Five Reasons Why You Should Support the CureSearch 2017 Fun Fest in Portland

When you think about a CureSearch Gold event, you think about the exciting and creative DIY ideas that come to life, the powerful mission to fight children’s cancer, and the dedicated people who come together to make it happen.

For this year’s “2017 Fun Fest” in Portland, Oregon, there are some amazing people with sincere intentions and cool plans who are coming together to make it a memorable event. Even though you’re already excited about the big day, we still wanted to give you five reasons why you should support the upcoming event on August 12th:

1. The awesome people behind the event:

Portland Fun Fest

Lauren Dole from Lake Oswego, OR, who is a Global Project Manager with ConferenceDirect.

Portland Fun Fest

Brian Lasswell, a project manager for Howard S. Wright who was raised in Portland, went to Tigard High School and graduated from OSU with a degree in Construction Engineering Management.

Pictured: Lauren & Brian at the PDX 2016 event.

With help from marketing volunteers Christy Weber and Mollie Van Sandt, the Fun Fest planning team is making sure the event is one to remember!

2. The personal stories behind the event

Lauren first became involved with CureSearch four years after her 9-year-old son, Gage, passed away from spinal Ewing sarcoma.

Gage Dole, Ewing Sarcoma
Gage Dole, a true superhero.

As with many parents, she was horrified that there was only one available protocol (dx 2005), and it was 20 years old. Today, the same protocol is still the “Tier 1” treatment with no viable treatments for recurrence. After nine months of treatment, Gage was in remission for a few months and then was diagnosed with treatment related AML. After going through a BMT, he was in remission for 6 mos. and the tumor came back to the same place.

“We tried a few clinical trials. Yes, kids go through treatment living in the moment and with the best attitude. They are strong and resilient. But, through a 6-year journey, we started to see Gage’s innocence taken away, and his light, bright spirit slowly and horrifically begin to fade. As a parent, your child depends on you to help and protect them. It is the most helpless, gut-wrenching feeling when you can’t save your child from the scary monster or nightmare. After Gage passed, with every new diagnosis I heard about, it broke my heart knowing what they would endure, so I decided to put my energy into helping find a cure.”

You can read more about Lauren here.

Brian became involved after attending last year’s event with a friend. He was initially there just to help out, but after listening to the speakers and seeing the passion in everyone’s eyes, he wanted to do something more. His original position was Corporate Donor Recruiter, but one thing led to another, and in 2-3 months he became the Event Chair!

3. The excitement of event day

For both Lauren and Brian, although they enjoy planning for the event, the actual day of it is what they most look forward to.

“I go through a lot of anxiety in anticipation, worried if all the pieces will come together and wondering if there will be interest in participation,” says Lauren. “On the event day, it is thrilling to see the energy and excitement and everything turning out even better than I had expected.”

Portland Fun Fest“I love finding ways to make this experience special, something the participants will never forget,” says Brian.

At the event on August 12th, there will be a Walk and a 5K Fun Run, as well as a host of fun guests and activities: DJ, henna tattoos, face-painting, games, dunk tanks, therapy animals, fire trucks, mascots, giveaways, prizes, and more. Did we mention free ice cream?

There will also be a memorial dove release to honor the children that were lost to cancer.

Not only will this be a fundraising event for children’s cancer research, but Cancer Curesaders is also uniting with a few other organizations in the Portland area who support children effected by cancer and their families: Mascots for a Cure, Oregon Active, Chelsea’s Closet, and Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute (so far).

4. Highlighting an important cause

Behind every Gold event is one main mission: to raise awareness for children diagnosed with cancer.

In the past 20 years, only 3 cancer medications have been specifically approved for children.Because 60% of children diagnosed with cancer depend on clinical trials, for Lauren, it’s important to get much-needed treatments to clinical trial as soon as possible.

“This is because the NIH has not provided enough funding for children’s cancer to fill that pipeline and result in more viable treatments. Only 5% of adults need clinical trials because they have more treatment options available. The more treatments CureSearch moves from ‘bench’ to ‘bedside,’ to more options are available for children.”

For Brian, it’s simple: “Kids are our future. They should be our focus. I never want parents to hear “there’s nothing else we can do for your child.”

5. Messages of hope

Lauren and Brian, as well as volunteer marketers Christy and Mollie, all have their own reasons for supporting the CureSearch event, but they are all inspiring:

Portland Fun Fest
Lauren and Gage.

Lauren on uniting the Portland area Children’s Cancer community: “I am passionate about this because I really wrestled with ways to entertain Gage. He was an only child, so when he was going through treatment, he was very isolated and I could see, often lonely for his friends. It wasn’t until recently I learned about an organization called Oregon Active, who could have brought more activities into Gage’s life. They would have been a wonderful resource, and it is a crime I did not know about them! I want families to have every opportunity to help a child have as much fun as possible for as long as possible.”

Brian: “Cancer will affect us all in some way or another. There are so many little things we can do that can make a huge difference to others. We are providing a simple and fun way for others to get involved.”

Cancer CureSadersChristy: “Cancer isn’t fair, especially when it happens to kids. With only 4% of federal funds going to researching children’s cancer, they need our help. The Fun Fest is a way for everyone to get involved and support Cancer Curesaders’ mission to FUNdraise for new treatments. Plus, between the walk/run, treats, and kid’s activities, it’s going to be a blast!”

Mollie: “This is a family-friendly event that brings the larger Portland community together to celebrate kiddos who have passed and honor kiddos in cancer treatment.”

We hope that you were inspired by the five reasons above, and we hope that you will consider supporting the 2017 Fun Fest.

Lauren and Brian are currently looking for individuals who would like to create fundraising teams for the event, so register today at

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