Tag Archives: Dunk Your Kicks

Dunk Your Kicks at the Hamptons Marathon

IMG_0820The Max Cure Foundation is proud to announce that we will be teaming up with the Hamptons Marathon this year and the Bridgehampton Half Marathon in 2015. The Hamptons Marathon gives 100% of their proceeds to different charities each year, and Max Cure is thrilled to have been selected as one of them for this year’s race.

Considering that David Plotkin, Max Cure founder, spent his summers growing up in the Hamptons, and also that Max spent many days recuperating from treatment in Amagansett, we are especially excited to return to our founder’s roots, the site of where it all started for our foundation. We know that we will have an enormous amount of support from our followers in that area, in addition to the support of the Hamptons Marathon, which is very pleased to have us at their events.

The Hamptons Marathon has invited Max Cure and to collect sneakers for our Dunk Your Kicks initiative on their packet pickup days and on the race days. The Dunk Your Kicks program has been crucial to our efforts over the years, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to further expand those efforts at the races in September of this year and May of next.

Through the Dunk Your Kicks program, the Max Cure Foundation will collect used sneakers from participants at the race. For each pair of sneakers donated, The Max Cure Foundation will receive up to $1.00 from an international shoe recycler called Rethink Nation. The sneakers will then be sold by Rethink Nation at an affordable price in developing nations, saving the shoes from landfills and putting them to good use. The money Max Cure receives through Dunk Your Kicks goes towards funding research for innovative medical techniques to fight pediatric cancer, and also to low-income families of children with pediatric cancer, whom we help through our Roar Beyond the Barriers campaign.

The Hamptons Marathon will take place on September 27, 2014 in East Hampton, New York. There will also be a half marathon at the event, with a 5K. You can register for both the 5K and the Hamptons Marathon at their website, where you can also find directions to the race. Packet pickup dates for the Hamptons Marathon will take place on September 22 and 23 on 140 W 72nd Street in NYC, and on September 26 and 27 at the Spring School in East Hampton. There will also be a 5K on race day, as well as a half marathon in Bridgehampton, New York in May 2015.

We look forward to seeing Max Cure supporters at the Hamptons Marathon and Bridgehampton Half Marathon, where we hope to make yet another stride in our battle against pediatric cancer.

Dunk Your Kicks Comes Back to Wine Country

DYK at Santa Rosa Marathon

Start cleaning out your closets Santa Rosa because The Max Cure Foundation is coming to town with our signature Dunk Your Kicks campaign. We want to extend a roaring thank you to the team at The Santa Rosa Marathon for inviting Max Cure to have a booth during their expo and on race day, August 22nd through the 24th. The Santa Rosa Marathon’s Health and Fitness Expo will be held at the lovely DeLoach Vineyards will feature a variety of national and local vendors. Among those you will find our team of volunteers asking for your sneakers!

“When we met the Santa Rosa Marathon team we were welcomed to this event with open arms. The individuals who run this event could not be more supportive and we are lucky to be working with them,” said Max Cure Marketing Director, Erica Bailey.   “Our Dunk Your Kicks collections have been widely supported in California so far… Everyone we meet, like the Santa Rosa team, has gone above and beyond to get the message out and we are truly touched by their efforts.”

If you are running the in the marathon or a spectator at the event, take an extra bag with you and pack up your used sneakers and running shoes. Find the Max Cure Dunk Your Kicks booth and Dunk Your Kicks for pediatric cancer causes.

We look forward to seeing you there, taking a stand against pediatric cancer, one pair of sneakers at a time.

Az Brownie Troop Supports Max Cure Foundation

Author: Nicole Hopkins

dunk your kicksAs a new Brownie Troop leader (girls in grades 2 and 3) in the Southern Arizona Region (Troop 26), I wanted to really try and provide my girls with a “girl led” experience, and also introduce them to the idea of impacting a world beyond their immediate view. Additionally, I was interested in helping the girls get prepared for working on their Bronze, Silver and, eventually, their Gold awards; the highest awards that Girl Scouting offers. All of these awards have a component of community service involved.

The girls were all asked to think about the kinds of people they wanted to help, and why it was important to them. Thankfully, my group is small, so the ideas they had were narrowed down to the following:

  • They wanted to help homeless people by giving them food or clothing,
  • They wanted to help women and girls in third world countries,
  • They wanted to help sick kids.

My job, as their leader, was to help guide them to find ways we could accomplish these types of service projects. In my investigation, I was fortunate enough to have found some information about an upcoming Dunk Your Kicks event in Phoenix via Facebook (I am an aspiring runner, so my “ad” feed picked this up). Upon investigating what this event was about, I realized that our girls could accomplish ALL of their goals by sponsoring a Dunk Your Kicks event in Tucson…and we had a potential venue!

Every year, our Girl Scout Council hosts a “Thin Mint Sprint”, which is a 5K event whose proceeds help fund the scholarships which help other girls become Girl Scouts, as well as many council sponsored events through the year. I proposed the idea of having a Dunk Your Kicks event with the team at the Girl Scout Council, and they were fully on board.

GS BoothMy girls are now VERY excited about this project, and plan to leverage the skills they have learned by participating in Girl Scouts to spread the word and raise awareness about the Max Cure foundation and the goals this group has. As a troop, we have identified different stores that might let us collect shoes prior to the Thin Mint Sprint, and the girls plan to “pitch their plan” to store managers. The girls are also excited to share their experience with other troops, and hopefully help engage other troops in participating in the Dunk Your Kicks campaign, not only in Arizona, but possibly coast to coast. They have set a goal of collecting 5,000 pairs of shoes, and plan to donate half of their cookie proceeds to directly sponsor a local family identified by Max Cure.

