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Pediatrician and child
Because childhood should be simple ...

#erasekidcancer

If we had one wish it would be that no child would ever have to fight cancer. That's why we're asking you to join forces with Cook Children's oncologists, researchers, patients and families to help make that wish come true. There's a lot we can do, so let's spread the word to help make childhood cancer disappear.

The funds we raise together will support life-saving research, treatments, technology and programs for the young patients and their families at Cook Children's in Fort Worth, Texas. What we do today will help #erasekidcancer for future generations.

Choose how you will #erasekidcancer

There are three ways to help #erasekidcancer. You can join the virtual race, help fundraise, make a one-time donation or do all three! Either way, please join us in the race to #erasekidcancer.

Carol Roberts first visited Cook Children's in the fall of 2000 when she and her husband rushed her six-year-old daughter, Austin, to the Emergency Department. Austin was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor. Roberts, a Vanderbilt School of Nursing graduate, loved her nursing career in pediatric oncology but never imagined her own child would need cutting-edge research technology to survive.

At the end of their daughter's two-year journey, the Roberts family knew they had to partner with Cook Children's to make sure other patient families in Texas had access to innovative technology and research. The life-saving research with the intraoperative MRI that helped cure her daughter inspired Roberts to pursue her passion with the research oncology team. "I am truly passionate about the mission of Cook Children's," Roberts says. She joined Cook Children's in 2009 as the clinical research coordinator for the leukemia team. "It's a privilege to be here. I realize I can't fix everything, but I can help to offer hope," she says.

There are 17 full-time research staff members at Cook Children's that carry out various aspects of clinical research care on behalf of the oncology patients and families. The staff includes caring nurses, medical assistants, investigational pharmacists, a research lab specialist, regulatory specialists, data coordinators, clinical research associates and clinical research coordinators. Roberts gets to work directly with expert hematology and oncology lab specialists, pathologists, radiologists, translators, pre-certification specialists and the caring staff that greets research patients each day. Roberts remarks that carrying out difficult treatment plans on the most vulnerable patients requires a great deal of strength and teamwork, but "we are supported by our chaplain, pet therapy, leadership and, of course, the smiles of our research patients."

Roberts believes the collaborative relationship between the research staff and the oncology clinical team is what makes Cook Children's so successful at executing safe, excellent research, offering patient- and family-centered care and, ultimately, improving outcomes. "Cook Children's believes in research. We are part of the safest way to beat disease. It is such a privilege to work with physicians who give their hearts and souls to the most cutting-edge treatment through research," Roberts says of her first-hand experience. "Every day I get to partner with great people and give hope through oncology research. Many days are difficult, but knowing that what we do can make a difference for a patient like my daughter makes it all worthwhile."

Pediatric oncology research is all about asking and answering questions. How can we do better? How can we do it safer? What tools do we use? And, ultimately, how can we erase kid cancer? Roberts knows the answer is research. Through years of research, Cook Children's has helped improve the outcomes for some leukemia patients to over 95 percent. There are currently 85 open oncology research clinical studies and over 1,900 enrollments on various oncology research trials at Cook Children's. This includes biology studies to answer questions for generations to come and investigative treatment trials to give hope. "I remember signing consents in the intensive care unit and enrolling Austin in various clinical trials. We were able to send brain tissue to help answer questions and help kids in the future. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for the research that helped save my daughter," Roberts declares. "And, by being a part of #erasekidcancer, you can help, too!"

Cook Children's is committed to collaborative oncology research and is one of the top players in the country. Cook Children's partners with Children's Oncology Group (COG), New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT), St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital, other collaborative groups, pharmaceutical trials and private investigator clinical trials. "We are on the frontline of the latest oncological research and treatments available," Roberts adds. The clinical team and research staff work together to execute investigational treatment trials including meta-iodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) therapy, proton beam therapy and Phase I trials that offer brand new medicines to beat tough diseases. "Every day there is constant communication between the physicians at Cook Children's and other world leaders in oncology research, discussing what is in the patients' best interests to improve care and outcomes," she observes. "The entire Cook Children's Hematology and Oncology team is committed to being a part of something that will make a lasting impact."

Cook Children's is committed to collaborative oncology research partnering with:

To learn more about Cook Children's hematology and oncology research, click here.

"When I was asked how people can get involved, I immediately knew the answer. Support research! As we become a leader in life-changing oncology research, serving patients nationally and internationally, it is imperative to give and support Cook Children's. Cook Children's is committed, but we need your help! Research is where it's at to truly #erasekidcancer!" - Carol Roberts

Will, age 15, was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia T-cell on November 18, 2013, three months to the day after his 14th birthday. Will is passionate about snowboarding, deep sea fishing, being a teenager and basketball. In fact, when the doctor first diagnosed Will with cancer, his first question was, "Can I still make my basketball game on Tuesday?"

