2018 Pittsburgh CureSearch Superheroes Unite!

Hope for Sydney

2018 will be our 6th year walking for and supporting CureSearch, and we have successfully raised more than $115,000! Thank you for your past and future support!

We created team Hope for Sydney  in 2013 after our three year old daughter Sydney was diagnosed with Philadelphia-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL), a rare subtype of leukemia, only present in 3% of children. Completing her initial treatment protocol in August 2015, we were all devastated to learn just 22 days later that Sydney had relapsed in her central nervous system.

Sydney had to endure so much during her initial treatment protocol - serious infections causing lengthy PICU stays, countless in-patient and out-patient chemo treatments, too many blood transfusions to count, chronic illnesses due to her suppressed immunity, routine trips to the ER with fevers, lumbar punctures, continuous medications, multiple surgeries and procedures, scans and much more. The prospects of her having to go through this again was simply horrible, but we knew that she would continue to fight day by day.

Instead of another 2 ½ year treatment protocol, Sydney’s doctors felt it best for her to have a bone marrow transplant. She began preparing for her transplant in September 2015 and required weekly spinal taps with intrathecal chemo until she was in remission again, followed by a course of high dose chemo, a week of cranial radiation, and finally, full body irradiation and the highest dose of chemo she had ever received to wipe out her marrow to make room for the new.  Sydney received her bone marrow transplant, from the most generous unrelated donor, on Christmas Eve 2015 – a perfect day to receive a gift of life from a total stranger.

Today, Sydney is more than two years post-transplant! She was able to re-attend school in September after two years of homebound instruction.  All of her tests continue to show she remains CANCER FREE!  However, Sydney is still suffering from numerous complications from long-term steroid use to manage chronic graft vs host disease and the side effects of the toxic treatments she has had to endure over the years.

Sadly, Sydney has not had a typical childhood and has lost valuable time at home with her big sister Addison and unable to participate in normal childhood activities such as school, dance and playing with friends. Sydney’s fight is not nearly over. Since her immunity continues to be suppressed to counteract the rejection process she continues to be susceptible to infections and is unable to enjoy simple things we take for granted, like fresh strawberries and red peppers.

Sydney is not alone in her battle. Everyday 43 children are diagnosed, resulting in nearly 15,700 families each year hearing “Your child has cancer.” We need to change this! CureSearch is a leader in clinical trials and research specific to pediatric cancers. Approximately 93% of all funds raised are used in this area.

Unfortunately, pediatric cancers are severely underfunded on a national level when compared to adult type cancers. With an estimated 40,000 children being treated each year and only three dedicated pediatric cancer medications having been developed since 1995, the need for more pediatric cancer research is great. This is the reason that the Hawk and Friday families support CureSearch. Please join us to help fund research to find less toxic cures for pediatric cancers, so that Sydney and other children can have hope for a healthy, cancer free future!

You can also follow our team on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/teamhopeforsydney

Thank you for your support!

 

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CureSearch for Childrens Cancer

4600 East West Highway, Suite 600, Bethesda, MD 20814
jennifer.murphy@curesearch.org | (240) 235-2211