CKc Makes News with Novel Emmi-Grace Applesauce Trial

CKc co-founder Melissa Wiggins and pediatric cancer advocate Monica Angel were in Tampa, Florida, recently for a #nomoreoptions event. Approximately 50 people attended the small group gathering which focuses on educating others on why advances need to be made in the field of pediatric cancer treatment to not only create more survivors, but to also increase the quality of life for those children. The event also highlighted a CKc-funded trial that involves an innovative way of administering chemotherapy to a child under three years old. The trial is named after Monica’s daughter, Emmi-Grace.

 

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Update on Cannon from CHOP

The FIRST goal is survivorship. That’s the number one priority! But what does survivorship looks like? If you have heard me speak you have probably heard me say these words.

Our priority at CKc is not only creating options together BUT better options together …..

Frankly what we have today is NOT acceptable to me or anyone on Team CKc!

I know this because I live it with my son. My survivor. For a time I felt bad talking about it because how can I ? How can I talk about how unacceptable survivorship is to me when so many only wish to have their survivor with them. I sound UNgrateful. But I am grateful. I have since realized because I’ve spoken to and spent a lot of time with parents who have lost their children to childhood cancer that they want me to work harder for better options. That creating the same options would ONLY make the same results and that we need real innovative change! Changing the status quo is about creating survivors and creating a quality of life for them.

Today Cannon teared up as I put his hearing aids on. He asked me if he had to wear them — a new question since starting first grade. He asked me why he wears them and explained to me he can hear without them. He picked his nails and hunched over with anxiety as I placed them on his ears. Michael and I hugged him and talked him through it as we have done every time before this. Cannon left the room and Michael and I watery eyed and all looked at each other and half smiled – our hearts ache. Cannon is getting older and self conscious. Of late he has asked me why he is smaller than kids his age. Cannon is 20 months older than his twin brothers but they are almost all the same height. I appreciate that it is MY job.. Michael’s job to raise Cannon to be a confident, kind, loving man and we can and will do that, but cancer has added many hardships to Cannon’s life.

At CHOP on Friday we discussed further issues for kids like Cannon who get so much radiation to their spine. We took Cannon to who we believe is one of the best in proton radiation – Dr Hill-keyser – we still believe that, but it doesn’t change that we burnt Cannon’s spine to save him as well as many other areas in his body. That comes at a price. Cannon now has early signs of scoliosis. One shoulder is higher than the other , one nipple higher than other and some curving of his back and spine. Is it life

threatening? Will he die? NO… is it potentially more therapies , more surgeries , more specialists, more self conscious behavior ? Yes it is. I don’t accept that is okay. I don’t want that for the family who right this very moment is hearing the words “ your child has cancer “ I want them to get a treatment that will make their child a survivor and live a good happy life with quality of life in it. Not a lifetime of secondary cancers, eye issues, infertility, hearing loss, learning disorders, or organ failures like we saw just a few days ago with Sweet Sally Sunshine!

By the end of this month I’ve personally been a part of some 20 pediatric cancer related meetings or events across 6 states and team CKc even more than that… why…. because I truly at my core believe, whether arrogant or not that we can change this status quo . That in the next decades that children will be cured in different , better ways and that it won’t leave them with lifelong issues.

2/3 of kids who survive five years from their original diagnosis will face lifelong challenges including secondary cancers and organ issues.

There are no survivors of certain brain cancers, and many forms of brain cancers have less than a 10 percent chance of survival.

I am not OKAY with either of those statistics. Team CKc is not okay with it.

So together we work our little rear ends off as a team to change it.

In short.

I don’t accept what Cannon deals with, and I won’t accept anything else for your kids or the kid being diagnosed right this moment.

I am…

I continue to be…

Thankful for the fight.

Please say a little extra prayer for Cannon as we navigate these new waters as a family. Thank you.

Why I Must Be An Advocate for Change and Education

I had the pleasure of representing Cannonball Kids’ cancer (CKc) on Saturday, September 15th, at the first-ever Golden Warrior Festival in Apopka, Florida. This wonderful event was created to raise awareness of childhood cancer, and to beautifully recognize the brave warriors currently battling various childhood cancers in their community.