Not only is the Max Cure Foundation helping families who struggle financially with an unimaginable burden of watching their child suffer with pediatric cancer,  they are also assisting my girls in learning about service, communication and organization skills and how to execute a project; skills that will help them become future leaders and individuals committed to making the world a better place.

Maine Camp Experience Brings Dunk Your Kicks to Camp… Again…

DYK at Maine Camp ExperienceThe Max Cure Foundation is proud to announce that Maine Camp Experience (MCE) has invited us to bring Dunk Your Kicks back to their summer camps. Last summer, we collected well over 1,000 pairs of sneakers at the participating camps and look forward to exceeding that number this summer. We want to extend a roaring thank you to Maine Camp Experience and Laurie Kaiden, who is The Maine Guide who provides personalized assistance to families who want to find the best camp match for their kids. Laurie has been an ambassador going above and beyond to support The Max Cure Foundation and our Dunk Your Kicks campaign.

This year, in addition to collections, MCE is hosting an art contest where kids can win a chance to have their art featured on Dunk Your Kicks drop boxes at participating camps.  Learn more about how you can get involved in this fun contest by following this link. Donated sneakers from all camp families will be collected at MCE camps. MCE is reaching out to campers and their parents encouraging them to clean out their closets and pack old sneakers and be prepared to Dunk Your Kicks!

David Plotkin, Max Cure Chairman, will again be visiting several of the camps to interact with and educate campers as well as staff about the impact their philanthropic actions will have on the environment, those less fortunate in developing nations as well as pediatric cancer causes. Last summer David visited eight camps and this year we are thrilled that MCE has added more camp visits to the schedule.  Starting July 15th David will be visiting camps Kohut, Laurel, Nashoba North, Skylemar, Tripp Lake and Wekeela. Additional MCE camps will be bringing some of their campers to these Dunk Your Kicks events, too. We are honored to be invited back and look forward to an encouraging and philanthropic week! Here is a short video clip from last year’s collaboration.

Maine Camp Experience (MCE) is a community of 33 premier Maine sleepaway camps and is a comprehensive camp-planning resource.  Maine Camp Experience camps provide kids with the perfect combination of natural beauty, strong traditions and values, and top-notch instruction and activities. We are honored to be invited back and be among these amazing Camp Directors and the kids.

Again this summer, Camp Trucking, a preferred MCE business member, as well as Camp Baggage, an MCE business member, have generously agreed to help collect and transport the sneakers. Additional “kicks” donation opportunities are available throughout the summer, including Visiting Day and at summer’s end so get ready to clean out your closets and take a stand against pediatric cancer one #dunk at a time.

StartLine Racing Supports Arizona Families Battling Pediatric Cancer

Dunk Your Kicks ArizonaThe Max Cure Foundation, a non-profit pediatric cancer foundation, is excited to announce that StartLine Racing, an Arizona Race Event company, has joined our ‘Roar’ to help support the Arizona Roar Beyond Barriers program. StartLine Racing was created to give every runner the best possible Race Day experience every time, while supporting different philanthropic causes and now you can Dunk Your Kicks for pediatric cancer causes at any participating StartLine Racing event.

Donate your kicks (sneakers) after the races and let others less fortunate “walk a mile in your shoes.” By donating your sneakers after the races and making them part of the affordable clothing market in emerging market countries, you are helping the environment by keeping them out of landfills, offering individuals in developing nations the opportunity to have sneakers at affordable prices, while, through the Max Cure Foundation Roar Beyond Barrier Program, providing financial support to local low-income families who have children battling pediatric cancers.

StartLine Racing has chosen The Max Cure Foundation as its featured charity for the “Going the Distance Marathon / Half Marathon” at Rio Vista Park in Peoria on April 19th. In addition, It is planning a Dunk Your Kicks 5k / 10k event in September 2014, which is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, which will benefit the foundation’s  Arizona Roar Beyond Barriers program. Sign up today and take a stand against pediatric cancer, one mile at a time. Click here to register.

Who Will This Support

The Max Cure Foundation currently has two families in the Arizona Roar Beyond Barriers program being treated at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Buddy, age 6, and Maurice, age 9, are both battling forms of brain cancer and come from single parent homes. With the monies raised, the Max Cure Foundation will provide these families, and hopefully others in Arizona, with monthly Target gift cards during the time the children are in active cancer treatment to purchase necessities such as food and clothing.  Thanks to Startline Racing and its support of the Dunk Your Kicks Campaign, the foundation is hopeful it will be able to add to the program additional Arizona families facing a parent’s worst nightmare, a child with cancer.

We want to extend a Roaring Thank You to our newest Dunk Your Kicks ambassadors in Arizona, Jaime Chisholm and Ginny Corsbie who introduced The Max Cure Foundation to StartLine Racing and began this tremendous adventure. They are also organizing the Dunk Your Kicks 5k / 10k race in September, referenced above, to raise awareness and money for pediatric cancer causes.

See below for a complete list of StartLine Racing’s upcoming events where you can Dunk Your Kicks for pediatric cancer causes. Together we will Roar for a Cure until one is found.

