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CureSearch Walk Supports Childhood Cancer Research

Fairfax Corner took steps towards overcoming childhood cancer.

Balloons are launched during the 2011 Northern Virginia CureSearch Walk. Cancer walks raise funds and awareness for children with cancer and provide a platform of community support for children and their families.

Balloons are launched during the 2011 Northern Virginia CureSearch Walk. Cancer walks raise funds and awareness for children with cancer and provide a platform of community support for children and their families. Photo courtesy of Jae Yi

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Kylie Vaughn, Katie Cranston, Layla and Katie Vaughn at the 2011 Northern Virginia CureSearch Walk. Katie Vaughn was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma at the age of two, and underwent nine rounds of chemotherapy before being released by her oncologist in 2008.

Overcoming childhood cancer is a struggle, and since 2010, Northern Virginia CureSearch has held walks to help raise funds for research and provide a platform of community support for children and their families.

"Kids go on stage, they get medals and feel empowered," said Katie Cranston, a nurse who specializes in childhood cancer care. "The big question is, how do kids get it?"

CureSearch Walk 2012

The 2012 Northern Virginia CureSearch Walk will take place Sunday, Oct. 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fairfax Corner; participation in the walk is $10. The event includes music, food and opportunities to support childhood cancer research. For more information go to www.curesearchwal...

When Katie Vaughn was two years old she was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of lymphoma, and underwent nine rounds of intense chemotherapy treatment. Although her oncologist released Katie in 2008, she experienced bone density complications and was told they needed to be rebuilt. Today she is on a competitive gymnastics team and practices nine hours a week.

"The science is ready, but not the funding to find better and less toxic treatment for children."

—Lisa Vaughn, co-chair of the Northern Virginia CureSearch Walk

"We’ve been amazingly lucky," said Lisa Vaughn, Katie’s mother and co-chair of the Northern Virginia CureSearch walk. "My feeling is childhood cancer it not going to be an issue that attracts more funding for research until people understand childhood cancer can affect anybody, and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. The science is ready, but not the funding to find better and less toxic treatment for children."

According to CureSearch, 36 children are diagnosed with cancer every day, and nearly 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer every year. While progress has been made over the last forty years and cure rates have increased from 10 percent to 78 percent since the 1970s, organizers look to the day when all children with cancer can be successfully treated.

"It’s a wonderful day to come out for kids and families," said Cranston. "Ultimately we want to cure every child with cancer, that’s why we do this."