Day after day, these brave children face things that no child should ever have to know. They routinely undergo treatment that is unfortunately not able to be tailored to their specific illness, and they face the harsh side effects of medications designed to eradicate cancer in an adult many times their size. As I watched these extraordinary children experience each activity that was planned for them, they were so grateful, and so full of joy despite all they continue to face. It was truly such a blessing to witness them be able to simply be children, to see them smile for photos with their favorite superhero or Disney princess, to have their face painted, to enjoy cotton candy or a snow cone, and truly enjoy time spent with their families – I am absolutely in awe of these amazing children and the love and support of their families.

The coming together of this community to provide education on childhood cancer, and to rally around these amazing warriors was truly something to witness. In one afternoon, hundreds of eyes were instantly opened to the harsh realities of childhood cancer, and the dire need for change. All in attendance were able to see firsthand that that most unfortunately, childhood cancer is not rare. It does not pick and choose, it does not discriminate, and it continues to deliver devastating diagnoses on a daily basis. It takes events like this, foundations like CKc, and people who are driven to change the status quo, to make a difference. Being able to share CKc’s mission and accomplishments with members of this community, specifically the goal to create options together, when no more options are available, was incredible.  

This event had such personal meaning to me, as our family was not given the option to fight cancer. After our son Maxwell passed, we learned that he silently battled neuroblastoma in the three months we were blessed to share with him. There is no doubt in my mind that if we were blessed to have Maxwell with us much longer than we were, we would have fought as hard as we possibly could for him to beat this horrible disease.

While we truly feel in our heart that there is no blame, often hindsight is 20/20, and we can now look back and see that Maxwell exhibited some symptoms that would indicate the presence of neuroblastoma. It is understandable that physicians often times avoid immediately linking these symptoms to a possible cancer, because it would cause panic to the family and oftentimes there is no cause for concern. In our case, Maxwell had a protruding stomach – it was almost barrel-like. It was never identified as a potential issue; instead we were praised for our evident success in his feeding. Babies do not have developed abdominal muscles, so a large amount of babies do have large bellies. Maxwell also would sweat profusely. When we pointed this out, our concern was dissuaded, we were thankful when the concern was simplified to explain that sometimes babies just sweat, and it does not mean that there is an underlying issue. Only in hindsight can we identify the need for education on the telltale symptoms of neuroblastoma – and, just like any other disease, it is always better to be safe in ruling out this disease than not, as we will forever wonder what may have been if we were able to identify it, and fight, in an effort to save Maxwell’s life. Instead what started as a high fever weeks later led to an emergency room visit and discharge with a diagnosis of a ‘virus’ only to lose our son less than 48 hours later. Our family is forever changed and living daily with the devastating reality that our son is with God, instead of in our arms.

The never-ceasing love of a Mother for their child makes all things possible, and was what gave me the strength to represent CKc for this event. My heart went out to each warrior family that I had the privilege to meet, and as they shared their child’s stories with me, I was able to share Maxwell’s story with them, and explain how much CKc has come to mean to me. Our lives have been forever changed because of pediatric cancer, and now the fight is mine to continue for my son. Maxwell is my “why” – what drives me to volunteer for this extraordinary organization. I must be his voice; I must be an advocate for change and education. I know that I have found the perfect place in CKc to do these things and so, so much more. The Golden Warrior Festival was a huge success, and CKc was recognized for its help making such a wonderful event a reality. The positive feedback we received, the sincere interest in what we do, the individuals and families asking what they can do to join the fight, and the pride that I felt representing CKc for this event, was immeasurable. It truly was an experience that I will never forget. I did it – and you absolutely can, too!

CKc Awards the Grayson Jack Clinical Research Grant During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Grant Will Allow Testing of a New Oral Drug Used to Treat Pediatric Brain Tumors with Dire Outcomes

Dr. Cassie Kline-Nunnally, the first-ever recipient of a Cannonball Kids’ cancer (CKc) Young Investigator grant, is receiving a new $100,000 grant from CKc to begin a clinical trial which measures the efficacy of a new oral drug on brain tumors including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), MYC-driven medulloblastoma, and high-grade glioma (HGG). The outcome for these specific pediatric brain cancers are very poor. This new study, developed and led by Dr. Kline-Nunnally at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, creates options for up to 30 children and will be accessible at 18 children’s hospitals across the United States, Washington D.C. and Canada. The grant, awarded during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, is named for Grayson Jack, a two-year-old boy from Winter Garden, FL, who was diagnosed with an Astrocytoma Grade 4 brain tumor after he turned two. Grayson is currently undergoing treatment at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, FL.

