What is the mission of Max Cure Foundation (MCF)?
The Max Cure Foundation (MCF) is a 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to advancing cures for pediatric cancers, funding the development of less toxic treatments for children, including the funding of an immune cell therapy lab at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) dedicated to alternative treatments for children battling the disease. MCF provides low-income and military families who are battling pediatric cancer emotional and financial support, while seeking to inspire children with the disease to face it with courage and bravery.
Is Max Cure Foundation a Registered non-profit?
Yes, MCF is a Nationally Registered 501(c)(3).
How was Max Cure Foundation started?
In June 2007, following the diagnosis of four year old Max Plotkin of a race cancer, his family formed the Max Cure Fund at MSKCC for the purpose of underwriting an immune cell therapy laboratory dedicated to treating children and young adults who did not respond to standard chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Continuing their dedication to the fight against pediatric cancer, the Plotkin family formed the Max Cure Foundation in December of 2008.
What impact has Max Cure Foundation had on pediatric cancer?
To date, $1.1 million has been donated to research (the Fund at MSKCC has received $856,000). The immediate goal is to increase the amount contributed to $1 million, with a longer term goal of raising $5 million for the Max Cure Fund. As of 2013, of the 78 children and young adults who have been treated at the lab, 65% are either in remission or have shown signs of tumor regression. This new t-cell therapy treatment, which is being spearheaded by Dr. Richard O’Reilly, the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at MSKCC, has been limited to leukemia and lymphoma patients, but recently has shown signs that it may impact a form of brain cancer affecting children. MSKCC has created a t-cell bank which it shares with other hospitals. In addition, MCF has contributed $150,000 to Dr. Irwin Van Meir, researcher at Emory University in Atlanta seeking to find a cure for Ewing sarcoma (a rare form of cancer striking children and young adults) as part of two $100,000 collaborative grants with The Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation (SWCRF). MCF has also donated $42,000 to Dr. Oren Becher at Duke University Medical Center seeking to find a cure for what is currently an incurable brain cancer afflicting children known as Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). Other donations have likewise been made in the area of research.
How many families has Max Cure helped?
MCF currently has 47 families in its Roar Beyond Barriers program (RBB) who are located in 12 different states, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. There were 26 additional families assisted who were part of the program but are no longer involved. Five children passed away and twenty-one completed active treatment and are in remission. These families, when the child is in active treatment for cancer, are given gift cards from Target Stores each month, ranging between $100 and $500 for necessities such as food and clothing. We are assured by the families of children fighting this disease and the leaders at the cancer hospitals in each state that this program is resulting in an improved quality of life for the families.
How else does Max Cure help?
MCF also offers assistance to families within the RBB program with funeral related expenses if their child passes away from the disease. Of the 73 families in the RBB program, there have been five deaths, the last of which occurred in August 2013 of a 12-year-old boy from Brooklyn. The family signed contracts on the day the boy died with the funeral home ($2,750) and cemetery ($5,395) totaling $8,145. The family had little money – the mother did not speak English and did not work. The father was disabled and wheelchair bound. There are three other children. MCF was told by the cemetery that if it did not receive a bank check for the full amount, the hearse would be turned away. Through the effort of MCF and its supporters, MCF raised the necessary funds to cover the expenses of the funeral and more, allowing us to give the family extra monies in their time of mourning. As a result of this experience, MCF established the Angels Fund to assist families in the RBB program whose children pass away from the disease and need financial assistance with respect to funeral expenses.
Also, MCF has provided on occassion nutrients to the children in the form of fresh food and the supplement Ensure; has provided funds for the payment of utilities in the face of threats to terminate services; has provided funds for transportation to/from the hospitals and has also provided car service for such transportation; has given books and movies to be shown on an ipad to a child in paliative care until the child passed away from the disease; and has provided clothing to children in treatment and their siblings through a clothing drive for such purpose.
Who is Max
10 year old Max Plotkin was diagnosed with cancer the day before his fourth birthday. Today Max is a 6 year cancer survivor and the inspiration behind “Roar for a Cure” and the Max Cure Foundation.
What kind of cancer did Max have?
Max had a rare form of B-Cell Lymphoma, never before seen by the oncologists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The cancer had metastasized in his left knee and was considered stage 4. Max underwent two years of intense chemotherapy.
How can I find out more about Max Cure Foundation or Dunk Your Kicks?
You can visit us online at MaxCure.org and DunkYourKicks.org or follow us on social media.
How much money does Max Cure Foundation make from the sneakers?
The Max Cure Foundation will receive up to $1.00 per pair based on the quality of the sneakers collected.