CAR-T Cell Therapy and Ryken's Journey

CAR-T cell therapy is a treatment that re-engineers a patient’s cells in order to be able to recognize and attack cancer. Health Canada recently approved the CAR-T cell therapy in Canada. This year, Kids Cancer Care is proud to be a part of the group of people and organizations that helped make Ryken’s CD19 CAR T-cell therapy in Toronto a reality for his family.

Please see some of the coverage on CAR T-cell therapy and kids like Ryken below. (Photos from Calgary Herald.)


Canadian Blood Services teams up with Kids Cancer Care

Canadian Blood Services and Kids Cancer Care have teamed up for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to encourage Albertans to donate blood in honour of children affected by childhood cancer.

Check out some of the coverage:


Kindle Pursuit

Kindle Pursuit will help kids conquer cancer, one obstacle at a time. Inspired by the hundreds of children affected by childhood cancer who attend Camp Kindle every year, Kindle Pursuit allows adults to experience the magic of camp while competing in a variety of obstacles. Teams of four will compete to finish all the obstacles that challenge the body, mind and stomach. 

The new fundraising event takes place on Saturday, September 8 at Camp Kindle and features a series of physical, mental and taste challenges.

Check out the local news coverage:


Children with cancer enjoy private visit with the pandas

On Monday, July 23, children from the Kids Cancer Care community were treated to a private breakfast and visit with the pandas at The Calgary Zoo.

The exclusive visit for children with cancer was made possible by the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre. Volunteers from the Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre held a gala fundraising dinner, A Taste of Bamboo, last May.

Staff at The Calgary Zoo and Kids Cancer Care went to great lengths beforehand to ensure the rooms were safe and hygienic for immune-compromised children.

Check out the local news coverage:


Kinsmen Ride for a Lifetime

On Friday, June 22 Evelyn, Ryan and Joshua Crowell of Airdrie served as honorary ride marshals for the Kinsmen Ride for a Lifetime in support of Kids Cancer Care. The motorcyclists rode in honour of the children’s brother Christian who passed away from childhood cancer in 2013 at the age of five.  

Donning do-rags, Evelyn, Ryan and Joshua helped kick-start the annual ride by sounding the megaphone and dropping the start flag. Their parents Megan and Chris Crowell were also there to share their family’s cancer journey and to thank the motorcyclists in their children’s honour.


Fostership at Altadore School

On Wednesday, April 25 Foster Garrison and his big sister Kaidence Garrison showed moral support and solidarity for children with cancer when they lost their locks at a shave fundraising event at Altadore School. The brother-and-sister duo joined over 20 other students, staff, parents and grandparents from the Altadore School community, which to date has raised over $21,000 for the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta and Helping Families Handle Cancer.

Check out some of the local news coverage:


Shave for Grace

On Thursday, April 12 Calgary mother Nancy Couldwell joined students at Menno Simons Christian School as they shaved their lids in an act of love and solidarity for Grace Couldwell, a grade-three student who is battling leukemia. Grace’s 10-year-old twin siblings Joshua and Emma Couldwell were among the 14 students who shaved or cut their hair to raise money for the Kids Cancer Care. Together, they have raised more than $12,000 to date.

Check out some of the local coverage:


Terry Fox PROFYLE

For the first time in Canadian history, more than 30 pediatric cancer research and funding groups have joined forces through the Terry Fox PROFYLE initiative, a pan-Canadian project that will give young people, who have run out of conventional treatment options, a second chance at life. Thanks to your support, the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta is one of 30 partners collaborating in the national research effort.


THE POLAR EXPRESS™

On Thursday, November 23, 2017 over 300 kids and parents dressed in their pyjamas gathered at Aspen Crossing Railway in Mossleigh, Alberta to take a ride on THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Aspen Crossing Railway hosted the ride to the North Pole at no cost to families in the Kids Cancer Care community.  

Eight-year-old cancer patient Grace Couldwell was on the ride along with her twin siblings Joshua and Emma (8) and her mom Nancy Couldwell. Grace was diagnosed with leukemia in May 2017 and will be on treatment until August, 2019. Although she still has a long battle ahead, Grace is happy to be going to school and playing hockey. She has lots of friends and family supporting her every along the way. Kids Cancer Care programs and events such as THE POLAR EXPRESS™ help make the journey more bearable.  


Fashion Calgary Portrait Campaign 2017 Gala

Fashion Calgary Portrait Campaign features 25 of Calgary's top ambassadors who are shaping the cultural scene of our city, our province and our country. Funds raised at the Fashion Calgary Portrait Campaign Gala support Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta.

