A Message from CURE Executive Director Kristin Connor

Dear Friends of CURE,

As June kicks off, CURE’s fiscal year end rapidly approaches.  Our entire community of friends and supporters have made such a difference in our ability to serve childhood cancer patients and their families over the past 11 months. We want you to know, specifically, what we have been able to accomplish this year.  We would also like to ask you to consider helping us raise the additional $50,000 we must raise by June 30, 2010 to reach our goal.

With the help and support of many generous donors, we have been able to fund six specific research projects at the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University.  These projects are focused on the study of resistance of certain pediatric tumors to currently available chemotherapy and the means to exploit the proteins that allow for that resistance.  The six projects we are funding are aimed directly at the 21% of children with cancer who are not presently being cured.  The researchers we are funding are using different tumor cell lines, i.e. leukemia, neuroblastoma, and medulloblastoma, which allow them to learn if the tumor type has unique resistance characteristics and expand their findings across several tumor types.

While we are working hard to advance research, we are also working hard to support families in the thick of the battle with childhood cancer.  We have reached approximately 300 families through our Early Outreach program at or near the time of diagnosis.  The world starts to spin as these families begin to absorb the news that their child has cancer, and we are there to begin this journey by their side. Our relationships with these families start early, through these first difficult days, and continue through personalized support efforts for the months and years to come.

We have also been able to provide emergency financial assistance to 247 families struggling financially as a result of their child’s diagnosis with mounting expenses which become overwhelming for so many.  We helped pay for transportation to get children to and from the hospital for treatment, we paid rent and utility bills for parents who were unable to work because of the caretaking needs of their sick children…we even paid funeral expenses so a child could have a dignified burial.

We have been in the hospitals serving lunch and dinner and providing important fellowship and support to struggling families each and every week this year.  One mother told us, “It is always so nice to be able to go right into the family room and get food, a friendly smile or just be able to escape and cry for a few moments amongst others who know exactly how I am feeling. I remember CURE being there on Thanksgiving Day, which was the day my son was diagnosed. As a matter of fact, CURE is always there when we are. We love you all.”

We also have provided comfort and support to more families than ever before who live with the grief and heartbreak of losing their child to cancer.  In January, we hosted 126 people at our annual Bereavement Weekend.  This weekend is instrumental to many grieving parents as they learn to live with the loss of their child.  One father shared that he has attended the weekend for the past 8 years, since his son passed away, and that as soon as the weekend was over, he would begin to look forward to next year’s event because he is finally at a place where he feels like he can help other parents in dealing with their grief.  Families with a very recent loss need to see and hear from others who are ahead of them on the agonizing road of grief.  Wherever they are in their journey with grief, they come to see that there is hope and healing ahead.

CURE has been busy with many other efforts, again, all enabled by the generous support of so many.  We truly could not provide the services to our families or invest so significantly in research without the financial and volunteer support of each of person.

With one month to go before our year wraps up, we ask you to consider helping us to meet our financial goals for the year. If you are able to give, we would be grateful for your support. No gift is too small to make a difference in the life of child with cancer.

With gratitude,

Kristin Connor
Executive Director

Charity Navigator evaluated CURE Childhood Cancer and awarded CURE an ‘Exceptional’ 4-Star Rating – an accreditation defined as exceeding industry standards and out preforming most charities in its cause.  Click below to read more.

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