Researcher Examines Impact of Extra Chromosome on Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Research Update as of April 17, 2014:

David Gordon, MD, PhD at Dana Farber Cancer Institute is a CureSearch Young Investigator examining the impact of trisomy 8 on acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Of the 500 children diagnosed with AML each year, between 10-20% of an extra chromosome 8, called trisomy 8.

Dr. Gordon suspects that trisomy 8 contributes to the creation of cancerous cells because certain genes are expressed when an abnormal number of chromosomes are present. Using three cell lines he previously developed, Dr. Gordon spent the first year of his CureSearch grant screening the cell lines for new AML target genes and investigating the impact of trisomy 8 in blood cell development.

In the coming year, Dr. Gordon will explore how these genes, and their interaction with trisomy 8, lead to the development of AML.

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Two Schools Raise $3,618 Through Sock It To Cancer!

Sock It To Cancer EventWhen Valerie Week’s daughter Cecylia was diagnosed with Wilms tumor, they were surrounded by support from their community. “A lot of people helped us along the way,” says Valerie. “After we finished treatment, I knew that we had to do something to give back.” When she heard about CureSearch’s Sock It To Cancer, she thought it would be a great fit for her school, West Hills School, where she teaches 4th and 5th grade English.

Sock It To Cancer encourages students to help children with cancer by collecting spare change and bringing it in to school. The money collected helps fund research and clinical trials conducted at hospitals across the country. Valerie thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to teach her students that they can make a difference.

She reached out to some fellow teachers at other local schools and was amazed by the response. Teachers at neighboring school East Hills decided to join the campaign. Valerie and Karri Cowdry, East Hills School student council leadership faculty advisor, worked together to come up with event ideas and ways to get the students motivated.

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Give a Special Mother’s Day Tribute

Mothers DayThis Mother’s Day, give a tribute gift to honor the special women in your life! A tribute gift to CureSearch is a personal way to acknowledge the many women – mothers, sisters, aunts, teachers, friends and others – who have loved, supported and encouraged you.

With a Mother’s Day tribute gift, you can show your loved ones how much you care, while ensuring CureSearch has the resources to continue funding the innovative childhood cancer research so important to finding a cure. Your tribute gift will also provide resources, including interactive videoswebinars, and podcasts, to help the thousands of families who face heartbreaking cancer diagnoses each year.

To make your gift today, simply follow this link and make a tribute donation. Tell us the person you want to honor, provide contact information, and we will then send a gift card notifying the individual of your gift. We respect your privacy and will not include the gift amount in our notification. To make sure your acknowledgement card arrives in time for Mother’s Day, please make your gift by Monday, May 5, 2014.

For more information about making a tribute gift to CureSearch, please contact us at (800) 458-6223 or

$12,500 Raised For Children’s Cancer Research!

Joyce Reed is a long-time supporter of children with cancer. She annually hosts a dinner and auction in her community in Sevierville, Tennessee and this year’s benefitted CureSearch for the first time.

Joyce Reed

Joyce hasn’t been directly affected by children’s cancer, but she knows the toll that it can take on families, and just wanted to do something to help them.

She gathered her coworkers at Advantage Hair Salon in Tennessee, told them about CureSearch and how important this year’s event would be in supporting children’s cancer research. They immediately started contacting local businesses and asked them to support the event by donating auction items. Joyce was amazed by the generosity of the community; they received items from almost every business contacted.

As the day of the event drew closer, Joyce was sure that they would reach their goal of $6,000. She had no idea that they would raise $12,500 in one night!

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Meet the Children: Luke Crecelius

Michelle and her family were shocked when they found out their 2-year-old son, Luke, had cancer. They received the official diagnosis on August 5, 2013. Their active and loving son had AML.

Luke began treatment immediately at Children’s Hospital of Orange County and received 84 doses of chemotherapy during his 114 days at the hospital. Because of his type of cancer, Luke had to stay in the hospital for each round. Every time, his family would anxiously wait for his white blood cell count to come back up so that they could go home. Despite the extended stays, Luke always remained upbeat.

During treatment, Luke received a superhero cape, and would proudly wear it around the hospital so that everyone knew that his superpower was beating cancer.

Michelle always knew that Luke was a fighter, and his battle with cancer showed just how strong he was. Luke completed his 4th and final round of chemotherapy on December 18, 2013 and was declared cancer free!

Throughout treatment, family friends told Michelle how they wanted to raise funds for children like Luke. Michelle had heard about CureSearch and about the research that was being funded, so she knew that was the organization she wanted to be involved with.

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Childhood Cancer Survivor Enters the MMA Arena

Matt BessetteMatt Bessette doesn’t remember most of his cancer treatment. He does remember feeling like a human pin cushion, and that his mother always tried to remain positive and let him be a kid. Matt was just 3 when he was diagnosed with leukemiaand spent more a year at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center receiving treatment. After 5 years cancer free, when he was 12, doctors declared him cured!

9 years later, Matt was a healthy young man who while hanging out with friends, found mixed martial arts (MMA) videos and started watching them. Soon, he and his friends were spending hours performing what they saw. They didn’t really know what they were doing, but they were having a great time, so they decided to find a gym and begin training. Matt’s first professional fight was in September 2007, and he’s been hooked ever since. When it came time for Matt to tell his parents about his new hobby, they weren’t surprised – they always knew that their son was a fighter.

Training and competing in MMA fights takes hard work and dedication, something that Matt learned while undergoing cancer treatment. “Whenever people tell me that I can’t do something, I try to remember that it’s not the worst I’ve been through.” That attitude has helped Matt be successful in the MMA arena.

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High School Senior Leads Fundraising Effort

Chelsey ZaneChelsey has always believed in giving back to the community. A senior at Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, MD, she has always been encouraged to find a cause that she was passionate about and try to make a difference. While volunteering, Chelsey met a young girl battlingrhabdomyosarcoma and they became fast friends. She saw how strong her friend was throughout treatment, organizing toy drives and other fundraising events for those less fortunate, all while undergoing cancer treatment. Chelsey knew she too could find a way to help children and adolescents with cancer.

She asked some of her friends to join her and together, they started a toy drive for residents of The Children’s Inn at the National Institute of Health (NIH). The success of that toy drive sparked Chelsey to form a club at school dedicated to giving back to the community.

Her club joined the 2013 Washington, DC CureSearch Walk and raised more than $200 for children’s cancer research. “We were all so moved by CureSearch’s mission and the research that they are funding,” says Chelsey. “We wanted to make a difference for all the children battling cancer.” This year, the club decided to organize another fundraiser and partnered with the local California Pizza Kitchen for a week dedicated to raising funds for CureSearch. They raised more than $600 in just one week!

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