Check out some of the news coverage here:



CREB Investing in Hope

The CREB® Charitable Foundation, CREB®'s giving arm, donated $300,000 to three local charities through its Investing in HOPE program at its 30th anniversary celebration. Kids Cancer Care was honoured to receive $100,000 as one of the three chosen through a Realtor-directed selection process.

Read some of the coverage here:

 


Canadian Blood Services Grand Opening

Kids Cancer Care was honoured to partner with Canadian Blood Services for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September 2017. Our team was also there for the Grand Opening of Canadian Blood Service's new Calgary permanent donor clinic. The new clinic is located at 200 Barclay Parade SW (2nd floor of Eau Claire Market). 

Check out some of the news coverage here:


CureFest Canada

CureFest’s mission is to make childhood cancer research a national priority by uniting the childhood cancer community, the general public, the medical community and our elected leaders as one voice against childhood cancer. Kids Cancer Care was honoured to be part of CureFest for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.

Check out some of the coverage on CureFest:

CureFest Calgary

CureFest Edmonton


Greta gets a break at cancer camp

After almost two years of cancer treatments, numerous surgeries and a liver transplant, Greta is finally back at home in Calgary and healthy enough to go to summer camp. From July 17 through 21, Greta and her older brother Ben enjoyed the fun and activities of SunRise, a day camp in the city for children ages thee to seven who have been affected by childhood cancer. On Wednesday, July 19, Greta and Ben also joined 21 other SunRise campers for a day at Camp Kindle, where the big kids go to our SunMaker camp program.

Diagnosed with a rare liver cancer in September 2015, Greta endured six months of chemotherapy and a liver resection that removed 70 per cent of her liver. Initially, Greta seemed to be thriving, but the cancer returned in August 2016 and her family learned that her only hope was a liver transplant, a procedure that is not available in Canada. Greta’s liver transplant in Cincinnati, Ohio cost the family $600,000 (US), so the Marofke family set up a Go Fund Me page to help defray some of the costs. Although the liver transplant was successful and Greta has not experienced any rejection issues so far, her future remains uncertain. The cancer has since spread to Greta’s lungs and her parents continue to explore further treatment options with her doctors.

Read some of the news coverage of Greta and Ben at SunRise here:

 

 


Calgary girl shaves head in solidarity for brother with cancer

On Friday, April 21, 2017 nine-year-old Sofia Smith shaved her head in an ultimate gesture of love and solidarity for her 14-year-old brother Rand Smith, who was diagnosed with cancer in January 2017 and is currently undergoing treatment. Sofia was one of 69 other students from Elboya School who shaved their heads to raise funds for Kids Cancer Care. 
 
Sofia first experienced cancer in the family at the age of four, when she lost her mother Tatiana Smith to the disease. She was determined to fight back in the only way she could, by giving up her precious locks to show her love and support for her brother. 
 
Funds raised through shave events enable Kids Cancer Care to offer essential programs at no cost to children and families, including 1. Research and Hospital; 2. Camp and Outreach; and 3. Education Support and Scholarship programs designed to save and improve the lives of children affected by cancer and their families. Sofia's original goal was $500. She has currently raised over $21,500.
 
 

Sporting Life 10k

The 2017 Calgary Sporting Life 10K run on Saturday, June 17, 2017 begins at 8:00 am in the city’s southwest quadrant and will run downtown via Bow Trail and 9th Avenue before finishing at Olympic Plaza for the post-race festivities. The run features two streams: one for serious runners striving to break personal bests and a second stream for less ambitious runners and families. The $65 registration fee, which includes a $25 gift card to Sporting Life, goes up to $75 on May 1st.

The Sporting Life 10K national series has raised more than $15 million since 2003 to help children and their families with cancer. Funds raised through the 2017 Calgary Sporting Life 10K will go toward Kids Cancer Care’s programs and services for children and families battling childhood cancer.

For more information about The Sporting Life 10K, click here.


Teen Leadership Program Service Trip

The Kids Cancer Care Teen Leadership Program is for teens in grades 10 to 12 who have been affected by childhood cancer and certain hematological disorders. Patients, survivors, siblings and bereaved siblings get opportunities to develop as leaders through self-reflection, peer support, skill building, volunteerism and a service trip.

The Teen Leadership Program's Alberta Home Build took place in Lacombe, Alberta from Sunday, March 26 to Saturday, April 1, 2017.


Give More Birthdays

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017, 11:00 AM

It was a very special day at Crave Cookies and Cupcake's in Kensington when five Calgary kids and four adults gathered to launch a new community fundraising initiative for Kids Cancer Care on International Childhood Cancer Day. The new initiative, called Give More Birthdays, formalizes what is already a trend among some children to ask for charitable donations in lieu of birthday gifts.

Kids Cancer Care encourages people of all ages to support children with cancer by registering a birthday fundraiser online at kidscancercare.ab.ca. As a sponsor of the Give More Birthdays initiative, Crave Cookies and Cupcakes has generously offered to give a free cupcake to every individual who registers a birthday with Kids Cancer Care.

