Category Archives: CURE news

From the Desk of Kristin Connor

In these complex economic times, it has become increasingly common that organizations cannot succeed alone, and many nonprofits are embracing the concept of collaboration for mutual benefits. Indeed, collaboration has become quite the buzzword in the nonprofit world as the economic crisis has gripped our country and resources to support charitable efforts have continued to shrink.

However, collaboration is nothing new to CURE Childhood Cancer. Maintaining collaborative partnerships with other organizations has been a longstanding practice for CURE. CURE was founded in 1975 by Dr. Abdel Ragab, the first pediatric oncologist at Emory University. Because of the urgent need to fund a pediatric oncology research program at Emory and to provide support for families afflicted by childhood cancer throughout Georgia, Dr. Ragab organized a group of parents who formed CURE.

CURE’s first mission was in partnership with Emory and was to help raise funds for a special microscope and other equipment to assist in diagnosing different types of childhood leukemia, using newly developed techniques. In 1978, CURE contributed $20,000 to purchase the microscope and related research equipment. Additionally, CURE was soon able to provide partial support for the training of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellows during their research rotations.

From 1975 to 1981, the childhood cancer research lab was located at Grady Hospital. Since most of Dr. Ragab’s patients were being treated at Emory Clinic, CURE provided a significant donation in 1981 to establish a research lab on the Emory campus. This was designed as a temporary facility while plans were made to build a permanent lab on the campus.

Finally in 1987, a new outpatient clinic for childhood cancer was opened on the campus. Over several years, CURE raised more than one million dollars to build and equip a laboratory on the second floor of the pediatric oncology clinic. The Childhood Cancer Research lab was dedicated in 1989 and represented a huge step forward in providing an up-to-date facility with almost 3,500 square feet of space devoted to research in childhood cancer, the first of its kind at Emory.

Under Dr. Ragab’s leadership and with CURE’s backing, the childhood cancer research program at Emory continued to grow and soon became one of the largest pediatric oncology programs in the country in terms of patients diagnosed and treated each year.

From those early days and continuing today, CURE has worked collaboratively  and cooperatively with the staffs at children’s hospitals in Georgia and beyond to provide important support to families. We also work with other wonderful organizations like Camp Sunshine, Ronald McDonald House and Remember the Rainbows, meeting regularly to discuss the activities of each organization, assess the needs of the children and families we serve and the collective resources available and determine collaborative means to address the needs.

We firmly believe that the more we are able to work together successfully, the more we will achieve our goals of helping families suffering at the hands of cancer navigate the difficult road they are traveling and the faster we will be able to achieve our mission of curing this dreaded disease. Every step in that direction counts.

With hope,

Kristin Connor

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Cobb County Friendship Club Awards Grant to CURE

The Cobb County Friendship Club is an organization of county government employees who give back to the community by donating a portion of each paycheck to assist charitable organizations and fellow employees. Since its inception in 1972, the club has donated more than $1.3 million to local charities and provided more than $250,000 to county employees who faced financial crises.

CURE Childhood Cancer is proud to once again be the recipient of a grant for our Early Outreach program. CURE’s Early Outreach Program is aimed at connecting with families of newly diagnosed children to let them know that they are not alone and to provide them with important encouragement and resources that will help them through their journey with childhood cancer.

One component of this program is the CURE Travel Totes, which are given to newly diagnosed pediatric cancer patients. These totes include practical information and tips for families facing a cancer diagnosis as well as other items that we feel will be useful to families throughout their journeys.  The totes mark the beginning of our relationship with patients and their families. Our trained staff continue to build on these relationships in many ways, always with the goal that we will be a source of support, help and encouragement for our families.  We spend time with families at the outpatient clinic, on the inpatient units where appropriate and at Open Arms. Other aspects of outreach include cards, newsletters and invitations to special functions and events.

The Friendship Club has been a long time supporter of CURE and we are very grateful for their support over the years. Thank you to all of the Cobb County employees who participate in this program!

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Join CURE at the Gwinnett Gladiators’ Annual Teddy Bear Toss

Gather your friends and neighbors and join us on Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 7:05 p.m. for the 7th Annual Teddy Bear Toss as the Gwinnett Gladiators take on the Charlotte Checkers at the Gwinnett Arena.

Bring a new or gently used stuffed animal with you to the game and toss it on the ice after the Gladiators score their first goal!  All of the donated stuffed animals go to various charities in the Metro Atlanta area, including CURE.

Discounted tickets are available online at www.gwinnettgladiators.com. On the home page, look for the “Special Ticket Offers” box and click on it. Once you are forwarded to the Order page, type in our Group Code (CURE0116) and follow the prompts from there. We hope to see you there!

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Happy Thanksgiving from CURE Childhood Cancer

Dear CURE friends and family,

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on things for which we are thankful. With the continued outpouring of support from you as members of the CURE community, we have so much to be thankful for this year.

We thank you, the CURE community, for your support throughout the year, and for those that continue to share their support and help us fight for a CURE for childhood cancer.

We are so thankful for all the children that have benefited from the research advancements and for the time we had with those children who lost their battle to this monster of a disease. We will forever cherish the impact each of these children’s lives have had on us all.

We wish you good times with your family and friends, and time to reflect on all that you’re thankful for this year.