After chemotherapy, radiology and receiving a bone marrow transplant from his sister, Will is healthy and back in school just a year later. And to top it off, he finally got to play in that basketball game he had missed when he was first diagnosed.

Will's mission to serve through his experience began while fighting cancer and continues today. Attending events, speaking publicly about his battle against cancer, participating in races and serving on Cook Children's Youth Advisory Council-Patients Advising for Change (YAC-PAC), are just a few ways he gives back.

This year, Will would like to challenge some of his friends from The Hill School of Fort Worth and his best friend Josh, to join him in the Race to #erasekidcancer.

"I would like to tell people that no matter what age, cancer is the hardest fight of your life, but ‘Life Finds a Way' and fighting cancer makes you a super hero!" – Will

Your generosity helps kids like Will receive lifesaving treatment at Cook Children's. We encourage you to participate in the Race to #erasekidcancer, make a donation and invite your friends to join and share your experience on social media tagging #erasekidcancer and @cookchildrens.org!

Vivian, age 2, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Upon receiving news of her diagnosis, Vivian's parents expressed feeling overwhelmed with the amount of support they received from family, friends, staff, and even strangers. They explained that throughout Vivian's treatment, she often had trouble sleeping at night. Cook Children's nurses made the most of Vivian's restlessness and invited her to come and hang out at the nurse's station. Vivian loved this time with the nurses and mom certainly appreciated the extra sleep.

Vivian stays positive throughout her treatment. Though most children are not enthused about getting their blood pressure taken, Vivian likes it. In fact, she enjoys telling the nurses which leg to use and claps once it's completed. Most people don't realize the changes that a child goes through once diagnosed with cancer. For example, Vivian was not able to enjoy swimming or taking a normal bath, due to the risk of infection. Though cancer has changed Vivian and her family's life in numerous ways, they remain strong and optimistic, saying, "There is hope. Even some of the treatments Vivian has had were not available five years ago."

Vivian is excited to run in the Race To #erasekidcancer this year and will be adding the "Doc McStuffins" theme song to her race day playlist. She challenges her grandma, who is also battling cancer, to join her in this year's virtual race.

To those who are participating, Vivian says, "Thank you!"

Your generosity helps kids like Vivian receive lifesaving treatment at Cook Children's. We encourage you to participate in the Race to #erasekidcancer, make a donation and invite your friends to join and share your experience on social media tagging #erasekidcancer and @cookchildrens.org!

Zebadiah, "Zeb", age 14, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He described his time at Cook Children's saying, "The nurses, doctors and Child Life staff have made my stay easier by offering personalized care and making me feel special."

Zeb is always encouraging those around him to stay strong and positive! As Zeb has battled cancer, he has developed a passion to help and inspire others going through his same experience. In fact, he expressed that one day he would like to work at Cook Children's.

Zeb loves being active and playing soccer. When we told him about the Race to #erasekidcancer, he informed us that he would be running in the virtual race this year, as his hope is that one day there would be no such disease as cancer. Zeb would like to challenge his family, friends, Dr. Beam and anyone else who feels led to do so, to join him in the race.

"By participating in the race, YOU can make a difference!" – Zeb

Your generosity helps kids like Zeb receive lifesaving treatment at Cook Children's. We encourage you to participate in the Race to #erasekidcancer, make a donation and invite your friends to join and share your experience on social media tagging #erasekidcancer and @cookchildrens.org!

Jorge, age 3, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Throughout his time at Cook Children's, Jorge has met many wonderful caretakers and loves all of his nurses and doctors who have stood alongside him as he's battled cancer. Jorge's family would like for people to know, "If it wasn't for all the new studies, Jorge probably wouldn't be here right now. It's important to support all of these studies so that one day there can be a cure."

Jorge is quite the flirt, and loves super heroes, Mickey Mouse, and dancing. In fact, his one wish is to go to Disney World so that he can meet Mickey Mouse in person.

Jorge plans on walking the Race to #erasekidcancer virtual race and will be adding songs by Mickey Mouse and Pitbull to his race day playlist. He challenges his parents to race with him this year.

Your generosity helps kids like Jorge receive lifesaving treatment at Cook Children's. We encourage you to participate in the Race to #erasekidcancer, make a donation and invite your friends to join and share your experience on social media tagging #erasekidcancer and @cookchildrens.org!

(Sources: St. Baldrick's Foundation, Childhood Oncology Group, CURE Childhood Cancer, Children's Cancer Fund of America)

Have a question? We're here to help. Contact Cook Children's at 682-885-4000.

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