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Dunk Your Kicks is brought to you by The Max Cure Foundation courtesy of Rethink Nation, LLC, An international recycler which collects the sneakers and donates a portion of the proceeds it receives from those to whom the sneakers are sold to the foundation for facilitating such collection.

Honeywell Brings Dunk Your Kicks Back to Arizona

The Max Cure Foundation launched its Roar Beyond Barriers Arizona program at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in October of 2013. Max Cure ambassadors brought Dunk Your Kicks to Arizona by getting the Arizona State University Sun Devil Club, Audio Express and other local businesses and community organizations involved. The monies raised from the sneaker collections in Arizona go towards supporting a 5-year-old and a 9-year-old boy, both from single parent homes and both battling different forms of brain cancer.

We are thrilled to announce that Honeywell’s Phoenix and Tempe Wellness Center locations will be keeping the Arizona Roar Beyond Barriers program alive through their support. Honeywell employees can now clean out their closets of used sneakers and “Dunk Your Kicks” for pediatric cancer causes on their way to work. We were impressed to hear that the organization has been collecting sneakers for over four years and recycling them to better the planet overall. When we told them how Max Cure can take these sneakers and make a difference not only for the planet, but people in developing nations, and families battling pediatric cancer, their support was almost immediate. There are donation boxes located at the Honeywell Wellness Centers in both Phoenix and Tempe locations.

IMG_0428“At the Honeywell Health & Wellness Center, we make sure our members replace their kicks on a regular basis to avoid injuries and provide optimal support for their workout. So instead of just throwing those shoes away several times a year we were looking for a place we could donate them instead and found Dunk Your Kicks. What a great cause! So instead of just filling up landfills we feel it is much more beneficial for us to donate those old shoes in order to help families with children battling cancer.” Says Cheri Fisher, Honeywell Health and Wellness Center’s Program Director.

The Max Cure Foundation would also like to give a special shout out to our Arizona Dunk Your Kicks Ambassador, Serena Knierim, who was a key factor in Honeywell learning about The Max Cure Foundation’s Dunk Your Kicks campaign.

Dunk Your Kicks at the Ultimate Sneaker Expo

The Max Cure Foundation is excited to announce it has become the official beneficiary of the Ultimate Sneaker Expo in Syosset, NY on April 26, 2014, and will be collecting new and used sneakers to raise money for pediatric cancer research and to assist families battling the disease in their children. Trade and sell your prized collections and Dunk Your Kicks at Long Island’s largest sneaker and lifestyle apparel show featuring top vendors, brands, collectors and retailers while supporting pediatric cancer causes.

Ultimate Sneaker Ex#36F5967 (3)The Ultimate Sneaker Expo event takes place at Ultimate 575, a sports complex boasting over 20,000 Square Feet of Space with 200+ Exclusive vendors and 4000+ attendees all under one roof. In addition to exclusive vendors and sneaker trading there will be a wide array of giveaways, courtesy of the VIP sponsors. The event will also feature an all-star entertainment roster including DJ Bobby Trends (Hot 97), Ted Smooth, DJ Fatfingaz and Marco Glorious (Wendy Williams Show) among others.

Event Partners include DJ Clark Kent, Sharad & Manu of SM Event Group, and Michael Siegal of Ultimate 575 who collectively share a passion for sneakers and events. The Max Cure Foundation was introduced to the Ultimate Sneaker Expo by way of Dunk Your Kicks Ambassador and Max Cure Chair, Jen Boudin, who simply had an idea, took a shot, and a philanthropic relationship was born.

A substantial portion of the proceeds from the sale of the sneakers will be used by Max Cure Foundation to help underwrite an immune T Cell laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to treat children and young adults that had not responded to standard treatments. Along with it Roar Beyond Barriers program to financially support low income and military families whose children have cancer.

You can stop by one of the supporting retailers between March 1st and April 25th and drop off your Kicks before the show, or Dunk Your Kicks at the show and you will skip the line! Make sure to visit the Max Cure booth and say “hi” to our team of youth volunteers.

General Admission Tickets:
$20.00 per ticket and allow entry for a single individual and are permitted to bring up to three (3) pairs of sneakers to trade or sell. (Additional sneakers are $5 per pair and will be charged at the door).

DJ Clark Kent VIP Admission Tickets:
$50.00 per ticket and there will be no line, no wait, and you will be able to personally meet famed Producer/ DJ / Sneaker Head Clark Kent and take a picture with him on the red carpet! You will also receive a VIP gift bag courtesy of Ultimate Sneaker Expo! VIP Ticket holders will be called to meet Clark Kent from 2-4pm. VIP ticket holders have all the benefits of a General Admission Ticket as well.

Supporting Retailers:

Follow this link to purchase your tickets or click on the graphic below and take a stand against pediatric cancer one “Dunk” at a time.

Ultimate Sneaker Ex#36F2B2D (3)

Dunk Your Kicks Comes to the San Luis Obispo Marathon in Memory of Sam

Every individual or family deals with loss differently. A few months ago, The Max Cure Foundation received a message on Facebook from a Mother asking if we could bring Dunk Your Kicks to the San Luis Obispo Marathon in April. We were thrilled to receive such an invitation and inspired by this woman’s efforts to make a difference in the fight against pediatric cancer. Little did we know at the time, this Mother lost her 8 year-old son, Sam, to cancer on October 20, 2013.

