Meet the Children: Bree Lena Town

Bree Town for blog

What started as a suspected strep throat ended up being much more than that for Bree Town and her family. After her mother mentioned bruises, her doctor ordered blood tests. The results were not what the family expected. Bree was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) when she was just 8-years-old, and was ordered to check into the hospital immediately.

Treatment was not easy for Bree. She suffered from numerous infections which caused her to be in isolation for 8 months. She was in constant pain, some days it was so bad, her family wasn’t sure she would make it. Luckily, Bree proved stronger than the cancer and successfully completed treatment in November.

Bree was able to return to school in February and is thriving. Though she has to get testing done to monitor any side effects of the treatment, she is glad to be getting back to normal. This summer, she and her family have been spending their time swimming, doing arts and crafts, and enjoying time outside.

To meet more amazing children who are battling cancer, use this link.

Child Life Specialist Webinar Offered

Are you a Child Life Specialist Looking for Additional Resources?

CureSearch for Children’s Cancer is pleased to provide a series of webinars for Child Life Specialists, made possible by a grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities. The last webinar in the series will take place on October 23 and will include information on pain management and palliative care.

Effectively using Pain Management and Palliative Care in Children’s Cancer Treatment
October 23, 2013
Techniques to address treatment anxiety, introduce pain management, and incorporate alternative methods of pain management

Pain management and palliative care are an essential part of the treatment process for most children’s cancer patients. In this webinar, experts will discuss distraction techniques for managing pain, the physiological responses in the body that cause pain, how to approach procedure anxiety, talking with parents about pain management and palliative care, and how alternative methods of pain management can be incorporated into a treatment plan. A guideline for care will also be presented that will ensure that the entire medical team is involved in a patient’s pain management and palliative care plan.

Use this link to register.

To view recordings of webinars from the rest of the series, visit

Get Involved with CureSearch!

Looking for a way to get involved with CureSearch? There are many ways to get involved, from taking the ultimate challenge with Ultimate Hike, forming a CureSearch Walk team, advocating, or getting your company involved!

At CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, we are fighting for the future every child deserves and every parent dreams of. That is why we support children’s cancer research that seeks to solve the most challenging problems; annually funding clinical trials and scientific research questions that push the field closer to a cure, so that one day, every child is guaranteed a cure. That’s why we need your help!

Join CureSearch this fall for one of our local events, or click here to find other ways that you can make a difference in the lives of those battling cancer.

Little Girl Inspires Des Moines Walker to Make a Difference


Chasity Huffman fell in love with Taylor the second she saw her picture and read her story on Facebook. She knew immediately that she had to do something for the little girl who was battling stage III neuroblastoma. Being a parent herself, she couldn’t imagine what it would be like to watch your child go through chemotherapy, antibody therapy, and take too many medications to count in the hopes that they would help her fight cancer.

While she had never met Taylor, Chasity knew children’s cancer was a cause she wanted to support. So, she began looking for an organization to get involved with and found out that the Des Moines CureSearch Walk was taking place in May, near where Taylor and her family lived. She signed up, started recruiting friends and raising funds right away.

Her team, named Walking 4 Miss Taylor, organized unique fundraisers in their community such as a jewelry sale, water color sale, and even an event involving goats! By the time the Walk came around, Chasity was sure that her team would be number one, and that Taylor would get to lead the survivors as they walked with their CureSearch banner.

Read more…

Day in the Life: Susan Schrader


“That cancer killed Ella is tragic. How cancer killed her is sad. That cancer treatment itself is brutal is something we must change,” said Carol Schrader, Susan’s sister and Ella’s mom. “When I volunteer and walk for CureSearch, I take small steps toward the huge goal of curing pediatric cancer. For Ella and every kid who is living or will live with cancer, I walk.”

Day in the Life_Susan

Susan Schrader is a Portland CureSearch Walk committee member. She was drawn to CureSearch after her niece, Ella, was diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, Ella passed away, but Susan is determined to help fund research that will improve treatments for children with cancer so that no child has to go through what her niece did. CureSearch recently caught up with Susan to learn more about her role as committee member and what lead her there.

Q:  What lead you to CureSearch?

A:  In September of 2010, my then 7-year-old niece, Ella, was diagnosed with cancer. The treatment was horrible, it seemed like very little advancements had been made to improve treatments. I watched her determination and strength throughout the whole process and realized that there had to be a better way to treat these children. My sister asked me to participate in the Portland CureSearch Walk as a birthday present to her, that is when I found CureSearch.

Q:  What lead you to becoming a CureSearch Walk committee member?

A:  After the first Walk, I was so moved by the event that I knew that I wanted to get involved in a bigger way. I answered the call to become a committee member. I get to work with some amazing people who are so dedicated to CureSearch and fighting children’s cancer.

Q:  What is a typical day as a committee member like?

A:  I try to do something for the Walk every day. Whether its meeting with leaders in my town, coordinating fundraisers, or working with the media to spread awareness, I love knowing that I’m making a difference.

Q:  What is the hardest part of being a committee member?

A:  I think the hardest part is that the subject is difficult for people to talk about. When I ask businesses or individuals to get involved, they are sometimes uncomfortable talking about children’s cancer. I have to constantly come up with new and creative ways to raise money and get people involved, which can sometimes be difficult.

Q:  What is your favorite part of being a committee member?

A:  My favorite part is working with my family and community on something that can benefit people everywhere for generations to come.

To volunteer or participate in a Walk near you, visit

Helping Parents Understand MRIs

New clinical videos demonstrate procedures to patients and families

CureSearch for Children’s Cancer is pleased to share a video in our series designed to familiarize cancer patients and their parents with common tests and procedures.

Our goal with these videos is to provide education in a non-threatening way that reduces anxiety for everyone, including appropriately-aged children, allowing them to watch what they will experience ahead of time.

This video of an MRI was made possible through support from Pfizer and were filmed at Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE.

Learn more about MRIs, or other tests and procedures, on

Grandmother Takes on Ultimate Hike in Honor of Granddaughter

Joyce-webThe Ultimate Hike is unlike any other event in that it not only challenges participants to embark on an endurance event, but to participate, they have to do something impressive for children with cancer – raise funds to help support research! Joyce’s granddaughter, Eve had battled Wilms tumor and she wanted to do something big to raise awareness and help. Ultimate Hike was the perfect event.

Being an oncology nurse, Joyce knew that many people are not aware of the prevalence of children’s cancer or of how little funding is available. She wanted to make a difference in the lives of children, like her granddaughter, who were battling cancer.

In 2011, after her daughter Christy completed her first Hike, Joyce decided to follow suit and signed up for the Ultimate Hike in Pennsylvania. She and two of her coworkers joined forces, working hard to train for the 26 mile, day-long Hike and worked even harder to raise funds for research. In 2013, Joyce decided to take on her second Hike. Four coworkers joined her, and together they became one of the highest fundraising teams to complete the Dolly Sods Wilderness Trail.

Read more…