“It is truly a great privilege to award Dr. Kline-Nunnally this grant and continue to support her impactful research as she creates a growing footprint in the world of pediatric cancer,” said Melissa Wiggins, CKc Executive Director. “As our first Young Investigator grant recipient in 2017, Dr. Kline-Nunnally has proven the benefit of helping to jumpstart a career which helps keep an immensely talented investigator engaged in a field that is notoriously financially difficult to enter and remain in when just starting out.”

Dr. Kline-Nunally expressed her appreciation for CKc’s support at each step of her early career. “Cannonball Kids’ cancer has been critical to my research and clinical progress – offering me the opportunity to pursue my research, continue to effectively care for children with life-threatening brain tumors, and augment my skills and focus within clinical research in pediatric neuro-oncology,” stated Dr. Kline-Nunally. “With CKc’s support, I have been able to successfully continue my clinical and early phase developmental therapeutic research as a first-year faculty and I am now the Principal Investigator on two clinical trials and the co-Principal Investigator on one – all of which are investigating therapies for patients with no standard of care and, in most cases, no known cure,” Dr. Kline-Nunally continued.

Including this research grant, CKc has funded a total of 12 research grants, since inception, for basic research studies and clinical trials. The grants, totaling almost $900,000, will provide up to 90 children with access to “bench-to-bedside” treatments that could help give the chance to live to children who have previously been told there was nothing more to be done to save them.

Kicking cancer’s @#* – CKc In The News!

August 14th was a huge day for Cannonball Kids’ cancer (CKc), for pediatric cancer, and for the family of Nolan King. That was the day CKc made good on their promise. It was on that day that CKc awarded Nemours Children’s Hospital with a $25,000 check to help fund a “seed grant” for research in which the Zika virus is used to attack deadly hepatoblastoma cancer cells. Zika has shown great effectiveness in destroying cancer cells in other types of cancer.

When Nolan died on April 1st, 2017, from complications of his treatments for hepatoblastoma, he was just 3 years old. That very day, CKc made a promise to fund a research trial for hepatoblastoma, the most common form of liver cancer in children, in his honor. The current “treatments” for hepatoblastoma are simply watered-down adult treatments that ravage children’s bodies, causing irreparable damage and even death.

Our goal is to make sure that what Nolan, kids like him, and their families go through is not in vain. That is why it’s our mission to fund innovative research grants to learn about and discover new ways to treat pediatric cancer, and to find treatments that do not kill children or strip them of their quality of life.

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Local Trial Uses Zika To Destroy Cancer Cells

CKc AWARDS RESEARCH GRANT TO NEMOURS FOR TRIAL USING ZIKA VIRUS

On the heels of the recent news out of Nemours Children’s Health System that the Zika virus is showing promising potential to target and destroy deadly neuroblastoma cancer cells in children, Cannonball Kids’ cancer (CKc) is awarding “Nolan’s Grant” to Nemours to expand that research to other forms of childhood cancer that do not even have clinical trials to-date.

CKc, a non-profit dedicated to funding innovative pediatric cancer research, announced today the award of the $25,000 “seed” grant will enable a basic research study focused specifically on the virus’ impact on hepatoblastoma, the most common cancerous liver tumor in early childhood. The grant is given in honor of Nolan King, of Maitland, Fla., who died on April 1, 2017, at age three, from complications of the toxic treatments currently used to fight hepatoblastoma.

“When my son Cannon was in treatment, I wanted so badly to fund a research project locally” said CKc executive director Melissa Wiggins. “And, to date, nothing had synced with our mission. Today, that changed.” Wiggins continued, “After a year in development, I get to announce CKc has begun a commitment to a project with Nemours that could be a game-changer in solid tumor cancers found in children, including neuroblastoma and hepatoblastoma.” Melissa emphasized the organization’s mission, “At CKc, we believe innovative research is the key, we don’t believe in thinking inside-the-box, and that is where the missions of Nemours and CKc synced. Today is a good day for the pediatric cancer world.”

This innovative basic research study developed from a collaboration between Dr. Tamarah Westmoreland, a pediatric general and thoracic surgeon at Nemours Children’s Hospital and Assistant Professor of Surgery for University of Central Florida Medical School, Dr. Kenneth Alexander, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Nemours Children’s Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Central Florida, and Dr. Griffith Parks, Professor of Medicine and Interim Associate Dean for Research at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine. As a cancer surgeon, Dr. Westmoreland was quick to recognize that Zika viruses might not only be useful for the treatment of children with neuroblastoma, but also useful for treatment of children with other cancers.

