Two of the state’s leading cancer research hospitals received some major help from a local non-profit organization.
Triumph Over Kid Cancer donated $400,000 to MD Anderson and Texas Children’s Hospital.
TOKC’S co-founder Mecklin Ragan presented the checks to the organizations.
The money is being split equally between the hospitals and it’s all going to research.
Research to end sarcomas, in particular bone cancer.
Osteosarcoma is what took the life of Mecklin’s brother, James.
The siblings started TOKC together.
“They’re working so hard to make new drugs to treat children with cancer so that they do have a better future and outcome than my brother James and countless others,” Mecklin says.
100 percent of the money donated by TOKC will directly go to pediatric cancer research.
Research like that instituted by Dr. Nabil Ahmed.
“We’ve started to see some cures. Very objective cures” says Ahmed who is a pediatric oncologist and scientist at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Ahmed’s research started 15 years ago.
Today that research is showing promising results.
“We’re now seeing complete remissions,” he said.
Ahmed is working on a Genome Sequencing Project to target bone cancer in children.
This is a precise therapy that identifies a cancer cell and then kills it, leaving healthy cells unharmed.
It’s quite different from current therapies like radiation and chemo which kills both healthy and unhealthy cells. Those treatments leave a patient suffering from several side effects.
Not far from Dr. Ahmed is Dr. Valerae Lewis.
She’s is currently a professor and chair of the Department of Orthopedic Oncology at the University of Texas at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
“I hope and I think every researcher hopes that their research will end up in a cure, but first we hope it gets off the floor and shows advocacy in the Osteosarcoma population,” says Lewis.
Her research team at MD Anderson is working on developing a drug that would also eradicate sarcomas.
The money from TOKC will 100 percent fund what could one day lead to a cure.
“You know, when you enter a clinical trial you need additional scans and biopsies so this donation goes directly to the patients,” Lewis said.
“Nobody wants to see a child die of cancer and through TOKC and other foundations who act together we’re working to make cancer history. It is our mission,” says Ahmed.
TOKC hosts two big fundraisers a year to help fund pediatric cancer research.
Both are coming up in May.
The 12th Annual James A. Ragan Golf Scramble is May 10 at the Corpus Christi Country Club.
The 13th Annual Toga Party is May 11 at 4126 Ocean Drive. It’s going to be such a great time
To take part in the events, visit Triumph Over Kid Cancer by clicking on this link.