“Once you have cancer in your rear-view mirror, it’s important to advocate for the kids — your own and everyone else’s.”
Life is good for Claire now. This multi-talented, 8-year-old dancer and gymnast is captivated by the history of ancient Egypt. A budding comedian, she has written a repertoire of jokes that she loves to perform. She is also an avid reader who enjoys playing with her friends.
There is another important facet of Claire Braziel’s life – she is a cancer survivor and advocate. In December of 2012, when she was just six months old, Claire was diagnosed with neuroblastoma.
“We are so lucky. Claire’s tumor was discovered almost by accident when she had an ultrasound for something unrelated. Otherwise, her cancer would not have been detected until age 3 or 4. The length of her treatment and the outcome could have been very different,” explained Janet Jumper, Claire’s mother.
After an initial surgery, Claire started chemotherapy at age 15 months when a follow-up scan showed that the tumor had grown significantly in a short amount of time. Her chemotherapy ended in the spring of 2014 and Claire has been designated cancer-free since Labor Day 2014.
“We are very grateful that Claire survived. Naturally, we still have health concerns for her future. Once you have cancer in your rear-view mirror, it’s important to advocate for the kids—your own and everyone else’s,” said Janet “We need new technologies, but there is not enough research funding for children’s cancer. That’s why our family started Team Clairebear for our local CureSearch Walk.”
Team Clairebear is gearing up for their 8th CureSearch Walk, raising funds and creating awareness around the urgent need for more and better childhood cancer treatments. This year’s walk is virtual and nationwide, with fundraising activities happening throughout September – Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
National Walk Day is September 26.
Every day, 43 kids like Claire are diagnosed with cancer—1 in 8 will not survive, and those who do will likely suffer long-term side and often serious effects from the treatments they received.
With your support, we’re focused on advancing the most-promising research out of the laboratory and into clinical trials and development, where better, less-toxic treatments can save lives now.
Neuroblastoma is a pediatric tumor of the peripheral sympathetic nervous system (the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord) that impacts nearly 700 children in the U.S. each year. High-risk neuroblastoma has a survival rate of only 50% with current therapies. Unfortunately, for the children who do survive, the toxicity of treatments can produce long-term effects that include deafness, cardiac insufficiency, infertility and an increased risk of second cancers.
CureSearch is currently funding two neuroblastoma research projects to help children like Claire. Learn more about these active projects at the University of Pennsylvania and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute or about our unique research strategy here.