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Fundraisers for Child Cancer Research

Wednesday, September 30, 2015  
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Indianapolis Couple Turns Grief to Best Use by Curing Childhood Cancer through Fundraising [caption id="attachment_638" align="alignnone" width="300"]Symmes Family Symmes Family[/caption]   When a parent’s grief is inconsolable and insurmountable, there is often no outlet. No parent expects to outlive a child. No parent expects to say goodbye as quickly as an aggressive cancer can claim a young life and steal an unfulfilled future. For Libby and David Symmes, that devastating moment – when 5-year-old Caroline Symmes was taken from them by a rare kidney cancer – was a turning point. It made this Indianapolis couple focus on the fight – and that’s a campaign to bring the world’s most innovative research center on child cancers to this city and this city’s world-class hospital. With little background in fundraising, they are making it happen for Caroline and are continuing to make it happen working with, and for, Riley Hospital for Children Cancer Center. When Caroline was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer in 2008, the Symmes’ quickly learned that there was little research focused on these obscure tumors and their grief turned to action. Doctors were also stunned at the aggressiveness of the cancer that claimed her so quickly. During September’s National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, they work tirelessly to make an impact – having raised approximately $600,000 for pediatric cancer research so far. This month is often their busiest. Juggling multiple fundraising events on their own, the couple is working to secure temporary alcohol permits to support fundraising events, landing donated space from commercial real estate companies, earning the trust and faith of others who believe – as they do – that there is a cure. Within their own association of package store owners, they also host an annual contest between store owners and employees. David promises a customized packet of event tickets, hotel and restaurant gifts for those raising a minimum of $1,000 each. Last year, two clerks in Northern Indiana raised more than $3,500 each in the drive. That friendly competition alone raised $40,000. The Symmes’ are tireless in their pledge to move forward. Six events are planned for this busy month, ranging from Colts viewing parties at the Lucas Estate to yoga classes for families of cancer patients and Riley staff. Libby says there is always more than can be done. And if there were more time in a single day, these parents would be doubling their efforts if humanly possible and hosting even more fundraisers. “We’re a family of service and need to teach our children. Other families need our help.” More than 15,000 children will be diagnosed with cancer this year. The current survival rate for pediatric cancer patients is 79 percent. Caroline was diagnosed at the age of 3. She passed away at the age of 5. If you’re willing to do your part, please visit The Caroline Symmes Endowment for Pediatric Cancer Research to learn more. Cancer Stat 3

Childhood Cancer Facts

Every day, approximately 250 children around the world die from cancer. Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 15 in the U.S. The incidence of cancer among adolescents and young adults is increasing at a greater rate than any other group, except those 65 years of age and older. Less than 5 percent of the federal government’s total funding for cancer research is dedicated to childhood cancers each year. Despite these facts, childhood cancer is vastly and consistently underfunded. Cancer Stat 2

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