What is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month?

 

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! A whole month dedicated to reflecting, listening, and understanding the science and personal stories behind these debilitating diagnoses.  

Though rare, childhood cancer remains the number one disease killer of children and adolescents worldwide; approximately 280,000 children ages 0-19 are diagnosed with cancer each year. Unlike adult cancer, childhood cancer causes are still unknown and not fully understood, as they are not linked to lifestyle and environmental influences. Childhood cancer is also immensely underfunded, accounting for only 5% of all cancer research funding in Canada (Kids Cancer Care). 

Despite this, thanks to the support of millions around the world and the incredible doctors and professionals in the medical field, the 5-year survival rate for all childhood cancers has risen from less than 50% to 80% in the last few decades. A huge accomplishment!  

Childhood cancers take many forms and can be quite aggressive and difficult to cure. The purpose of setting aside a whole month for these diseases is to raise awareness and funding to support the specific research of these illnesses and heighten the possibility of discovering cutting-edge treatments. Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is observed and recognized by childhood cancer organizations around the world, and is symbolized by a gold ribbon, and often by the phrase “Go Gold”. Schools, organizations, and groups wear gold, sport gold accessories, or illuminate their buildings with gold light in support of the cause. 

When did this all start? 

Back in 1990, President George Bush initially proclaimed October as National Awareness Month for Children with Cancer. President Barack Obama then proclaimed September 2012 as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Since then, it has become a global initiative, raising awareness for childhood cancer. Individuals, media, and organizations are encouraged to help increase awareness of actions we can take to support the fight. 

What can you do to show your support? 

Take advantage of the month of September and use your voice to organize activities such as a “Gold” day at school or at work. Research and use hashtags and take advantage of social media as a platform to raise awareness and share factual information from reputable organizations. Using the month as an excuse to host exciting events and activities will turn people’s attention to the real issue at hand, raising awareness and educating more people about the importance of this research. 

At Tali’s Fund, we are focused on supporting research that targets safe and effective treatments for children suffering from rare brain cancers. If you’d like to learn more about who we are and what we do, please visit our website. If you would like to make a donation in support of Tali’s Fund for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, you can do so directly on our website. Your donation makes a world of difference in the advancement of research for treatment and resources that will help families with young children who are living through the unimaginable. Thank you for your support! 

A Note from Mom: Remembering Tali Today and Everyday

 

Today, on August 26th, we are lovingly remembering our beautiful Tali, whom we lost on this day in 2007 at just four years old. Tali’s diagnosis with ATRT absolutely devastated our family, as did watching her go through surgery after surgery, chemotherapy, a stem cell transplant, and all the painful and physically and emotionally draining side effects this strong little girl endured throughout her treatment. But her glistening personality, determination, and perseverance inspired us all.

Despite the awful and frightening circumstances, we cherished every minute we had with our little girl, and we shared many moments filled with joy and laughter. Tali was a thoughtful young child who showed clear signs of being a strategic thinker. Her love of puzzles demonstrated how she took her time to plan and complete her tasks in a thought-out manner. Her competitive side came out when, only days after coming home from the hospital, she rode her tricycle and raced with her twin brother Noam, enthusiastically proclaiming “You can’t catch me!” Tali’s bond with Noam, and with her older brother, Amir, was a heartwarming sight to see. During hospital stays, as her reading and writing developed, she would often send notes home to them, carefully writing their names and adding stickers and colourful drawings.

Our family shares a love of lighthearted silliness, and Tali’s sense of humour always shone through, causing a domino effect when she was around other people. Her infectious smile and her giggles made those around her laugh with her. Tali loved all the activities that young children should have the opportunity to enjoy, such as being outside in nature, playing sports, swimming, playing on swing sets, partaking in arts and crafts, singing, and playing games. Tali’s remarkable ability to tolerate all the unimaginable difficulties surrounding her diagnosis including time away from loved ones, extended hospital stays, and painful treatments, never failed to astound and inspire everyone around her. Our beautiful Tali found ways to cope with the pain and discomfort of her diagnosis through her unshakable spirit.