SamSam was diagnosed with brain cancer in September, 2012, 13 months prior to his passing. Sam’s life before then was normal and happy, until almost overnight Sam started feeling funny, falling down, and having seizures. Sam’s parents got him the medical attention he needed right away and the roller coaster started from that moment. The family was told through chemotherapy and radiation treatments developed for adults, he may be able to survive.

From September to April Sam continued these treatments, and then in May of 2013, Sam’s family was told that “radiation and chemotherapy were no longer an option because the tumors were too massive and were located in the portion of the brain which would result in too much collateral damage. There were no clinical trials open for this particular type of tumor.” Again, their worst fears were realized, they are told to prepare for the loss of their son. How many times do parents need to hear there is nothing that can be done for their child before funding for research for pediatric cancer drugs is substantially increased?

SamSam’s Mom writes a blog entitled “Enough For Now” as part of her healing and coping methods. She shares Sam’s story from beginning to end, but in one particular post, she wrote something that moved us. “Perhaps the treatments he received in the first 7 months did some good. Maybe the thing was at least slowed down. Sam’s quality of life was excellent up until late May. We felt pretty normal most of the time. I had moments of doubt and fear, but I had hope too. I constantly replayed the words of the nurse practitioner on Sam’s team: in the 20 years she worked in the brain tumor program they only lost 2 kids to tumor growth. It’ll be 3 now.”

Although Sam lost his battle, his family has refused to stop fighting the war. From pancake breakfasts to Lemonade and Love, Sam’s family and friends have done what they can to raise money for research so that one day we can find a cure, and no more “Sams” of the world will be lost. This time they are bringing The Max Cure Foundation’s Dunk Your Kicks campaign to California in a big way.

Max Cure Foundation collects used sneakers, and with the help of an international recycler, the sneakers are then sold as affordable footwear in developing nations. A portion of the monies raised from the sale of these sneakers will go to the Max Cure Fund which underwrites a laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center which treats children and young adults who have not responded to standard cancer treatments. The results to date have been extraordinary. We hope to one day fund the research that provides a cure.

So clean out your closets California and Dunk Your Kicks at the San Luis Obispo Marathon on April 25th through the 27th! Take a stand against pediatric cancer, one “Dunk” at a time.

San Luis Obispo Marathon

13-Year-Old Raises $1,200 for Pediatric Cancer in Liu of Birthday Gifts

Pediatric Cancer Kids Helping KidsCharitable giving and philanthropy is a difficult concept to teach children and young adults. Face it, learning to share is a difficult milestone to reach, but giving one’s time and money to benefit others they don’t know, is in fact a hard concept to grasp, especially at a young age. However, one young girl in California clearly understands the good that can come out of personal sacrifice for others.

Rosie just celebrated her 13th birthday. The 13th birthday is special for young girls. It is the year where most girls are unwrapping make-up and new clothes and preparing for their first year as a teenager. Instead, Rosie was unwrapping donations and gift cards for The Max Cure Foundation.  In total, Rosie collected $600 in gift cards and donations which her family matched, bringing the final total to $1,200.

Max Cure often receives requests from parents wanting to get their children involved in our Dunk Your Kicks campaign, where they collect used sneakers on behalf of the Foundation. The sneakers are then sold as affordable footwear in developing nations, with a percentage of the proceeds going to financially support low-income and military families who have a child battling pediatric cancer. These families are part of the Roar Beyond Barriers program. Yet, Rosie’s independent actions show that when given the opportunity to be inspired, children and young adults can do amazing things.

From all of us at The Max Cure Foundation, we believe that both Rosie and her family are an inspiration to others. We hope the story Rosie’s selfless act reaches the newsfeeds of others who read this blog, and who are motivated to take action for a cause near to their hearts. We know that Rosie received more joy this year on her birthday because of the good that she did than any mountain of gifts could have provided.

If you would like to learn more about how your child or family can support the Max Cure Foundation please feel free to contact us here, or fill out the form on this page to bring Dunk Your Kicks to your community or business.

Max Cure Friend Brightens Smiles on Christmas

Pediatric cancerRichard Plotkin, Vice Chairman of The Max Cure Foundation (MCF) visited one of the Roar Beyond Barriers, NYC, families during the holidays at their new home on Staten Island.  The Christmas tree was decorated with festive and religious ornaments, signaling the joy and serenity of this holiday season and the hope along with the anticipated prosperity for the year ahead.  Grace, age 9, had made the paper snowflake hanging from the ceiling over the tree. Her proud parents were all smiles as MCF brought gifts donated by a friend (who has requested to remain anonymous) of Max Cure Foundation for Grace and Nikki, her 8 year-old sister.

american girl dollThe presents, which were placed under the tree, included two gift certificates to American Girl Doll’s Manhattan store to allow Grace and Nikki to purchase two American Girl dolls, and outfits. The friend of MCF facilitated for Grace and Nikki the dream of many young girls to take their American Girl dolls to the retail store for the experience of a lifetime. Grace is anxious to be the “make – believe mother” of her special doll, who she will proudly name when she gets to the store, looking into her doll’s eyes with the love and emotion she will hopefully someday experience as a “real life” mother.

