This Week in Neuroblastoma – 6/24/13

Dee Beckford summarizes this week best saying, “Why live a little when you can live a lot!”

Here’s this week’s links…

Kids – Why We Fight

Devante Beckford

Devante Beckford didn’t live to see his 13th birthday. Neuroblastoma ended his life last October, just 18 months after his diagnosis. Through all of his treatments Dee lived his motto: “Why live a little when you can live a lot!” Dee’s family is dedicated to carrying on his passion for life and helping other children and families affected by cancer. They’ve launched a campaign in his honor named simply, ‘Do it for Dee – Fight the Big C.’

Amelia-Mae Davies

At two-years-old, Amelia-Mae is fighting for her life. The toddler is suffering from relapsed neuroblastoma, and her family is desperate to get her to America for a potentially life-saving treatment. They’ve raised £70,000 of the £250,000 needed to get her here and are hoping to be able to raise the rest quickly.

Non-Profits / Events / News

Widnes Vikings Back Anya

The Widnes Vikings, a rugby team loved by the entire Bentham family, has donated thousands of pounds to help save Anya Bentham. Anya is two-years-old and battling neuroblastoma. Having already endured intense chemo and platelet transfusions since her diagnoses last October, her best hope of survival now lies here, in America. Her community is doing all they can to help get her here for treatment; they’ve already raised £135,000 for her. Friends and family have held car boot sales, sponsored events and collected money. Most notably, Vikings winger Patrick Ah Van now sports a rat’s tail after shaving his trademark flowing hair and beard.

Researching New Treatments

We know it’s Monday, and you’re still probably waking up from the weekend, but you’ll want to rub your eyes some and put your thinking caps on for this article. Here’s the gist of it: Researchers have tested the antitumor effects of a microtubule stabilizer (EPO906) on two pediatric cancer models – neuroblastoma and rhabdomayosarcoma. They have found that EPO906 does in fact have a strong antitumor effect on both of the cancers without triggering major side effects. Good stuff!

Fresh Hope for Fraja

Fraja Simpson and her family are celebrating some bittersweet news. On one hand, they’re elated that Fraja will not have to undergo a second, highly toxic round of chemo to fight her neuroblastoma, as doctors believe that her cancer cells may not grow. On the other hand, if the cells do grow, Fraja will be considered to have relapsed, and her chances of survival will be much lower. Fundraisers are being held to raise the £500,000 needed for the five-year-old to receive treatments that could possibly lower her chances of relapsing. Next week, 12 members of the RAF’s 90 Signals Unit will climb fourteen 3,000ft-plus peaks over two days in an attempt to raise money for Fraja. Very cool! Good luck, guys!

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