Update #207

Posted by Laura Tubo  December 1, 2005

     As the Christmas Season is in full swing, I remain humbled by the miracle of my son. This time last year, Joey was headed to the hospital for a critically high Calcium level. He would endure 5 attempts at an IV throughout the entire night and various other forms of torture in the name of preserving his health. I remember it as if it just happened. And yet, this year my Holiday Stress revolves around shopping, programs, schedules, etc. It is a welcome and different stress because I remain mindful of the multitude of families still in the fight. Today begins Lunch for Life. There is a link on this site, and I am hoping all of you take a few minutes to donate the cost of a lunch. You can do so in Joey's name. There is a virtual tree with ornaments which will track his donations. All of the money goes to research neuroblastoma. The founder of the site is a parent, just like me. I have found great strength in reading his site over my struggle. And, I admire what he has been able to accomplish in the midst of real adversity. I am attaching his plea which explains the program in more detail. I hope you will all consider a small gift for a larger purpose this holiday season.

Mark writes:

"Today is no ordinary day. In fact, today, this hour, and this minute is more important than anything I do all year with the exception of caring for my family. Today is the beginning of Lunch for Life. Lunch for Life was started two years ago. It was started by desperate parents of children with neuroblastoma because of the dire lack of research funding dedicated to curing the disease. What do I mean? The federal government provides research funding through the National Institute of Health and finally the NCI. These funds then trickle through several agencies where it finally falls into the hands of researchers. Last year the Children's Oncology Group (the largest group dedicated to children's oncology research with over 200 member hospitals) received $1.5 million to be dedicated to research neuroblastoma. Breast cancer researchers received over $15 BILLION.

Lunch for Life was created to bridge this gap. Over just the first two years Lunch for Life has raised over $500 thousand dollars for research into the cure of neuroblastoma. Right now there are three neuroblastoma research programs being funded because of this effort and at the beginning of 2006 we will be adding four more. We are making a difference and we will save lives.

Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that, children continue to die from neuroblastoma everyday. But we can make a difference. We can change this reality and we can hasten a cure but it depends on us - each and everyone of us. We are the ones, you and I, that these kids count on. The paltry research funding scraps that they receive from the federal government is not the answer. We are the ones that can make the difference but it depends on you. I ask that you help me, the families of lunch for life, and, most importantly, our children by skipping lunch and donating the money you would have spent on it to the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation. Additionally, I urge you to tell your friends and family and ask them to donate their lunches and propagate the message to their friends and family as well. It depends on you and I. There are no expensive market programs, no commercials, no loudspeakers. The message and our children's future depends on each and every one of us doing our part to ask the world to give up one day's lunch to cure cancer. That is all it takes but we need your help.

If just one of us told five friends to give up lunch today, and asked that the next day they asked five of their friends to do the same...and those five friends asked five of their friends to do the same on the next day and so on for the next ten days...Do you know how much money could be raised?

At just five dollars per lunch that would raise $9,765,625.00 in ten days.

It depends on each and every one of us. Be one of my five friends. Lets put a stop to neuroblastoma.

As an added bonus we have added a twist to Lunch for Life this year in light of the holiday season. Each of the 200 children with neuroblastoma that are a part of Lunch for Life have a virtual holiday tree at the Lunch for Life website. When you donate in a child's name that child also receives an ornament to decorate their virtual holiday tree. Ornaments earn the children donated prizes and a chance to win an all inclusive dream vacation for he/she and their family to Walt Disney World.

Please go to http://www.LunchforLife.org right now and donate your lunch. The website has all of the information you need. Then, most importantly, contact your friends and ask them to do the same. If we do this together we could put neuroblastoma research ahead by over 6 years in the next ten days. Yes, in the next ten days we could potentially save over 1800 children's lives."

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