Nikki on the other hand will not be able to look into her doll’s eyes with the same expectations and hope. Nikki is blind and she has brain cancer. Indeed, no one knows what the year ahead will bring for Nikki or if she will ever experience the joy of motherhood that awaits Grace. Nikki for years has been battling this horrific disease that robbed her of her sight and continues to take her childhood, and potentially her future. Since May, 2012, this family has been part of the Max Cure Foundation Roar Beyond Barriers program in New York City which financially assists low income families battling childhood cancers.

The friend of MCF heard of the family’s situation and wanted to give the girls special Christmas gifts.  The family has received and continues to receive gift cards each month from MCF to be used at a local Target Store to purchase food and other necessities. The New York City program assists families being treated at NYU Cancer Institute, NYU Langone Medical Center, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  This program in New York City is supported by PNC Foundation with annual grants of $25,000, having been given to MCF since the launch of the program in 2011.  The Roar Beyond Barriers program currently assists over 40 low income and military families from around the country who are battling cancer in their children, with over 15 additional families having been part of the program since its inception. Of the 15 children in the latter families they have either gone into remission or passed away. 

Until last year, Grace and Nikki’s family lived in a basement apartment on Staten Island. Nikki, who is wheelchair bound had a very difficult time. Hence, they were forced to move into an apartment with wheelchair access.  Having a hard time finding a suitable apartment that would accommodate a wheelchair, this family called upon The Max Cure Foundation for advice and guidance.  Max Cure Foundation made a phone call to a prospective landlord, who, following that call entered into a lease with the family for their current apartment. When asked in an interview about what MCF means to them, the father replied, “We cannot thank MCF enough for everything they have done for us! The money I make goes towards bills. It is hard and so frustrating. We just barely make ends meet. I get paid bi-weekly, so that is extremely hard.  Again, thank you so much for everything.”

After visiting with the family over the holidays, Richard stated “I can truly say that my visit this past weekend with Nikki, Grace and their parents underscored for me the truism – It is better to give than to receive.”

Match a DunkThe Roar Beyond Barriers program has done remarkable things for these families and will continue to do so with your help! Donate today by “Matching a Dunk” online or you can mail your donation to:

The Max Cure Foundation
1350 Avenue of the Americas
2nd. Floor
New York, NY 10019

#DunkYourKicks and #RoarForACure

Pediatric Cancer | Significant Cycles or Stages

There are four significant cycles or stages in childhood cancer. The four cycles are: Healthy with no sign of cancer, Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment, then Survival, and back to Healthy. Notice that I did not use the term “cured.” “Cured” is not a term that is used much in the childhood cancer community.

max after treatmentEvery day, 36 children like Max (of Max Cure) randomly fall into the battle with cancer. For the most part, childhood cancer, unlike some adult cancers, is not preventable. No one has actually found the cause.  Many people chalk it up to a cell division lotto where a single cell divides incorrectly during the normal process of cell division that takes place millions and millions of times in a child every day. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) explains it this way, “Environmental causes of childhood cancer have long been suspected by many scientists but have been difficult to pin down, partly because cancer in children is rare and because it is difficult to identify past exposure levels in children, particularly during potentially important periods such as pregnancy or even prior to conception. In addition, each of the distinctive types of childhood cancers develops differently—with a potentially wide variety of causes and a unique clinical course in terms of age, race, gender, and many other factors.”

For each child diagnosed, all energies, efforts, and treatments are focused on beating the cancer and having that child survive. Let’s examine survival and what happens when a child is successful in fighting cancer.

Pediatric Cancer SurvivorshipWhen it comes to childhood cancer, and the treatment process, the truth is that not everyone gets to go home, most that do survive will never be completely healthy, and before it’s over, many families will suffer tremendous financial hardships. The average hospital bill for children with cancer is approximately $40,000 per day for each day of hospital confinement.

For the purposes of this conversation, let’s follow into the future an average group of 36 kids, ages 5 days old to 15 years, who were diagnosed today.  Thirty-six kids in the United States are diagnosed each and every day of the year. Using known statistics, we can look into their future for the next thirty years of their lives.

pediatric leukemiaTwelve to fourteen, one third of our 36 kids may be trying to survive a form of blood cancer. Leukemia is the one most people know about. The most common type of leukemia in children is acute lymphoblastic leukemia(ALL).  This type has the highest survival rate of about 90%. NCI defines it as, “an aggressive (fast-growing) type of leukemia (blood cancer) in which too many lymphoblasts (immature white blood cells) are found in the blood and bone marrow.” Lymphomas are another type of blood cancer. This type of blood cancer actually forms a tumor.  The most common is intermediate (aggressive) and high-grade lymphomas.  While they are fast growing, they respond the best to intensive chemotherapy.

Six to eight of our study group may have brain tumors.  The most common solid tumors are brain-tumors such as gliomas and medulloblastomas. Brain tumors are the most difficult to cure. Radiation to a child’s brain can significantly damage cognitive function, or if radiation is given at a very young age, it will limit their ability to read, do basic math, tell time or even talk.  DIPG which kills 99% of its mostly five to nine year old victims, will claim at least one of this group of 36. The average survival is only nine to ten months from diagnosis. Eight to ten children may have other solid tumors known as neuroblastomas  (attached to the nervous system), Wilms tumors (kidney), and sarcomas such as rhabdomyosarcoma (soft tissue, muscle), Ewings sarcoma, and osteosarcoma (bone) which is less common.

