Hayley Hunter is the 9 year old daughter of Eddie and Tammy Hunter of Ball Ground, Georgia. In April 2008, she was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive childhood cancer. It has taken surgery, six cycles of toxic chemotherapy, twelve rounds of radiation and an autologous stem cell transplant to rid Hayley of this disease. The current treatments available for neuroblastoma do not guarantee that Hayley is cured. Hayley is still at risk for relapse and is at risk for secondary cancers like leukemia and thyroid cancer, as well as infertility, scoliosis and other significant side effects. Throughout treatment Hayley showed a lot of spunk. She never wanted to just sit at home and feel badly. Immediately after chemotherapy, she would insist on leaving the hospital and going to the movies with her brother, Ewing, or going to the basketball gym to watch her sister, Hannah, play basketball. It is our hope that we take Hayley’s same spunk to this fight against cancer as we strive to raise awareness of pediatric cancers and to raise money for the development of new and better treatments that lead to a cure.
The purpose of the Hayley Hunter Research Fund is to provide funding for basic and clinical research relating to neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer of the central nervous system. Mainly affecting children, neuroblastoma is a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system, a nerve network that carries messages from the brain throughout the body. Researchers believe that neuroblastomas form when normal neuroblasts, the immature cells of the sympathetic nervous system, fail to mature into nerve cells and begin growing and dividing uncontrollably, leading to the growth of cancerous cells. Approximately six hundred children a year are diagnosed with neuroblastoma in the United States, the majority of which are under the age of five years. Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial solid tumor found in children and accounts for half of all malignant cancers found in infants. Neuroblastoma most commonly starts as a solid mass in one of the adrenal glands, which are located above the kidney, or in the nerve tissues in the neck, chest, abdomen, or pelvis. The cause of neuroblastoma is unknown.
For information on how you can donate to the Hayley Hunter Research Fund visit us at www.curechildhoodcancer.org