Tali’s legacy is fueled by those who are doing ground-breaking work to move us closer to the day when children suffering from rare brain cancers can receive safe and effective treatment that will not only improve their chances of survival, but also maximize their quality of life as they grow from childhood to adulthood. In the years since Tali’s Fund was founded, our research partners have made great strides in the efforts towards advancing the state of treatment for children with ATRTs. While our work was inspired by devastating circumstances, it is our mission to help ensure that fewer families will have to live through such trauma. Tali was and forever will be an inspiration to our entire family, and we cling to our precious and irreplaceable memories with our little girl.

To learn more about the research supported by Tali’s Fund, please visit our website.

“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” – Mommy

 

Big News for Childhood Brain Tumour Treatment with support of Tali’s Fund

Rare paediatric tumours known as atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours (ATRTs) have historically been considered incurable.

Tali’s Fund has helped to support a massive study that was published this week on the cover of the journal Cancer Cell.  A SickKids publication discusses this study and the promising developments that are changing treatment for ATRT.  Below are some excerpts from Science Show & Tell: Study uncovers three subgroups of rare children’s brain cancer:

“While considered a black box to researchers and clinicians, ATRTs are among the most common malignant brain tumours in children less than three years of age. Patients are typically treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, and survival rates are low.”

“…Huang and her team not only found there are three distinct molecular subtypes of ATRTs but also identified promising new therapeutics for patients.”

“…This study uncovered promising drugs that can be incorporated into that treatment of ATRTs, and hopefully replace or reduce doses of harsh conventional drugs. These drugs are not a magic bullet but a new tool in our toolbox that can potentially help lessen treatment side effects, improve survival and make a difference in the lives of patients diagnosed with ATRTs.”

“…For this study alone, we collaborated with colleagues from close to 40 countries from around the world to amass over 200 of these rare tumours, which we only see two to four times a year at SickKids. For this work, Jonathan Torchia, a PhD student in my lab and the first author on the paper, was recently awarded the prestigious 2016 Schweisguth Prize. Without the help of our patient families and global colleagues, this study would have never have happened.”

For more information, please see http://www.sickkids.ca/AboutSickKids/Newsroom/Past-News/2016/Science-Show-Tell-Study-uncovers-subgroups-rare-atrt-children-brain-cancer.html

Predictions and Hopes for Brain Tumour Research Advances in 2016

Experts in the field of neuro-oncology make their predictions and state their hopes for 2016.  Quoted from the National Brain Tumor Society blog:

“In summation, these experts believe that this year we can:

Improve our understanding of brain tumors, particularly at a molecular level – which can lead to new insights about potential treatment strategies;

Transform the way brain tumors are classified, so that doctors can more accurately diagnose patients, which could help guide treatment decisions and predict patients’ response to therapies;

Continue to develop new, potentially more effective and less toxic treatments for patients via the area of targeted (precision) treatments and immunotherapies – many of these are already in clinical trials that will be moving ahead in 2016;

Take better stock of treating patients symptoms and quality of life during treatment and drug development; and

Further our understanding about possible inherited risk factors for developing gliomas.

All of these things are within our reach. And all would benefit the brain tumor community, present and future. They are also all the result of past dedication; hard work; and support from scientific researchers, clinicians, patients, survivors, caregivers, advocates, volunteers, and fundraisers/donors…”

Click below to read the complete article from the National Brain Tumor Society:

READ ARTICLE

Redefining Infant Brain Tumours

The Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto just released a news article explaining the results of the recently published study in The Lancet Oncology on ATRT (the type of tumour that Tali had).  Tali's Fund has been instrumental in helping to fund this research.  The study was conducted in the lab of Dr. Annie Huang, Senior Scientist at the Brain Tumour Research Centre at SickKids Hospital. Dr. Huang supervised several students including first author John Torchia, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto.  Click here to read the article:

Redefining Infant Brain Tumours – Click here to read

Tali's Fund News

$13,000 raised at Energy Karate for Tali's Fund!!

Our 7th annual event at Energy Karate was a success! Heartfelt thank you to Energy Karate for their unwavering support of Tali's Fund.  Thank you to the organizers, Sensei's and volunteers for their help and for making the event enjoyable and meaningful for all.  Thanks to all those who participated in the board breaking event!  Thanks to those who donated items for our raffle, and to those who baked delicious treats for our bake sale!   And many thanks to In Style Activities for providing the cotton candy and popcorn machines, supplies, and personnel!  

