Childhood cancer advocates reunite for 2021 CureSearch Walks

More than $270,000 raised for childhood cancer research

Supporters across the country reunited this year for CureSearch Walks to honor and remember those affected by childhood cancer. 

Participants went above and beyond to help organize Walks in seven cities, as well as virtually, and raised more than $270,000 to support CureSearch-funded research that will lead to the development of new, less-toxic treatments for children with cancer.  

Why do we walk? 

Since 2013, Stacey Windmiller has been involved with the CureSearch Walk, both as a participant and a volunteer, serving on the National Walk Committee. This year, Stacey and her daughter Rachel, a childhood cancer survivor, even organized their own event, the Linthicum Walk. The event raised more than $3,000 as part of the CureSearch National Walk. 

Rachel Windmiller

Rachel was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was just 14 months old. Her treatment included several rounds of chemotherapy, more than 50 blood transfusions, platelet transfusions, bone marrow aspirations and radiation. As a result of treatment, Rachel suffered through mucositis, shingles, countless fevers, infections and sleepless nights due to pain. 

“Survivorship often comes with a price in the form of long-term medical issues due to the toxicity of the drugs received during treatment,” said Stacey. “We want to help fund research that’s so desperately needed for these children. We want every child diagnosed with cancer to have safer options with fewer side effects. Every child deserves that!”  

Shana Nguyen formed Team Taylor to honor and remember her daughter, Taylor Grace, who passed away from acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in 2015 at three years old.  

Taylor was diagnosed in June of 2013 at 18 months old. For more than a year after treatment, she showed no signs of relapse. That changed in December of 2014.  

“It came back, the devil itself,” said Shana. “She was diagnosed on December 16, 2014 with an uncommon isolated central nervous system relapse in AML. After another strong and courageous fight, her cancer continued to grow. She passed away on February 11, 2015.” 

Shana has been a longtime volunteer for the Twin Cities Walk, serving on the local volunteer committee. Team Taylor has participated in the CureSearch Walk since 2016 and was one of the top fundraising teams in 2021. The team has raised more than $33,000 in the past five years.  

“We are proud to GO GOLD and raise awareness for childhood cancer,” said Shana. “Together, we are fighting for the future every child deserves.” 

Going the Extra Mile 

Walkers spend weeks, or even months leading up to Walk day fundraising and bringing awareness to the urgent, unmet need for safer childhood cancer treatments.  

Team ClaireBear

Northern Virginia CureSearch Walk participants hit a significant milestone this year, helping the event surpass $1 million raised since it began in 2010.  

Janet Jumper was the top individual fundraiser for the event, raising more than $4,000. For the tenth year, Janet and her family, Team Clairebear, walked in honor of childhood cancer survivor, Claire.  

“As we continue to celebrate Claire’s success as a cancer warrior and survivor, it is very present in our minds what she had to endure to treat her neuroblastoma,” said Janet. “Like many survivors, Claire may face side effects of the chemotherapy that could impact her future health. This is why we walk every year – to make a difference so that advanced research gets funded, newer therapies are discovered and children live full, healthy, happy lives.” 

Community Support 

CureSearch Walks wouldn’t be possible without continued support from local, regional and national corporate partners. In addition to providing generous cash or in-kind sponsorships, they often also engage their employees by forming corporate walk teams to raise additional funds and awareness of how we’re working to bring children to the forefront of drug development. 

Denver CureSearch Walk presenting sponsor, Kiewit, hung a special banner from their new headquarters in Colorado to show their support of CureSearch and raise awareness during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The Kiewit Corporate Team also raised more than $5,000 for the Denver Walk! 

Edgewater Insurance + Real Estate, along with Nebraska OLB, JoJo Domann, teamed up to support CureSearch through the Husker Heartbeat Giveback program. Each week, they donated $1,000 to 13 charities, including CureSearch, and collaborated to increase awareness and raise funds through social media and a weekly podcast, The Beat with JoJo Domann. 

LV Lumber, a National CureSearch Walk sponsor, donated 20% of all sales to CureSearch during the month of September. LV Lumber provides premier, high quality wood bats to help enhance the performance of baseball players of all ages. They strive to provide a positive impact on the lives of all players, but most importantly those battling childhood cancer. 

Thank you to this year’s presenting sponsors: Kiewit, Parexel, Merit Medical and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital. 

From all of us at CureSearch, thank you for reuniting with us this year and raising critical funds for childhood cancer research. With your support, we’re providing hope to the 17,000 children diagnosed with cancer every year. 

  

 

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