Kelly King, mother of Nolan King, for whom the grant is named, remained close to the process of finding this hopeful, local hepatoblastoma-specific research project. “When cancer remained in Nolan’s body after three major surgeries and 12 cycles of chemotherapy intended for adults, we knew a more innovative treatment approach was needed,” said King. “Yet, there were no clinical trials for relapsed hepatoblastoma, and our family was left with no options to save our precious boy’s life.” King praised CKc for its commitment to research saying, “I’m so appreciative that we have a local foundation like CKc who is committed to changing this reality by focusing solely on research. Basic science is a crucial step toward getting new or novel therapies into children; and, Nolan’s dad Tony and I are thrilled to see this study coming to fruition. We may not have been able to save Nolan, but we believe that because of collaborative, out-of-the-box projects like this one, other families won’t have to suffer the same fate in the future,” added King.

CAN ZIKA BE USED TO BATTLE HEPATOBLASTOMA

In a meeting with Drs. Westmoreland and Alexander, Melissa Wiggins asked if Zika virus-based therapy might be effective for hepatoblastoma. Hepatoblastoma is a malignant liver tumor that usually occurs in children younger than three years of age. Hepatoblastomas are rare and difficult to treat. Currently, surgery to remove the tumor is the most effective treatment when the tumor is contained in the liver, however in cases where the tumor has spread or relapsed, there is no cure.

In response to Ms. Wiggins’ suggestion, the lab team tested hepatoblastoma cells to determine if they were susceptible to killing by Zika virus. The hepatoblastoma cells were very sensitive and were killed very quickly. Dr. Westmoreland shared these exciting results with CKc. “Zika viruses may be an effective tool to fight many childhood cancers,” stated Dr Westmoreland. “If, as our data suggest, CD24 is indeed a major determinant of what cancers would be killed by Zika viruses, then we have reasons to be very optimistic, because many pediatric cancers (and, indeed, many adult cancers) express CD24.”

VALUABLE RELATIONSHIP

With the support of CKc, the Nemours research team will confirm the role of CD24 in Zika virus-mediated killing of hepatoblastoma cells.

Then, to assess Zika viruses as a treatment for hepatoblastoma, the team will create hepatoblastoma tumors in the lab. The tumors will then be treated with different doses of Zika virus to determine if the hepatoblastoma tumors shrink (and hopefully disappear entirely) with Zika virus treatment. Such basic research studies of tumors are an essential first step toward a clinical trial in humans, as they provide information both about safety and treatment effectiveness.

All the experiments will be performed in the biosafety vivarium at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Lake Nona.

Dr. Parks explained, “This is an exciting partnership that brings together strengths of the Medical City research community. Collaborations across disciplines and between institutions advance science and patient care in interesting and exciting ways. We are all optimistic that Zika viruses can be developed into tools that help children (and adults) with cancer.”

FUNDING STUDIES THAT LEAD TO SOLUTIONS

Including this seed grant, CKc has funded a total of 13 research grants, since inception, for basic research studies and clinical trials totaling over $800,000. The grants are providing up to 60 children with access to “bench-to-bedside” treatments that could help give the chance to live to children who have previously been told there was nothing more to be done to save them.

“Our mission is to fund innovative and accessible research for children to provide better treatments and quality of life,” said Michael Wiggins, CKc co-founder and chairman of the board. “The ability for non-profits to focus on solutions and advocacy rather than turning profits has created opportunities for researchers to find funding for novel ideas that could be catalysts to finding cures.”

Happy 7th Birthday Cannon “AKA” Cannonball

It is 4 am, and I find myself wide awake, that is not unusual because I was taught as a young kid the early bird catches the worm – before my kids are awake I have usually done an hour or two of work and worked out – some call that sanity – I call it survival.

On this day seven years ago I gave birth for the first time, I became a Mumma-Bear. We named him Cannon James Roland Wiggins. I was 27 years old. I remember jumping up and down when I took the pregnancy test confirming. Despite being the girl then women who had said I would never have kids because my career was always going to be first – by that time I so badly wanted a baby. Michael and I met when I was twenty years old, I felt secure in our marriage, and it was time.

Birth for me was traumatic, utterly awful – let us say I was the Scottish lassy that walked in with the birth plan and I left with a c-section and adorable 8 pounds 8 ounces of PURE sunshine. He is still my sunshine – he wakes up with a smile, goes all day, and goes to bed smiling – indeed the happiest boy I have ever met.

