This Week in Neuroblastoma – 6/10/13

This week we’re struck with the ugly reality of relapses and secondary cancers. We also learn about new strategies that are being formed to help make treatments for NB less toxic and more effective.

Here’s this week’s links…

Kids – Why We Fight

Lauryn Feltham

Lauryn Feltham was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was four, after complaining of a sore stomach and racing heart. She spent her fifth birthday in the hospital, after undergoing an operation to remove a grapefruit sized tumor from her abdomen and stem-cell rescue. The treatment worked and Lauryn went into remission. Six months after treatment, while she was playing on the playground with her friends, Lauryn’s knees buckled and she fell to the ground. Her cancer was back. Lauryn passed away at 6 years old, in July 2006. Her father, Mike has done his best to carry on her legacy by raising over 100,000 through Relay for Life in Lauryn’s name.

Princeton Bryan

Last week, Princeton’s family sadly shared the news that he has relapsed. Recent scans show a new spot on his right tibia. His doctors have confirmed that Princeton’s neuroblastoma is back. Princeton previously underwent treatment for NB in 2011. His parents are disheartened, but are keeping their faith that he will beat this beast once again. We’re praying for you, Princeton!

Jay Stargardt

Jay was diagnosed last year with neuroblastoma, and after undergoing lengthy treatments, beat it. Now, the two-year-old is starting an entirely new battle against a secondary cancer. The leukemia was brought on by the treatments Jay received for NB. Recently, hundreds of people gathered to “March with Jay’s Army”. They participated in a 5k that raised money for the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer Fund, a non-profit organization that helps fund childhood cancer and related blood disorder research. Keep fighting Jay, you’ve got an entire army behind you.

Non-Profits / Events / News

New Strategies

The search continues for new treatments to battle neuroblastoma in ways that are less toxic to patients. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden are among the many working towards new strategies to beat NB. They are focusing their research on the MYCN proteins normally found in cancer cells and have made recent discoveries that may lead to more effective treatments in the future. This is exciting stuff!

Swim Club Raises £2,000 for Henry Hallam

Charlotte Craigie, a 13-year-old student in Dinnaton, is a super star! After she learned about 3-year-old Harry Hallem and his battle with stage 4 neuroblatoma, she came up with the idea to host a 12-hour swimathon to help raise money for the young boy. She knew of his love of swimming and was moved to help raise part of the £500,000 needed for Harry’s treatment. The swimathon was a huge success, raising over £2,000.

Running for Lexy

Olivia Strong is an awesome sister. She is helping celebrate the memory of her brother Alexander, who passed away from neuroblastoma in January, by spending her 10th birthday at the Doncaster’s Race for Life. She and her mom Maxine will run in green, Lexy’s favorite color, and all of the other women running will wear his picture.

Supporting Sam

Sam Shaw’s community has rallied behind him and are doing everything they can to help raise the £250,000 needed to bring him to the US for treatment for his neuroblastoma. Sam’s mom Christine worked at Pendle Leisure Trust before Sam’s diagnosis. After hearing of Sam’s condition, Christine’s former coworkers banned together to help raise money for the Shaw family. They’ve baked cookies and planned a slew of events. So far they’ve raised £1,729.61 through their efforts and plan to raise much more!

Walk for a Cure or Cycle for Hope

Steven and Silvia Vanni lost their son Salvatore to neuroblastoma when he was 8 years old. After his death they started the Mystic Force Foundation to raise funds for neuroblastoma research at the Miller School. This weekend the Mysic Force Foundation is holding a “Walk for a Cure” and “Cycle for Hope”. Walkers and Cyclists can register to participate on-line or the day of the event. 100% of proceeds will benefit neuroblastoma research. There will also be a mobile blood bank on site for anyone wishing to donate blood or platelets, as well as other family friendly activities.

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