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Monday, April 14, 2008

Kids Walk for Kids with Cancer

Dear Friends and Supporters of Prince Liam,

On the second day after Liam was diagnosed we met an amazing woman named Shirley Staples. Her name and phone number were written on a piece of paper and handed to me by a social worker at Memorial Sloan-Kettering who urged me to call her. Shirley’s son Simon, who today is almost 15, was treated in 1998 at Memorial Sloan-Kettering for stage IV neuroblastoma which is the same disease Liam is battling. In the 13 months since Liam’s diagnosis, Shirley has served the role as confidante, counselor, rock of support and friend. At the end of our first phone call when I literally reached out to her for a lifeline as my world was crashing in on me, I said that I had a feeling she was going to be the angel who saw me through this tough time. It’s a bit uncharacteristic for me to say things like that…but for some reason the words popped into my head and out of my mouth. A few months later, she and I made the connection that we went to the same small, liberal arts women’s college in North Carolina, shared the same major and had several of the same professors. The mascot for our school, Meredith College, is an angel and all underclasswomen are assigned a senior to show them the ropes. (Bizarre coincidence, right?)

A few years ago Shirley’s daughter decided to start a fundraiser for pediatric cancer called, Kids Walk for Kids with Cancer. Since its first year in 2001, the walk has raised almost $525,000. The event is organized by NYC-area students from 6th to 12th grade and has blossomed into one that companies and their employees participate in as well as parenting groups, families, book clubs, etc. This year’s event is being held on Saturday, May 10th. The event starts at 2 p.m. in Central Park, across from Tavern on the Green at W. 67th and CPW. It begins with a brief program that includes comments from doctors who treated both Simon and Liam and is followed by a 4.5 mile walk. Everyone is welcome from babies to grandparents and even pets. We plan on being there and invite you to join us to walk in support of pediatric cancer research.

This year's walk will support research at MSKCC on stage iv neuroblastoma. The survival rate is a dismal 30%, so more funding for research to develop more effective treatments is desperately needed. The walk funds will help the MSKCC researchers keep improving the odds for children with neuroblastoma.

We hope you can join us. Please forward this email to your NYC-area friends and family!! There is also a flyer we can send you if you’re interested or visit the website for the event, http://www.walkforkidswithcancer.org/

Thank you in advance and we hope to see you there.

Gretchen, Larry, Liam and Ella