On this day at 5 am my boy was born – little did I know then how much that my baby would change my life, my husband’s life, and thousands of people’s life.

Thank you to my friend Dr. Carducci who stayed late to deliver our boy – she had worked all night and I, of course, being the hard-headed Scot that is, thought I had done enough homework to deliver naturally. Oh, sweet little Mumma – if only I could go back in time and whisper in her ear – it doesn’t matter, who cares, you will be just as connected to that kid if you have a c-section – a perfect example of why people say we get wiser with age. I know that to be true.

Many people aren’t aware that four months into Cannon’s life my husband was hospitalized and inpatient at Mayo Hospital in Jacksonville for a significant period of time. I was working for a lawyer in Orlando and traveling to be with Michael, with a four-month-old and a husband who had lost the ability to walk or move his arms, he had a rare auto-immune disease called GBS. I took my good husband home with a wheelchair, and we resigned to the fact that he would most likely never be able to walk again. After a year it appeared we were in the clear. I confess I remember thinking, nothing worse could ever happen to us, we were married only a few years and had a newborn and a sick husband. Life was pretty much sunshine, rainbows, unicorns – for a good six months.

Then one day I said ‘ I am pregnant ‘ we were so happy, I was in Scotland when I found out. We shared with my family, and we celebrated Cannon turning one year old with them. We came back and found out it was twins. Let me be SUPER real – I was NOT excited. I cried, and not happy, yeah this is such exciting tears, no I knew twins and Cannon was going to be hard. Then we found it was two boys – lord help us. Ok, don’t judge me, at the time it honestly felt like it was the worst thing that could happen. Of course, that was not the end of the story.

Cannon began to limp, and I was 38 weeks pregnant with my twins at this point. Michael was traveling for work, so I called him, and he suggested a doctor appointment. Long story short next time I saw my husband he met Cannon and I at Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital and Cannon was scheduled to have surgery for what we thought was a knee infection. Sadly, there was no infection, but our son, our ray of sunshine was covered in cancer. Kids get cancer.? Yes, your son has stage four neuroblastoma a very aggressive form of cancer. It is everywhere in his body. Cannon has a very big fight on his hands. At that time, neuroblastoma was the number one killer of children in the US – thankfully due to research it no longer is.

The famous rhetorical question….’ He is not going to die though – right? He responded ‘your son has a 50/50 chance.’ Thankfully no one can see me type these words; tears are flowing as every time I write them it takes me back to that moment. Weirdly I sometimes like to remind myself of that moment so that I can truly appreciate the miracle he is. I also am acutely aware after attending more children’s funerals than adults in my 34 years that many parents only dream of a 7th birthday with their baby. We didn’t know if we would get a second birthday with him let alone another five. Without being a pessimist, because I am not, we don’t know what tomorrow brings for a kid like Cannon on cancer and side effect front. If I sat there too long, I would have him relapsing and having a heart transplant and sad that he can’t naturally father a child – so I don’t sit there. I sit here, with you in the solution. In the FIGHt! IN the possibilities of a kid who beat cancer, a kid who smiles every day, a kid who is a gift to those who get to know him, a kid that inspired Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation. Cannon James Roland Wiggins you inspired your Mum and Dad to work hard for change. To change the status quo of kids battling cancer.

Since you don’t need anything Cannon Wiggins, we are having a FULL circle moment today. Your journey began, CKc’s journey began with the sale of one little T-shirt. We didn’t know what would happen after that – thankfully a lot ! So we decided it would be a fantastic way to celebrate what you have inspired in all of us. CHANGE…..YOU ARE CHANGE Cannon. I want to be change too.

These shirts are only on sale for ONE week, and since we hold T-shirt sales every five years it seems, I would get them while they are hot. All proceeds will go to Cannonball Kids’ cancer Foundation. I cannot wait to order mine.

I want to take a moment of PURE gratitude, whether you know the story of Cannon, are new to our story, or wish to know more – all of those mean SOLUTION, CHANGE and HOPE. Thank you for being a part of that. I believe deep in my heart that Cannonball Kids’ cancer and others are changing the status quo – it is NO longer okay, it NEVER was.

Buy a shirt pretty please with a cherry on top.