Most, if not all, of the 36 kids will receive some type of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery. You hear people talk about cutting, burning and poisoning our kids in order to try and save them. Parents don’t know what to do. Most feel so guilty using the only known cures available, but continue on in hopes that they will beat the odds.  Advances are being made to develop less toxic treatments to improve the long-term outcomes of children with cancer.  We need to advocate for more funds to be made available to bring fully researched and promising, but underfunded, therapies to clinical trials.  We also need to promote genomic sequencing research for the purpose of developing personalized treatment protocols (precision medicine) and in diagnostics for early detection.  Particularly in these economic times, we need to continue to let our lawmakers know the needs of our children.  Please consider writing your representatives.

A large number of children will require a Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) and it has its own set of adversities with which survivors will have to live.  One problem with the BMT is that it may cause deafness depending on the age and circumstances of the treatment.  We have no other choice but to follow the best path our oncologist recommends.

What Might Survival Look Like?

survivalchartNow, that we have some idea of the make up of this group and what cancers they will encounter, it’s time to look at their futures.  Keep in mind that this is a daily group of US children we are watching, a new group, similar to this one, appears in hospitals in the US each and every day, 365 days a year. So what will happen to these children?

fivedieFive of our 36 children will die within a few months to within five years of diagnosis.  Some enter the hospital and never return.  They die from the cancer and/or from the treatment itself. Five more will die in 6 to 30 years.  Often, they develop a second type of cancer caused by the treatment they received with the first cancer. Sometimes the same cancer returns, but always with a vengeance.  It is estimated that children in the above two groups (10 to 13 children) lost 67 years of life each, compared to 16 years of life for breast cancer victims which is more publicized and much more highly funded.

sevensurviveSeven of the original 36 children will survive at least 30 years, but will suffer life-threatening or disabling chronic health problems. Heart transplant, cardiac arrest, kidney transplant, and cognitive deficit disorders are just a few of the many serious health problems in this group.

Nine will survive at least 30 years, but will suffer mild or moderate chronic health conditions. Infertility, asthma, immune deficiency disorders, vision problems, memory issues, fatigue, hearing loss, depression, and other moderate health issues will be affecting this group of survivors.

tensurvive1Only ten of the thirty-six will survive at least 30 years and will not suffer chronic health conditions. The average age of this group is only 38. Keep in mind that if a child was two years of age at the time of diagnosis, they would only be thirty two and would still have plenty of time for a chance of major health issues occurring that could be tied to their cancer treatment.

First of all, let me acknowledge that any parent of a child lost to cancer would consider all the rest of the childhood cancer survivors as being lucky compared to their unimaginable loss, and I would have to agree with them.  However, when you consider what each of the survivors goes through over their short lifetimes and the fact that they constantly live in the shadow of cancer’s return and will continue to do so for the rest of their lives, it is much too difficult for the writer to label any of them, or any other child affected by cancer, as being lucky or “cured.”

Author: Joe Baber

Joe is a retired retail executive whose Grandson battled high risk neuroblastoma and is currently a six year survivor. Joe is now an advocate for all children and families battling pediatric cancer in an effort to increase the awareness of cancer in children, adolescents and young adults.

The only way to change this is to find less toxic treatments for our children battling pediatric cancer, and ultimately find a cure for each of the 16 different types of pediatric cancer. Support the research needed to give our children a chance! Donate today!

Meet Mia | She Helped Inspire Roar Beyond Barriers

Pediatric Cancer

Shreveport Louisiana: Mia, like many kids, has never had anything more than a cold or the flu during the first 8 years of her life. When she had symptoms of what was thought to be the flu, her family  took her to see the pediatrician. The flu was indeed ruled out but, blood work pointed to a virus. Another week went by, and symptoms were the same. Three weeks came and went, and  she got a small cut on her hand. Within 24 hours, that cut became infected.  Although her hand started to heal, Mia still felt achy and feverish. It was at this point her parents noticed her stomach starting to swell from internal pressure. On April 14th, 2011, approximately 4 weeks later, they took yet another visit to see her pediatrician; one which  changed their lives forever. They were immediately sent to LSUHSC in Shreveport, Louisiana. Mia, just 8 years old at the time,  was diagnosed with leukemia.

Mia Troquille

On April 15th, 2011 Mia and her mother, Christie Barnes, were flown to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. The days became weeks, which turned to long months filled with intense chemotherapy, and sleepless nights. Although, they were hopeful, there were many moments blanketed by fear.  Sometimes in life,  even in the darkest of moments there are small glimpses of light, even if just for a moment. That light coupled with a strong faith and strength from within, Mia, and her family powered through with courage and bravery.

Mia2It was in the beginning of Mia’s treatment when she and I first met. I was in Shrevport, Louisiana planning the launch of our first Dunk Your Kicks Event outside the Tri-State Area, with local friends Sonja Bailes, and Ken Ash.  I passed through security, and headed towards the gate, on my way home to Manhattan. As I approached the gate,  I noticed a mother sitting off in the corner with her daughter. Her daughter had a mask on her face, protecting her from germs. She was hairless. I knew instantly that they were off to St. Judes. I sat down next to the mom, even though there were at least 50 open seats available in the waiting area. I gave her my card, and said if there was anything that she needed to please give me a call. I got up and sat on the other side of the seating area to give them their space. My guess was that  they were not up for small talk, especially from  a random “Yankee” like myself. To my surprise, weeks later I received a call from Christie Barnes, Mia’s mom. Mia was one of the very first children to be in our Roar Beyond Barriers Program.

