$200,000 for childhood cancer research by Natalie's 6th birthday on September 28, 2015…what do you think? Can we do it everyone?
For those of you who are new to our family and our fundraising efforts let me take a moment to introduce you. Dan and I have two AMAZING daughters, Hannah who is currently 7-years-old and Natalie who’s 5-years-old. On August 16, 2012 Natalie was diagnosed with high-risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). It’s been a long, trying journey, but we’re happy to report that as of Thanksgiving eve 2014 Natalie’s cancer (chemo) treatment have been completed…she is an officially survivor!
Aside from Natalie’s diagnosis, the most alarming thing that we learned about pediatric cancer is the simple fact that the funding for research is dismal to say the least (more on this below). With that “discovery” I had the idea of having Natalie and I hold up a sign asking friends, family and strangers if they’d be willing to part with a single dollar to send our way for pediatric cancer research. I uploaded that photo onto my Facebook page at the end of April 2013 and shared with everyone that our goal was to raise $50K by Natalie’s fourth birthday on September 28, 2013.
I thought it would be a long shot, but everyday we checked our P.O. Box, and everyday more and more of your letters arrived! We not only received your beautiful notes, cards, dollars, and checks from ALL 50 STATES, but we also received many international donations as well. All of you kind, beautiful people began holding your own fundraisers then sending us the money to put towards our goal. Your kids broke open their piggy banks, sold lemonade and cookies, declined b-day gifts asking for donations for us instead; you all held yard sales, posted our flyer for the fundraiser EVERYWHERE in your own communities; firefighters + construction workers passed around their helmets for collections; girl scouts held car washes; teachers held dress-down days in their schools; the Middletown PBA held a golf tournament; even the NJ, PA, and Virginia Strength & Honor Motorcycle Clubs held a poker run donating all proceeds to our goal!! As you can imagine, it was a VERY exciting summer, and by the end we were able to announce that we had raised $110, 000 for childhood cancer research via The Truth 365! When all was said and done we helped to fund SIX trials for childhood cancer, and naturally decided that come April 2014 we’d do the whole thing all over again, only this time with a goal to raise $150,000 (ending once again on Natalie’s birthday which was September 28th). Well, as you can see above we did it again, we surpassed our goal and raised just over $164,000!! So technically, in less then a year’s time, with the help of ALL OF YOU we were able to raise $274,000 for childhood cancer research with every stitch of that money going directly to research on BOTH our end and theirs (The Truth 365)!!
DON’T STOP READING PLEASE (my contact info and links to a few articles are below)!
Let me briefly explain to you as to why raising this money is so VERY important. As I mentioned, my family and I were SHOCKED to discover (two months into Natalie’s treatment) that pediatric cancer research is incredibly underfunded. In fact, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) only allocates 4% of its funding to pediatric cancer research, and the American Cancer + Leukemia Lymphoma Societies are worse giving even less then that (the rest of all funding goes to adult cancers)! Did you know that childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children + adolescents in the USA? Or that in 20 years the FDA has only initially approved two drugs for any childhood cancer (in a nutshell, our kids are given hand-me-down treatments meant for adults)? Incidence of invasive pediatric cancers is up 29% in the past 20 years, yet funding for pediatric cancer is down! Every single day, approximately 39 new families are given the devastating news that their child has cancer…EVERY, SINGLE, DAY! And worse yet, seven children, this day and EVERY day (365 days a year), will die from their cancer (and this is in the US alone). Well, my family and I think that seven children a day is seven too many and that the number needs to change to ZERO!!
While a cure is too far away for us too see, we need money NOW to help fund trials…they are the imperative steps needed to help researchers come up with less painful, dangerous and toxic ways to treat our children. Right now, meaning today, there are oncologists out there telling children’s parents that they are at the end of their road with no light ahead...that they need to prepare themselves and begin to say their goodbye's. Clinical trials can change this conversation; they often can give these kids a second chance! And naturally, down the road these trials, each being their own piece to the on-going cancer puzzle, will lead researchers to that final piece that we are so desperate for them to find…the one that will take us to a cure. This won’t be tomorrow, but it is a step in the right direction so PLEASE, find it in your heart to help! Imagine if just a tiny fraction of the world's population were to send us a single dollar...just think of what we could raise for research to help children all around the world!!! So PLEASE give up your coffee today and put that dollar (or more : ) towards our fundraiser for pediatric cancer research instead!! Besides, we’re NOT just doing all of this work for the kids currently in treatment, we’re doing it for all of the kids out there who have yet to be diagnosed, and unfortunately, there will be THOUSANDS of them this year alone!
THANK YOU so much everyone for your support, there’s just no way that we would have hit either of our goals without you all!!
Now please help us to spread the word by sharing this link via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, e-mail, carrier pigeon, Morse code…WHICHEVER way you can think will get it out the fastest!
Love, Health + Hope,
Andrea (Natalie, our survivor + Hannah’s mama)
For press opportunities, or to further assist with our fundraising efforts, please contact me, Andrea Verdone Gorsegner, at InfiniteLoveForNatalieGrace@gmail.com.
SEND A DONATION VIA SNAIL MAIL: The girls LOVE getting mail, send to P.O. Box 4064 Middletown, NJ 07748 c/o: Infinite Love for Natalie Grace (Andrea Verdone Gorsegner) PLEASE MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: AWOCCF/The Truth 365
FACEBOOK: Infinite Love for Natalie Grace http://on.fb.me/125Qbj3
THE TRUTH 365: http://www.thetruth365.org/
PRESS REGARDING NATALIE’S CANCER JOURNEY + OUR FUNDRAISING EFFORTS:
Parents Magazine (Nov 2014 issue): a six-page feature on Natalie’s fight and the lack of funding for childhood cancer research.
The Today Show (9.30.14):
Today Show article (and video) on Hannah (10.24.14):
NJTV News (3.25.14): April 2014, to kick off our fundraiser the school that Natalie now attends held their own fundraiser for us…they ended up raising $15K towards our goal!!
Infinite Love For Natalie Grace
All of our children deserve a future.
I read Natalie's story in the most recent parents magazine. As a NJ mom to an almost 2 year old girl, I was blinking back tears the entire time. What you are doing is amazing and I will continue to follow your daughter's story as well as your fundraising accomplishments.
Let's give more kids with cancer a fighting chance!