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Social Services Spotlight: CURE Childhood Cancer

POSTED: February 24, 2017 1:43 p.m.

 

In order to help combat the leading cause of disease-related death in the United States among children, CURE Childhood Cancer has worked to build the proper resources that could potentially save many young lives.

This dedication to conquering the disease is facilitated through focusing on two specific areas that can be prove to be vital towards achieving substantial progress.

CURE funds are allocated towards pediatric cancer research that last year granted $4.2 million in research grants at several leading pediatric hospitals including Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and the St. Jude Research Hospital.

The intense focus in this area provides a necessary response to a negative trend. Pediatric cancers have received very limited government funding.

In fact, less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s research budget is allocated to research aimed at solving childhood cancer which highlights the development of research grants as vital to finding and improving treatment.

As someone who works closely with CURE and also someone who has lost her own child to cancer, Jenny Wilkins is well-aware of this issue.

She says that in regards to CURE’s mission, “We believe that as we raise awareness of the need, the funds will become behind it once people understand how underfunded childhood cancer research is.”

Projects are carefully selected by a Scientific Advisory council made up of scientists from across the U.S. that must review each grant application in order to identify those that have the highest potential to increase circulation of the proper drugs that will provide necessary aid to patients and their families.

The continuous process of raising funds for this research has been achieved largely through the support of various families who have been affected by the disease.

Through CURE’s Named and Memorial funds, parents of children that have passed can partner with CURE to set up a named fund by agreeing to raise $10-$25,000 or more to be directed at research. This funding is also achieved through Sisters on a Journey fundraising events that have taken place in Savannah, Statesboro, and Effingham.  Last year’s events, in which all proceeds went directly to research, raised $225,000.

Due to this success, Wilkins continues to appreciate the support that has been offered from the community where these local efforts started in 2011 with a dinner that raised $5,000.

 “Effingham County has been amazing. Since that year, we have more than doubled our profit every single year. It never would have happened without the Effingham community getting behind us the way that they did. They set the bar high and now other communities are following suit.

In addition to dedicated research, CURE also focuses on Patient and Family Service programs that strive to provide a constant source of support, encouragement, and help for childhood cancer patients and their families.

These programs are crisis-oriented initiatives that serve families treated in a Georgia facility or those that live in Georgia.

They include services such as meal provisions, hospital fellowships, emergency financial assistance and professional counseling.

While the ultimate goal is to eliminate pediatric cancer through improved treatment, CURE strongly advocates supporting families like the Wilkins through their journey.

“I’ve heard numerous patients and families talk about how CURE has helped them. I know how it helped it us when our daughter was ill. These programs just don’t end if your child loses their life. They provide help after as well and I have personally benefited from that as well as many of our friends”, says Wilkins.

CURE Childhood Cancer will host this year’s Sisters on a Journey dinner in Effingham on March 11.

For more information or other inquiries, contact jencarrollwilkins@gmail.com

 

 

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