Mia Troquille_in treatment (3)

It has been 2 1/2 years since Mia was diagnosed with leukemia. Like all leukemia patients, Mia succumbed to the harsh side effects brought on by the treatments. She lost her hair, she gained weight, was pale and nauseous most days, vomiting often in the middle of the night. Her life was far different from her friends and their families. Many times her white blood cell counts were so low, and her fever ran high, she was forced to make late night visits to the urgent care unit. I can remember when Max’s fever would run north of 102 and his counts were low. We bundled him up, put him in a stroller and I ran down 68th street on the Upper East Side to the Urgent Care Unit at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center. Those were long and painful nights.

Happily, two weeks ago Mia finished her last round of chemotherapy. This was the best early Christmas present she and her family could ever have hoped to receive. Today Mia, is cancer free, which means today is a great day. Tomorrow is a new day of hope, and the following day is one step further away from the cancer that poisoned Mia, and the harsh memories of the past 2 1/2 years. One never knows how much our children will remember of the tough times. As parents, we hope it wont hold them back,  as they strive for greatness, and live the life they deserve. Perhaps, for many of the children who fought the battle of cancer and survived, will be better prepared  for life and its challenges. For the siblings and the family members of children who were not fortunate to survive, I hope they too will be stronger. There is so much to this disease that I will never understand. These innocent children get drafted to fight a war they never signed up for. Many do survive, but too many don’t. For me,   the words “it’s malignant” still echo in my ear every day. Walk one city block in the shoes of a parent who has a child battling cancer, and all the other stuff in your life becomes just “stuff”.

As parents of a pediatric cancer survivor, life is never the same.  We never know if the cancer will come back, nor will we know the side effects from the chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is like a tsunami and it takes out everything in it’s path. We hope the flowers will one day grow again, and pray the weeds don’t come back.

Mia Troquille after treatment

Learning that Mia successfully completed her treatment, and is in remission today, hits home to me personally. Of the 60 plus families across the country which we have helped and who is currently in our program, I don’t have the opportunity to meet most of them. But, Mia and her mom invited me to Shrevport, Louisiana back in spring of 2012 to bring Dunk Your Kicks to  Bossier Parish. I introduced the community to The Max Cure Foundation, and our mission. It was a roaring success, and we even made it to the State Fair in November.

Now that Mia is no longer on treatment, she and her family can try and get back to life as they once knew it.  Every time I approach a gate in any airport, I think of Mia and her mom, and how pediatric cancer does not discriminate. It can come into ones home at any given time, whether living in Manhattan or in Shrevport, Louisiana. It doesn’t care about the color of your skin, how much money you have, or who you know. I learned that for Mia’s Make A Wish Experience, she wants to visit New York City this summer. I promised her mom that with Max, we will take her to one of our favorite NYC Restaurants. On behalf of The Max Cure Foundation, I would like to give three ROARS for Mia. We will Roar for a Cure until one is found. – David Plotkin

Dunk Your Kicks Special Forces Team | The Boudin Family

Boudin Family

Max Cure Foundation met the Boudin family on Twitter when we saw Emma at camp donating her sneakers. The conversation started and the support we have received from this family has been tremendous! Today we pay tribute to the Boudin family for their heroism in taking a stand against pediatric cancer!

“Never a dull moment with The Boudin Family; life in our house is always interesting.” 13 year old daughter Emma, is artsy and creative. She looks at the world with a unique perspective and loves to make people laugh. Emma is a serious vocalist who just had her recording debut in June! Jesse is 12 years old and is a leader and communicator. He enjoys getting to know people. Jesse was born to be a rockstar drummer; his drumsticks are always in hand ready to jam. Together this family embraces living life to the fullest.

The Boudin’s believe in the philosophy “the power of one”… teaching their children that all it takes is one person to make a difference in the world. They talk about importance of philanthropy, random acts of kindness, karma, and giving back to the community. Jen Boudin, the children’s Mother, told Max Cure, “When Emma, learned of the Max Cure Foundation she grabbed a pair of old kicks before she ran off to camp and dunked them!” Through a series of tweets, including a link to Emma and her music and a picture of her “DUNKING HER KICKS,” the Boudin family became Dunk Your Kicks ambassadors! Jen states her immediate feeling about the campaign was, “What a fabulous way for our community to come together!”

bag of kicksDunk Your Kicks, is a concrete, tangible way for our students and families to raise funds with no selling, to save the lives of children, the lives of the sneakers, and some of the life of our planet!  With the children merging back into our lives after sleep-away camp, and back to school shopping around the corner, Jen approached the owners of Tyler Hill Camp, with a positive and productive way to get rid of those muddy, post-camp sneakers, and the sneakers that our children have grown out of. THC jumped on the Max Cure bandwagon…. (thanks Wendy and Andy!)”

