Last week, CURE Childhood Cancer’s 2008-2009 fiscal year came to a close, and what a year it was!
While the economy certainly presented unprecedented challenges, CURE remained focused on the children we serve and what they need us to be doing for them: supporting the laborious process of laboratory research that will lead to improvements in cure rates. It was not easy to raise the funds we needed in order to fully support the six research projects we committed to fund at the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University. However, our dedicated staff, board and community of supporters worked harder than ever before, pulled together, made sacrificial gifts and got it done. Knowing how important this research, concentrated in the areas of neuroblastoma, childhood brain tumors and leukemia, is to our children, we have never been more grateful.
Ken Biggerstaff, past President of the Board of Directors, reflects, “When I look back on the past year for CURE, I am so proud of our staff, board members and volunteers for pulling together and helping us exceed our fundraising goals in such a harsh economic environment. Through their efforts we were able to fund cutting edge pediatric cancer research at the Aflac Cancer Center to the tune of $1.2 million dollars. I am proud that CURE once again was able to hold administrative expenses down to nearly 10%, an exceedingly hard task in this economy. Almost 90% of the money raised went directly to support research and our efforts to address the critical needs of families dealing with the nightmare of childhood cancer.”
Over the course of the past year, CURE worked very hard to raise awareness of the need to support childhood cancer research. We are extremely fortunate to have the support of Tom and Chris Glavine, Jeff Foxworthy and Jill Becker, each of whom continues to dedicate his or her time, talents and notoriety to our precious cause.
We celebrate the children who are now off therapy and living cancer free. However, we can’t look back on the year without mourning the loss of too many children who were lost to the disease. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with their families who live with enormous, unthinkable grief. It is our urgent mission to reach the day that no parent or child will hear a doctor say, “there is nothing more we can do.”
Maureen Cahill, Clinical Director of the Aflac Cancer Center, offered her perspective as our year concluded. “I am amazed by you and by your organization and your passion to get to the heart of a cure,” she said. “If it was in your power to get there today – we would already be there. We are so much closer than ever in my professional life, but the journey is arduous. It is experiment after experiment punctuated now and then by incredible insights and changes that matter. I wish we could celebrate the names of all the persons who did the failed experiments and all those who funded them, because when they are done and published – they are building blocks on which the successes are made. We will persist to the cures – and it will be because some recognized that as the only course to follow.”
We will detail our key accomplishments in our upcoming Annual Report and on our website, so stay tuned. In the meantime, thank you for your unwavering support.
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