In honor of our son Colton, who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in January 2018 and passed away in June 2019, our team is participating in the 2019 Charlottesville CureSearch Walk to raise funds for children's cancer research. We hope you'll support our efforts by making a donation of any size. With your help, we can change the odds for the 40,000 kids who undergo treatment each year!
Your donation will support CureSearch for Children's Cancer, a national non-profit whose mission is to end children's cancer by driving targeted and innovative research with measurable results in an accelerated timeframe. CureSearch also provides a variety of free resources for patients and families to help them navigate a cancer diagnosis.
- 43 children are diagnosed with cancer every day; one in eight will lose their battle.
- For the children who survive, most will suffer long-term toxic side effects from treatment.
- In the last 20 years, only four cancer treatments have been specifically developed and approved for children.
By supporting CureSearch, you're helping to find new, less-toxic treatments for the children who need them most. You can learn more at www.curesearch.org.
Thank you for your support!
June 21, 2011-June 28, 2019
Colton W. Kopcinski was a vibrant, silly, healthy little boy living in Harrisonburg, VA with his family in 2017. He loved playing outside with his little brother and big sister, was in the First Grade at Peak View Elementary School, and was full of life and love. He loved Pokémon, Beyblades, math, jokes, and building things. He was one of the sweetest, most charming little boys you would ever meet. He was strong and healthy. Then suddenly, in January of 2018, he started having odd symptoms that would come and go: paleness, lack of energy and appetite, and leg pain. No sooner had his mom booked an appointment with his doctor to get him checked, that the school called. Colton was feverish and extremely pale. He was rushed to the hospital for bloodwork, and it was soon discovered that he had Acute Myeloid Leukemia, or AML. Not only is this already a very aggressive form of childhood leukemia, in addition Colton was found to have several genetic mutations of the disease known to be extremely resistant and difficult to treat. Colton courageously battled his AML for 18 months at several of the best hospitals in the country. He underwent everything from the “standard” AML treatment protocol which involved multiple rounds of harsh chemo, to less-toxic targeted therapy treatments, to a stem cell transplant, and two clinical trials, one involving a promising, brand-new immunotherapy approach. In the end, despite Colton’s outstanding attitude and positivity, none of the treatments were enough, and AML took his life on June 28, 2019, exactly one week after his 8th birthday. What AML never took, however, was Colton’s enthusiasm for life and his ability to find the joy in each and every day, even when he was stuck in the hospital for weeks and months at a time. His joy was contagious and inspiring and touched the lives of many people who followed his story.
Colton died because his AML was simply too aggressive and not well-enough understood. There are many other children like Colton out there, and there will continue to be many more. Cancer does not discriminate or show mercy. It is brutal. The only way to effectively fight it is by being equally as aggressive in our efforts. One huge way to help is by funding more research, as currently only 4% of federal funding for cancer research goes towards pediatric cancers, which differ greatly from adult cancers in many ways. You can also sign up with Be The Match, which is a nationwide bone marrow donor registry. Many children with blood cancers such as Colton end up needing bone marrow or stem cell transplants, and many cannot find a good match. More donors are always needed. And of course donating blood or platelets is also a wonderful way to help. Colton easily had hundreds of transfusions throughout his treatment. These are just a few easy ways to help but they are so important and could end up saving lives. Thank you so much to everyone who gives in honor of Colton.
- The Kopcinski Family (Mike, Stephanie, Abigail, and Connor)