Boudin Kids With Logo“We have raised awareness about their program and brought Dunk Your Kicks to many locations like: our camp Tyler Hill, our neighborhood in Melville, and our middle school. For at least 4 weeks we had a bucket full of sneakers on my front porch. I believe we helped collect at least 750 pairs of sneakers. Our Mitzvah, and act of tzedukah, is understanding that giving back, is not a one time deal, it’s a lifetime commitment. Tikkun Olam is a philosophy that represents my household. To repair the world… that is what Tikkun Olam means. Being a Good Jew, really means being a good person. We don’t have to just give to one cause. A random act of kindness, in any form that makes you feel fulfilled, can change someone’s life. When you feel called to action, follow your heart. Many people dedicate themselves to one project, but my family and I feel that in order to repair the world you, it’s important to spread the love wherever it is needed.” – Emma Boudin

Max Cure Foundation Brings Dunk Your Kicks to Arizona

Phoenix Arizona – Arizona families battling pediatric cancer just received a helping hand.
The Max Cure Foundation, a national non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating pediatric cancer, recently brought its Dunk Your Kicks program to the desert. Dunk Your Kicks is a unique fundraising initiative that asks people to donate their used sneakers in lieu of money. The used sneakers are refurbished and then sold in developing nations as affordable footwear. A substantial portion of the monies MCF receives by the sale of these “kicks”, goes towards it’s mission, which includes assisting local low income families and military families who have a child battling cancer.

Pediatric CancerThis was Max Cure’s first campaign in Arizona, and the community response was overwhelming. The Phoenix Children’s Hospital helped to identify two families that could use the additional support. Buddy is 5 years old and suffers from Medulloblastom, a high grade brain tumor. Buddy was diagnosed in 2011 at the age of 3, and has undergone surgery and several rounds of treatment in an attempt to remove the cancer. Maurice, age 9, also suffers from a Fibrillary Astrocytoma brain tumor, along with Nf1, a hereditary disease that causes tumors along the nervous system. Both children come from single parent homes with other siblings. MCF is currently working on securing a third family for the Arizona campaign.

Several Arizona businesses joined in the effort donating time and space to help set up and host Dunk Your Kicks Collection Bins. Arizona businesses that helped with the cause include; Audio Express, Fidelity National Title, Fix 24 Chiropractic, Southwest Women’s Care, Firehouse Tempe, and Cactus Sports. We received local media support from Speak of the Devils Podcast, Health2Fit.com, The Phoenix New Times, the SanTan Sun News, Fox 10 News and NBC Channel 12.

Dunk Your KicksArizona State University also jumped at the chance to help local children and their families fighting cancer. The Sun Devil Club, Arizona State’s booster organization partnered with the Max Cure Foundation to help spread the word about the Dunk Your Kicks campaign throughout the Sun Devil community of nearly 76,000 students and over 360,000 alumni. Additionally the Sun Devil Club hosted the Max Cure Foundation at the annual Territorial Cup football game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and their rival, the Arizona Wildcats. Donation booths were set up at both entrances to Sun Devil stadium and volunteers collected sneakers throughout the game.

“The support from ASU and the entire Arizona community was amazing,” said David Plotkin, founder of the Max Cure Foundation. “This was our first experience in Arizona, and thanks to the effort and involvement of the community I can confidently say it won’t be our last.”

The Dunk Your Kicks Arizona campaign ran from October to December. If you didn’t have the chance to donate your gently used sneakers during the campaign but would still like to make a difference, you can donate online at the DunkYourKicks.org website by selecting the “Match a Dunk” option. Your donation will go to help support local families in your area and help the Max Cure Foundation come one step closer to a cure.

Dunk Your Kicks | What Your Kids Learned At Camp This Year

Camp Runoia

We want to give a #Roaring Thank You to Maine Camp Experience for taking our Dunk Your Kicks program to an entirely new level this year! We had some amazing support both with the number of sneakers The Max Cure Foundation received from the many camps at Maine Camp Experience. Although collecting sneakers was the objective, we did not expect to get the response we did after camp with families from coast to coast showing interest in bringing Dunk Your Kicks to their community. We feel as though we sent the campers home with some valuable life lessons. You can click here to read the full article: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11214779.htm

Meet Lexi | The Faces of Pediatric Cancer

Max Cure KidsMy name is Alexandra (Lexi) Medina and I am 7 years old.  Back in August of 2011, the day before I was supposed to start 1st grade, I was diagnosed with Leukemia (ALL, a cancer of the blood).  I found out I had this disease because a couple weeks before my diagnosis, I was playing outside with my little cousins when I fell down and got a scratch on my arm.  By the end of the weekend, that scratch turned into a very large, infected wound on my arm.  Other symptoms I had were loss of appetite, fevers for no reason, no energy and tired all the time.  I was brought to the doctor and they did blood work.  My pediatrician confirmed my diagnosis and I started treatment at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) the day I was supposed to start school.  I lost my hair from some of the chemotherapy, but it is coming back now.  It’s beautiful!! I just recently went back to school, after having a tutor since the beginning of my diagnosis.  I still have the tutor for the days I don’t feel well, but am happy to be back with my friends.  Sometimes I have to stay in the hospital for a long time when my blood counts are low and I get a high fever.  I have received blood transfusions and platelet transfusions too.  I also get spinal taps every few months at the hematology clinic.  I have met a lot of cool kids there.   Even though I am now in remission,  I will be continuing chemotherapy and treatment at CCMC until November 7th of this year.  I can’t wait to take that last chemo pill!!!!!

 

This Weekend at Six Flags, NJ: Donate Your Child’s Old Sneakers to help Cure Cancer

This weekend, on June 15th, kick off those muddy sneakers and give back to the community. The Max Cure Foundation is partnering up with The Survival Race—at Six Flags in New Jersey—to help fight pediatric cancer with their Dunk Your Kicks campaign. Their goal is to collect 500,000 pairs of sneakers nationwide. Read More… Continue reading »