Sincerely,

CURE Executive Director, Kristin Connor

 

 

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The Power of a Month

As we observed Childhood Cancer Awareness Month throughout the month of September, we were inspired by the power of one community united in mission.  We are proud of what we accomplished together, walking arm in arm, drawing attention to a disease that relentlessly threatens our children and families.

A special program to raise a $1,000 a day throughout September called CURE’s Kids Conquer Cancer One Day At A Time focused a spotlight on a child personally affected by childhood cancer. Some of the featured children, or CURE Kids, are in the midst of their fight, some have conquered the disease, and some have died at the hands of the dreaded disease.

“Each day in September, we shared with our community the story of one or two featured children and asked people to honor these brave warriors with their donations,” says Kristin Connor, CURE’s Executive Director. “Our goal at month’s end was to raise $30,000 to put toward the fight to end childhood cancer in our lifetime while also honoring these very special children… one day at a time.”

The results were nothing short of remarkable.  More than $170,000.00 was raised as a result of the month-long outreach promotion. Donations will help fund research that will lead to better treatments and cures for pediatric cancers.

Also in September, in an effort to call attention to the urgent need to find a cure for pediatric cancer, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue presented a formal proclamation to CURE’s Kristin Connor and several board members at the Georgia State Capitol. The proclamation supports the work CURE is doing to support cancer research and officially names September National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Georgia.

On September 19, 2009 mothers of children with cancer were honored at the fifth annual “A Tribute to Our Quiet Heroes” luncheon, hosted by Chris Glavine and benefiting CURE. The luncheon raised an astonishing $250,000.00. More importantly, it raised the hopes and dreams of each mother there, a hope that childhood cancer will be cured in our lifetime.

Two golf tournaments were held in September to benefit CURE.  The first annual Hayley Hunter Golf Classic was held on September 17, 2009 at the Bradshaw Farms Golf Course in Woodstock, GA, raising $16,000 for the Hayley Hunter Research Fund.  The 2009 CURE Golf Classic was held September 25th, hosting 144 golfers at the Oaks Course in Covington and raising nearly $30,000 for CURE.

Although the page on the calendar has turned, our efforts on behalf of children with cancer will not diminish. We hope you will continue to join with us in our fight to cure childhood cancer.

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CURE Annual Report

CURE Childhood Cancer is pleased to present CURE Childhood Cancer’s 2008-2009 Annual Report. We are thrilled and proud to be able to report to you on the progress we made over the past year on behalf of children with cancer as a result of your support.

As you know, finding a cure for cancers that affect children is our highest priority. To that end, your support enabled us to invest nearly $1.2 million in six specific research projects aimed at better understanding the genetic and biological mechanisms through which childhood cancers arrive and further developing therapies aimed at beating these cancers. CURE’s investment paid off last year with an exciting discovery of a new target in cancer cells. Finding a way to attack that new target could lead to improved treatments for children with leukemia and other cancers.

Additionally, CURE funded scientists made significant progress in research relating to medulloblastoma, the most common brain tumor among children. This research uncovered a link between medulloblastoma and high levels of a gene known as wild-type p53-induced phosphatase or WIP1 (pronounced whip one). With CURE’s funding, scientists are working to establish why WIP1 seems to cause medulloblastoma in children and why WIP1 seems to protect cancer cells. A compound has been identified that appears to prevent WIP1 from working and seems to stop the growth of cells in test tubes. Our goal is to determine if the compound will be an effective therapy for children with this devastating form of brain cancer.

Discoveries that result in children’s lives saved take time, but they do happen. Thank you for being a part of significant discoveries that offer hope to children with cancer.

Of course, while working on scientific discoveries, CURE is focused on supporting the children battling cancer today and their families. Our efforts, outlined in the Annual Report, are aimed at addressing the critical and urgent needs of patients and their families because we believe families most need crisis oriented support.

Your generosity makes our work possible. We truly cannot thank you enough.

View the CURE Annual Report

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Charity Navigator Gives CURE Childhood Cancer a 4 Star Rating

CURE Childhood Cancer is proud to announce that we have received Charity Navigator’s coveted 4-star rating for sound fiscal management.

As the nonprofit sector continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, savvy donors are demanding more accountability, transparency and quantifiable results from the charities they choose to support with their hard-earned dollars. In this competitive philanthropic marketplace, Charity Navigator, America’s premier charity evaluator, highlights the fine work of efficient charities and provides donors with essential information needed to give them greater confidence in the charitable choices they make.

Based on the most recent financial information available, Charity Navigator has calculated a new rating for CURE. We are proud to announce CURE Childhood Cancer has earned its 4-star rating for the ability to efficiently manage and grow its finances.

CURE Childhood Cancer consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and outperforms most other charities in America. This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator differentiates CURE Childhood Cancer from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust. 

——–Ken Berger, President & Chief Executive Officer of Charity Navigator

Forbes, Business Week, and Kiplinger’s Financial Magazine, among others, have profiled and celebrated Charity Navigator’s unique method of applying data-driven analysis to the charitable sector. They evaluate ten times more charities than others and currently attract more visitors to their website than all other charity rating groups combined, thus making them the leading charity evaluator in America. Data shows that users of Charity Navigator’s site gave more than they planned to before viewing their findings, and in fact, it is estimated that last year Charity Navigator influenced over $10 billion in charitable gifts.

CURE Childhood Cancer’s review is available here

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