The 2019 Chicago Marathon is around the corner on Sunday, October 13. If you are a non-runner sort of person, did you ever ask yourself why anyone would run that 26.2 mile distance? According to one running blog full of fun stats, there are about 570 marathons held in the United States each year and only 0.5% of the population has run a marathon. Some of those super motivated athletes just want to test themselves, improve fitness, or say they’ve accomplished a feat few athletes have achieved.
Aside from the varied personal reasons for running, some runners have goals such as raising money for charity. Team Emma, named after my granddaughter, is a marathon team with such a goal. This team raises money for pediatric brain cancer research. The marathon team has run in 2017, 2018, and runs again on October 13, 2019. All funds raised go directly to the brain tumor research program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, IL.
Our brief story on fighting for the life of a child
My family is not really unique. We are just a normal family that never had any cases of pediatric cancer anywhere in the family. Suffice it to say that if pediatric cancer can strike my family, it can lash out at any family. But, my sincere hope is it doesn’t ever affect anyone you love. It’s devastating and it shakes the core of every family it strikes.
Ewing’s sarcoma was my 35 month old granddaughter’s cancer. Her tumor was in her brain. It was the size of a tennis ball. Over the course of 10 months, Emma had 4 surgeries, 11 rounds of chemo, 5 weeks of radiation, and 36 blood and platelet transfusions. She had countless scans, blood draws, tests, and spent 50 nights in the hospital. Even with all she has endured, she is thriving, happy, and well adjusted. She is two years disease free.
Fast facts on pediatric cancer and brain tumors
- More children die of brain tumors than any other form of cancer.
- Only 4% of the billions of dollars that are annually spent on cancer research and treatment are directed to treating all childhood cancers. That leaves virtually no funding for pediatric brain cancer.
- More than 28,000 children are living with brain tumors.
- 13 new cases of pediatric brain tumors are diagnosed daily.
- There are over 100 different types of pediatric brain tumors which makes diagnosing and treatment challenging.
- While survival rates have improved, survivors suffer lifelong side effects caused by surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
- Brain tumors of children are NOT like brain tumors in adults. Kids’ brain tumors require specific research and different treatment. It’s time to change the landscape of pediatric cancer treatment.
- Research that focuses specifically on pediatric brain tumors is critical to saving kids’ lives and improving their quality of life.
Source: Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, 2016
More pediatric brain cancer research funding needed to keep kids alive
In an effort to move research forward to help others like Emma, the Team Emma Marathon and now Teamemma.org have evolved. For the marathon, all funds raised go directly into the hands of researchers that will make the difference in the outcome of a child’s brain cancer prognosis. Pediatric brain cancer is devastating. Saving a child really saves a whole family.
If you can make a donation, please know that no donation is too small. In fact, there is a “tipping point” for all things in life. Your extra dollar in the hands of researchers could be that “tipping point” for finding a cure for a child. All donations are tax deductible and will be acknowledged by Lurie Children’s Foundation. Thank you, in advance, for taking the time to read about our cancer story.
Want to make a difference with a DONATION? PLEASE CLICK HERE. Remember, every little bit helps a child, which helps a family, and then helps a community. And, on behalf of all pediatric cancer families, thank you!
Good luck to all the Chicago Marathon Runners!