Why Press On?

April 26th, 2012 by Turner Simkins

The Press On Mission was recently galvanized with a two year $303,420 commitment to the Washington University and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s collaborative Pediatric Cancer Genome Project for the study of Acute Myeloid Leukemia marked by 7q deletion.  This is the specific subtype of leukemia developed by Brennan Simkins, who with Patrick Chance (neuroblastoma), is one of the two inspirations of the Press On mission.

“We are truly excited about the prospects of this research on Brennan’s disease and the promise it holds for other children,” Richard Shadyac, Jr, CEO of ALSAC(the chief fundraising entity for St. Jude) recently wrote to Tara and Turner Simkins.  “This gift will provide the tools our scientists need to understand how this cancer begins and grows in children like Brennan in ways never before possible, which in turn will lead to better, more effective treatments and hopefully, one day a cure,” Shadyac further shared in his note.

Press On’s Unique Mission is to identify feasible and ground breaking alternative therapies for neuroblastoma and AML and to invest monies raised in a manner to assure a CURE for these two specific childhood cancers within our lifetime.

Relative to more common diseases, pharmaceutical companies and research institutions invest little in neuroblastoma and AML because it is not profitable.  Press On pushes researchers and institutions to take drugs and trials “off the shelf,” thus putting them in action for these children and those that follow.

Through March, 2012, Press On has thoughtfully invested over $770,000 in such initiatives to acclaimed institutions such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Maris Laboratory at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston Hospital and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and today maintains a healthy cash balance of over $130,000.  This balance grows daily, thanks to generous individual supporters and ongoing fundraising efforts.

“The Washington University – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital gift represents just part of our mission for 2012,” says Press On’s co-founder and father of Patrick, Stephen Chance.   “We also have a significant gift to be announced for neuroblastoma sometime this summer, which will bring breakthrough neuroblastoma therapies to children in our region.  Our goal is to invest at least $100,000 per year to both neuroblastoma and AML research and initiatives, while simultaneously building bridges between institutions to share research and better understand what cutting edge alternatives can be made available to patients faster and more effectively.”

Brennan is alive today because his parents defied the odds and found the experts who were willing to invest their reputations and their time in cutting edge new protocols.  Patrick, in just 9 short but intensely vibrant years, was able to enjoy at least two more years with his family because of their commitment to these investments.   One day some child will live because of it.

This is why we Press On.

Press On is a named fund of CURE Childhood Cancer, a 501(c)(3) with a long standing reputation for supporting families and funding childhood cancer research.  AML and neuroblastoma represent two of the deadliest pediatric cancers with the two poorest survival rates.  Established in honor or Patrick Chance and Brennan Simkins, who both found themselves facing neuroblastoma and AML respectively at early ages, Press On investigates and invests all donated monies for cutting edge research, trials and protocols that both increase the therapeutic maintenance of children with these diseases while also seeking a CURE.  Press On today, presses on in memory of Patrick, who attained his heavenly crown after succumbing to neuroblastoma in January of 2012, and in honor of Brennan who still finds himself in the race.

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