As many of you know, childhood cancer is a cause near and dear to our hearts. In February 2004, our first daughter, Hayley, was diagnosed with AML leukemia, an aggressive form of childhood cancer that carried with it a 50% survival rate. Over the next several months, Hayley would endure intense rounds of chemotherapy, countless spinal taps, nearly 60 blood and platelet transfusions and spend more than 200 nights in the hospital - all at the ripe old age of one. Even total body radiation and a bone marrow transplant were ultimately not enough to rid her body of the cancer cells. On December 19, 2004, ten months after her journey began, she went home to her Heavenly Father, cancer free at last. There are no words for that loss. She has been missed every day for the past 15 years.
Sadly, our story is not as unique as it should be. Approximately 1 in 300 children will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they reach age 20. That's 43 new children diagnosed each and every day in the United States alone. One in five of those children won't survive, and those that do frequently face long-term side effects of their treatments.
Although it's too late to save Hayley, we remain committed to finding a cure for childhood cancer. With the government allocating only four percent of its national cancer budget to childhood cancer, it is up to other organizations to fill the research gaps. CURE Childhood Cancer is doing exactly that. Last year alone, CURE dedicated more than $4 million to pediatric cancer research projects. In addition, they come alongside families early after diagnosis with compassion and practical support.
Won't you consider joining us for a day of fun at Lauren's Run and/or making a donation to support CURE's efforts?
Every dollar matters and could be the difference between a research study being funded or not! Thank you for helping make our 13th year at Lauren's Run our best year yet! On behalf of Hayley and all the families still battling, thank you for helping us reach the day when every child diagnosed with cancer is guaranteed a CURE!