TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation wrapped-up 2016 by awarding more than $272,000 to six hospitals across the country to support cutting-edge research for childhood cancers. Hospitals receiving the grants included Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Seattle Children’s Hospital & Research Foundation, UT Southwestern Medical Center, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Children’s Health Dallas and Cook Children’s in Fort Worth.
“We are committed to funding research for childhood cancers at some of the best research centers in the country,” said Joy Cruse, founder of Dallas-based TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation. “Thanks to our generous donors, TeamConnor was able to give 57% more than last year. Despite being one of the leading causes of deaths among children, childhood cancer receives very little government funding for research. Therefore, if better treatment protocols and cures are to be found, it will take significant private and corporate support to fund the research.”
Dr. Michael Hogarty, M.D., with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was awarded $100,000 for “Targeting the Suppressive Neuroblastoma Microenvironment to Improve Anti-GD2 Directed Immunotherapy.” Dr. Hogarty’s preclinical study defines difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) exposure to assess tumor characteristics that predict response, showing how the immune system fights neuroblastoma cells. The Anti-GD2 therapy improves survival and increases anti-tumor activity.
TeamConnor awarded a $75,673 grant to support Dr. Todd Cooper and Dr. Katherine Tarlock of Seattle Children’s Hospital & Research Foundation. Their study focuses on, “A Phase 1 study of crenolanib in combination with chemotherapy for children with relapsed/refractory FLT3-Mutated AML.”
In conjunction with Kevin’s Ewing Sarcoma Fund, TeamConnor awarded a $50,000 grant to Dr. James Amatruda, MD, PhD of UT Southwestern Medical Center to study “developing targeted treatments for Ewing and Ewing-like Sarcoma.”
In addition to our grant cycle, TeamConnor created a new DFW Community Choice Grant for 2016. The Dallas-Fort Worth community chose the University of North Texas Health Science Center for the $26,500 award, which benefited Dr. Mathew & Dr. Bowman’s Study: “childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL): evaluation of a novel biomarker and immunotherapy target.”
“Funding research is imperative to moving closer to cures in the childhood cancer arena,” said Kathryn Copple, executive director of TeamConnor. “TeamConnor is blessed to have numerous supporters who want to make a difference. It is through our volunteers, corporate sponsors and donations that we are able to award numerous grants each year to childhood cancer research. TeamConnor has raised more than $2 million in its mission to find cures for childhood cancers and we will continue this fight until cures for all childhood cancers are realized.”
In addition to funding these research projects, TeamConnor also was pleased to donate $10,000 to Children’s Health in Dallas and $10.000 to Cook Children’s in Fort Worth to fund the Art Box Program. TeamConnor provides resources for hospitals to create personalized boxes of materials, including paints, canvases, crayons, markers, coloring books, ipads, and other items for kids to be creative while going through life-saving stem cell transplants in the hospital. These treatments typically result in extended, isolated hospital stays and the Art Box Program drastically improves a patient’s overall experience.
Every year, more than 12,500 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer in the United States. Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children, yet the budget of the National Cancer Institute allocates less than four percent of its funds to pediatric cancer research. TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and funding research and treatment programs to find cures for all childhood cancers.
TeamConnor hosts events throughout the year to raise funds for childhood cancer research, including the III Forks Golf Classic and Auction Dinner, April 30th – May 1, 2017; Splash Out Childhood Cancer in July; National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Concert in September; Color Me Green 5K/10K October 7; and the Northwestern Mutual Clay Shoot November 2. In addition, TeamConnor’s national Coins for Kids with Cancer program raises funds in schools, churches, offices and organizations across the country to help fund childhood cancer research.
For more information on how to impact the lives of those affected by childhood cancer, please visit teamconnor.org or find us at Facebook.com/TeamConnor.