fighting against the odds
When Hallie was just two years old, her mother found her having a seizure in her crib. It turned out to be a brain tumor, nearly a quarter of her brain, and Hallie was rushed into emergency surgery. Though it has been categorized as several different things since diagnosis, new technology at St. Jude allowed doctors to test the original tumor just last year; today, the diagnosis is a new sub group of PNET called hGWNT, of which there are only 15 known cases. Her cancer relapsed in 2013, but Hallie continued to beat the odds and this is now her third year off cancer treatment. She continues rehabilitation through St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and is a joyful, engaging kindergartener!
Since absorbing the shock of Hallie’s cancer diagnosis, Bob and Melanie Crawford have been on a mission to help fund pediatric cancer research. Witnessing their own daughter’s odyssey of surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation, they realized that there was a need for better, more humane treatment options. As Bob often says, “Trying to cure a brain tumor with chemo and radiation is like trying to cure a hangnail with a hammer.” Since late 2011, with the help of a loyal network of Avett Brother’s fans, family, and friends, the Crawford family has raised over a half a million dollars for St. Jude and pediatric cancer-related charities.
Bob and Melanie believe that the Press On Fund is the natural next step on their journey of bringing hope to cancer patients and their families. Melanie says, “We are thrilled to join the Press On family. This organization’s hard work and determination, coupled with its lovely spirit is something we want to be a part of.”
At Press On, the Crawford’s work will focus mainly in the area of Neuro-Oncology. They will seek additional funding for the already established Crawford Fund at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital, which supports Sloan’s Pediatric Genomic Pipeline and the work of Dr. Michael Walsh. They are also excited to help launch a protocol at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital under Dr. Giles Robinson that will apply recently discovered molecular mapping of tumors to targeted therapies.
Bob and Melanie believe that under the Press On banner, together with the Chance and Simkins families, an unprecedented opportunity awaits to bring real and lasting improvements and outcomes for children suffering from cancer.