Meagan's Walk 2015

Tali's Team recently participated in Meagan's Walk as we do each year.  Meagan's Walk is a 5 km walk that culminates with thousands of participants joining hands to hug the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), sending a message of hope and love to those within.  Over 4,000 people participated this year to support paediatric brain tumour research at SickKids.  

The kilometers walked by each participant will be counted towards the 2015 Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours campaign.  This campaign was launched by the International Brain Tumour Alliance (IBTA).  Each year,  people around the world undertake sponsored or unsponsored walks to raise awareness about brain tumours and to symbolically “donate” the mileage covered to the World Walk target of circling the Earth.

The 2014 Walk Around the World for Brain Tumours collected a record total of 519, 057 km, which is equivalent to walking 13 times around the globe at the equator!  Over 38 organizations from around the world held a total of 113 walks, raising awareness about brain tumours as well as valuable research funds.  

UPCOMING EVENT:

ENERGY KARATE 
BOARD BREAKING SEMINAR,  

RAFFLE AND BAKE SALE
MAY 2, 2015

   


For the 7th year in a row, Energy Karate will host a fundraising event with all proceeds going to Tali's Fund. During this year’s event, Energy Karate students, both children and adults, will participate in a board breaking event.  The seminar is open only to members of Energy Karate, but as part of the event we will also hold our
 
ANNUAL RAFFLE AND BAKE SALE

great prizes 

yummy home-made treats
popcorn &
cotton candy




Please stop by anytime between 9:00 and 3:00!  


We will be outside Energy Karate

1101 Rutherford Rd.,
Vaughan, ON L6A 1S2


(in the Starbucks plaza at Rutherford and Thornhill Woods), rain or shine!

IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO ATTEND BUT WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT THE EVENT BY MAKING AN ONLINE DONATION TO TALI'S FUND, PLEASE CLICK HERE:
DONATE NOW

For more information about Energy Karate, please visit their website www.energykarate.ca

Hope to see you there!


Thank you to InStyle Activities for their support!  



Recent Events:

March 10th: Art Raffle – 4 Women Gallery

A women's networking event was held at the 4 Women Gallery.  Haia Hason lovingly created an exquisite work of art in honour of Tali.  She donated this piece as a raffle prize as part of the evening's events.  $700 was raised for Tali's Fund!  Thank you so much to Haia, Ayala Raiter (Gallery owner) and to the organizers of the evening for their help and support.  To see more of Haia's work, please visit her website at www.artisreallife.com




CARDS FOR SALE:
Cards displaying the beautiful paintings from our recent Kids 4 Kids Art event are now for sale! 
All proceeds will go to Tali’s Fund. 
Package of 6 cards:  $10
Package of 12 cards: $12
Available at the 4 Women Gallery
 7787 Yonge Street, Suite 205, Thornhill, Ontario

Each card displays one of these prints.  Cards are blank on the inside.
Back of the cards

Dec 2014:  Thank you to Arielle Mizrahi and friends who set up a Tali's Fund booth at their high school Rock Your Cause event!  The booth helped raised awareness about Tali's Fund and paediatric brain tumours.  

May 2014:  The Kids 4 Kids Art Fundraiser hosted by the 4 Women Gallery was a fantastic event! Many thanks to the organizers and to all the students for their talent, creativity and time.  The event raised $5000 for Tali's Fund!

Join us May 25th – Kids 4 Kids Art Auction for Tali's Fund

Please join us on Sunday May 25th at 7:00 pm for the Kids 4 Kids Art Auction for Tali's Fund, hosted by 4 Women Gallery in Thornhill.  We have received a stunning array of original student paintings and we can't wait to share them with you!  

If you are unable to attend but would like to make an online donation to support the event, please click on the following link:
http://my.sickkidsdonations.com/PersonalPage.aspx?registrationID=2322302&langPref=en-CA

OUR HOST:

4 Women Gallery
7787 Yonge Street – 2nd floor,   
Suite 205
Yonge & Centre Street,
in the Starbucks plaza
Parking lot is located
at the back of the plaza

http://www.4womengallery.com/
 
For additional information about this event, please contact
event organizer:
Eynat Katz

[email protected]

OUR SPONSORS:

Rutherford Marketplace, Vaughan

Bathurst and Rutherford, Vaughan

Davids Tea Promenade Mall, Thornhill

Starbucks Yonge and Centre St., Thornhill