and donate what you would have spent on lunch out.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Pray For a 911 Miracle For Gunner

Gunner is hospitalized and his mother, Janna has asked everyone to pray for a 911 Miracle for Gunner. Please join me and pray for G.If you want to leave words of encouragment in the comment section, I will pass them on to Janna.

This is Gunner's Magic Train..Please get onboard, so we can help him move this mountain.

Please read the latest updates on Gunner here:


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Brown Bag For A Cure Donates....

On Saturday, July 26th, we presented our first donation...

Drum Roll Please...

$27,338 was donated to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

Two amazing children formed their own TEAM and both achieved the goal we set for them. Drew Goodman from Virginia raised $5,350 and Sarah Council from Mississippi raised $3,000. Thank you so much to everyone that supported these children.

My vision became an organization this past January. We are not yet a 501(c)(3), but hope to get all the paperwork finalized very soon. For now, we will continue to raise funds for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

The concept is simple, brown bag your lunch and donate what you would have spent on lunch out for research into finding the cause and cure of the cancer that kills more of our children that any other.

We are not done either...We need you. Please contact us and let us form a TEAM for you. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and we hope to be able to make more donations that month.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone that supported us and our vision to find a cure.

Just beLIeVE In A Cure and join our

TEAM...Together Each Accomplishes More.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Each donation to Brown Bag For A Cure will help us fund research, necessary to win the battle against pediatric brain tumors and to provide all of the children fighting today, and those who will be joining the fight tomorrow...HOPE.

Your generous support directly funds the research and development of new treatments, and it is through such research that pediatric brain tumors will be conquered.

The lack of money stands in the way, and time is running out for many of these kids. Today it is up to generous donors, and dedicated researchers, who have made it their mission to discover safer, more effective treatments and a cure for pediatric brain tumors.

Through your generous support, you have the power to create hope for the children whose lives we are committed to saving...the lives of our very own children and children we do not even know.

Won’t you please support the research so desperately needed to give all the kids fighting brain tumors today, and those who will begin to fight tomorrow, the hope all children deserve?

Know the Facts:

Each child in the U.S. diagnosed with cancer receives approximately one-sixth of the federal research support allocated to each patient afflicted with AIDS. Yet in 2004, 48 new cases of pediatric AIDS were diagnosed vs. more than 12,000 pediatric cancer cases.

The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.

Cancer accounts for the greatest number of disease deaths of children in the United States and kills more children per year than cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, asthma and AIDS combined.

More children die from a brain tumor than any other cancer or disease.

Please Make A Donation Today

I beLIeVE In A Cure....Do You?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

With A Heavy Heart...

Shelbi Savanna Martin earned her wings today. She is now dancing with the Angels.

Shelbi was diagnosed with a highly malignant tumor just before her 4th birthday, on March 22, 2007. During her diagnoses she underwent emergency surgery to remove some of the tumor. She was in a coma for a week, then after another week underwent another surgery to continue and remove the tumor. A few hours before her first surgery, Shelbi suffered a stroke which damaged much of the back of her brain where her eyesight is controlled, therefore losing her eyesight. A month after her surgeries she began radiation which lasted for 6 weeks. Two months after the radiation began she went through rounds of heavy chemotherapy which made her very sick and weak.

Through all this she has remained a very happy little girl. She has shown strength like no one has ever seen. She has shown so many people what Faith, Hope and Love are really all about.

Flutter those wings Shelbi and fly high sweet one.

Please remember her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Drew Goodman Needs Your Help

My name is Drew and I am raising money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. I have less than 3 weeks to raise my money, so please make a contribution. Every penny counts.

At 4 years old I was diagnosed with a highly aggressive, adult brain tumor, rarely seen in children. The name of this beast is a Glioblastoma Multiforme. My parents were told to go home and enjoy their time of 5 – 12 months. I am happy to say it has been 4 years and I am doing well.

You can read all about me here: Drew's Fundraising Page

Thanks for making a difference to me and all the other kids that need a cure for a brain tumor.