Review some of the media coverage here:

 


Research reveals therapeutic value of digital storytelling

Thursday, September 22, 2016

On Thursday, September 22, 2016 University of Calgary nursing professor and researcher Dr. Catherine Laing announced findings from a research study on digital storytelling, which revealed that all participants (16 cancer patients or survivors between the ages five to 32) who took part in the study experienced unexpected therapeutic value as a result of creating and narrating a digital story about their cancer experience. Eleven health care professionals, who later watched the digital stories, similarly reported that viewing the videos helped to deepen their understanding of the experience. The study also revealed that participants were struggling with mental health issues related to their cancer experience, many years later. The study could have major implications for long-term follow-up of pediatric cancer patients, calling for a stronger focus on mental health.

Review some of the news coverage here:


Calgary Boy Meets His Stem Cell Donor: The Texan Stranger Who Saved His Life

July 7, 2016

On Thursday, July 7, the Gracia family met the Texan stranger who saved their son Erik’s life. When Brent Lewelling was 20 years old he received the call to help a young boy, in Alberta battling acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Brent jumped at the chance and underwent surgery to have stem cells from his bone marrow harvested and donated to Erik. We’re thrilled these two families could finally connect and celebrate Brent’s incredible gift.

Review some of the news coverage here:

 


Gizelle's Shave

June 25, 2016

After losing her mother to cancer at age nine and her stepmother to cancer six years later, Gizelle had good reason to shave her head for Kids Cancer Care. But this brave young woman took it to a whole new level by shaving her head for the high school prom.

Read some of the news coverage here:

 


Students at Nellie McClung Honour 16-year-old Boy Taken by Brain Cancer

June 3, 2016

On Friday, June 3, students from Nellie McClung School came together in a show of solidarity and support for children with cancer at the school’s 11th Shave Your Lid for a Kid event. The students shaved in honour of Joel Zukowski, a former spokeskid for Kids Cancer Care who passed away in October 2015 from a brain tumour at the age of 16. 

Review some of the news coverage here:

 


Harold Panabaker Head Shave

April 14, 2016

On Thursday, April 14, 2016 months of fundraising activity culminates in a massive shave-off at Harold Panabaker School  when 36 students, a principal and a father-and-son duo all went under the razor for kids with cancer. Twelve-year-old Ethan Rau was inspired to organize the school shave for Kids Cancer Care, when his grandpa Cliff passed away last June, after a 16-month battle with cancer. To support his son’s fundraising efforts, Andrew Rau agreed to grow a beard last July and refrain from cutting or trimming it until his son raised at least $3,000. The father-son team also agreed that Ethan could shave off his father’s hair and beard in front of the entire school if he met his fundraising goal. This amazing group raised more than $25,000!


St. Helena Junior High School: Stick it to Cancer

Monday, February 29, 2016

After two months of fundraising efforts, on Monday, February 29, students and staff from St. Helena Junior High School stuck it to cancer in a big, bad way! They played hockey, shaved their lids and duct-taped teachers to the wall all in support of their friend Alex, who's currently battling cancer. 


Raise Your Voices for Childhood Cancer

February 9, 2016

Kids Cancer Care and Childhood Cancer International invite children across Alberta to raise their voices in support of children with cancer by visiting child4child.com.

While at child4child.com, Alberta kids can record themselves singing We Are One by the internationally celebrated Canadian composer Christophe Beck. The voices of Alberta children will become part of an international chorus of children’s voices featured in Beck’s song to be released on Monday, February 15, 2016 for International Childhood Cancer Day.

Review some of the news coverage here:

 


Hockey Heroes

January 18, 2016

The Northwest Calgary Athletic Association Midget AAA Flames are raising funds for Kids Cancer Care in honour of teammate Tyler Oakenfold’s best friend Joel Zukowski, who passed away from a brain cancer in October 2015 at the age of 16. Joel was an amazing young man who made an impact on everyone who knew him. He is missed by all of us. To honour Joel, the 20 players on the team have committed to raising $1,500 each for a total of $30,000—enough to send 20 children affected by cancer to camp. To help with their fundraising efforts, donate here.
 

Review some of the news coverage here:

 


THE POLAR EXPRESS™

November 30, 2015

Over 100 Alberta children dressed in pajamas gathered at Aspen Crossing Railway in Mossleigh, Alberta for the inaugural Alberta ride of THE POALR EXPRESS™ to the North Pole. Aspen Crossing held the inaugural ride for Kids Cancer Care in honour of Jace Hurum, a six-year-old boy from Carstairs, who is battling crangiopharyngioma, a brain tumour of the pituitary gland.