Jack’s Angels Foundation announces its 1st Annual “Relay for Jack!” Saturday, May 28 at Vasquez Rocks County Park in Agua Dulce, raising awareness to DIPG—cancer’s death-row for kids; the 2nd most-common pediatric brain tumor is responsible for roughly 80% of brain cancer deaths in children annually. Event proceeds support “Jack’s 12 Pebbles” research project for DIPG with the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute (cc-TDI), a new non-profit biotech company dedicated to eradicating childhood cancer. Our medical research system has produced only 2 cancer therapies for children in the last 30 years, with only 4% of the National Cancer Institute budget benefiting pediatric research and an even smaller percentage from ACS and LLS.
Translation? For decades, families of children diagnosed with DIPG have heard, “the numbers aren’t great enough for investors,” when asking why nothing has been done for them; the profit-motivated system ignores their need to the excuse of rarity (less than 200,000 annual incidence). However, brain tumors take more lives of children than any other cancer, and cancer is the leading cause of death in children*; it’s hardly irrelevant, and life-decimating for these families. Neil Armstrong’s daughter died of DIPG in 1962, yet treatment plans have changed little and prognosis remains terminal. “If anyone needed a Moonshot, clearly these children do,” says Janet Demeter, founder of Jack’s Angels, “until our Government and larger cancer organizations step-up for them, the burden rests with parents and charities advocating for children to raise funds for the research.”
Relay for Jack celebrates Congressman Knight for DIPG Awareness Resolution “HRes586”, designating the last week in May as “National DIPG Awareness Week”, calling for more consideration of low-survival rate cancers in the research grant process with the NCI.
Volunteers, teams, runners, racewalkers, and especially children, are encouraged to participate and enjoy activities with Complete Fit Kid, face-painting, archeological dig, wildlife education, and nature hikes exploring the beautiful Vasquez Rocks Park which we are blessed to have in our own proverbial back-yard. There will be 2 volunteer education meetings prior to the event; for more information, registration, available sponsorships, and “Jack’s 12 Pebbles,” visit www.RelayforJack.org.
Staff writer, Jack’s Angels Foundation, created for April edition of Santa Clarita Magazine 3/10/2016