All over the US is lighting up Gold for pediatric cancer awareness month in September and you can wear these shirts as a symbol that we are creating solutions TOGETHER.

https://www.customink.com/fundraising/nomoreoptions-campaign

Thankful For The Fight
Cannonball Kids’ cancer

Gratitude – Full Circle

In June of 2015, exactly three years ago, CKc Executive Director Melissa Wiggins and CKc Board Vice Chair Ashley VanDerMark traveled to Augusta, Ga., to present a check for $100,000 – every penny CKc had made in our first year as a non-profit. Our first grant was awarded to Dr. Theodore Johnson for a ground-breaking immunotherapy trial, and so much has happened since then! There are now 60+ children enrolled in the trial, including our buddy, Coulter. He was treated at several hospitals until there were no more options to save Coulter’s life. Then his parents found out about about this trial, which CKc helped fund! Now, three years later, Melissa got to visit with Coulter and his parents and see how the trial has so greatly impacted their family. Really amazing!

This video, provided by ecancer.org, shows Dr. Johnson discussing the progress of his immunotherapy trial. We are so proud of the work Dr. Johnson and his team are doing every day to make a difference for children fighting cancer.

We are also so proud of everyone who has helped CKc impact pediatric cancer in the way it has in just a few short years! We can’t make stories like this possible without your help! Thank YOU for supporting us with your donations, your confidence, your eagerness and your dedication to helping us change the future of pediatric cancer!

Elementary School Student Donates “$100,000″ to CKc

Last year, we launched our #NoMoreOptions campaign. CKc’s Education Director Kelly King was featured in the project, where she shared personal insight about the loss of her three-year-old son Nolan to hepatoblastoma, the most common form of liver cancer in children. Kelly and her family’s bravery and openness left an impression on so many people, including a young man named Chase, from Orlando.

Chase’s mom sent us this wonderful letter, and we just had to share it with you, our CKc warriors. Thank you, Chase, for recognizing children fighting cancer need our advocacy. We appreciate all our CKc warriors who help us in big ways, and small ways, to help spread the word about CKc and our mission!

I wanted to share a sweet story with you that shows the impact that Nolan continues to have in our lives, specifically Chase’s.

For math class, Chase’s teacher assigned a project where each child was given a million “imaginary” dollars. They had several things they had to do/buy with the money, including buy a house, a car and save four years of college tuition for a college of their choice. They also had to tithe 10% to their church and also donate to a charity of their choosing. Chase was so excited to go on Zillow to find his house and Carfax for his car. He sat at his laptop building his presentation and didn’t say much to me. And then he came and asked me, “Mom, what’s the name of that cancer charity that had the grant for Nolan? That’s who I’m donating to for my project.”

My heart melted. Unfortunately, it’s imaginary money. But he chose to buy a cheaper house and car so that he could donate $100,000 to Cannonball Kids’ cancer. Additionally, he took a moment during his PowerPoint presentation to tell everyone about what CKc does and why it’s important. And then urged them to give money for real, not just pretend. Many of the students remembered Nolan because they spent the year praying for him last year.

Nolan may have only been here three short years, but his impact is huge. I see it in my son who never had the opportunity to meet him and I see it in his classmates. I feel it in my own life. We will never forget your sweet boy and we will spread awareness about pediatric cancer whenever we can.

CKc Visits the Medical University of South Carolina

Michael and Melissa Wiggins, founders of Cannonball Kids’ cancer (CKc), recently met with Dr. Jacqueline Kraveka, an oncologist and associate professor at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), which has the only pediatric cancer research lab in the state.

Dr. Kraveka is a member of Beat Childhood Cancer, serving on the executive and scientific committees. Beat Childhood Cancer is a group of 40+ research centers and children’s hospitals, headquartered at the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Michigan, that offer an international network of childhood cancer clinical trials. The organization is chaired by Dr. Giselle Sholler, a recipient of a CKc-funded research grant.

Dr. Kraveka is most passionate about researching neuroblastoma and rhabdomyosarcoma and has several trials in development over the next year. CKc is carefully considering these trials as we look at funding additional research grants. Anca Dumitriu, the recently hired Survivorship Clinic Director, will have a follow-up meeting with the CKc team to discuss the potential for grant opportunities.

We look forward to growing this relationship and to the potential for funding new, innovative research. We will continue to keep you updated on these efforts.

CANNONBALL KIDS' CANCER FOUNDATION,
POST OFFICE BOX 547797
ORLANDO, FL 32854
(321) 325-5392
INFO@CANNONBALLKIDSCANCER.ORG

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