The Press On to CURE Childhood Cancer Fund (formerly known as the Patrick R. Chance Fund for Neuroblastoma Research) (the “Press On Fund”) was the first named fund under CURE Childhood Cancer’s 501(c)(3) non-profit umbrella which invests in medical research focused on novel and less toxic therapies for neuroblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia (“AML”), two deadly pediatric cancers.

The Press On Fund was formed in June 2006 by Stephen and Erin Chance after their 3 year old son, Patrick, was diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma.  In that first year, Stephen and Erin raised over $100,000 for neuroblastoma research and have directed more than $300,000 to neuroblastoma research in the last three years.

In January of 2009, Turner and Tara Simkins’ son, Brennan, was diagnosed with AML on the eve of his 7th birthday.  While the source of Brennan’s AML is a chromosomal abnormality, both Brennan and Patrick are at high risk for developing treatment related AML.  Given the lifelong friendship of these two families, the coincidence of their sons’ battles with these diseases, and the ironic twist of fate that both boys are at risk for developing AML at some point in the future, the Chances expanded the mission of the Press On Fund to include research for AML and invited the Simkins to join them in directing the monies raised.

The Press On Fund’s goal is to achieve a greater cure rate for these cruel diseases while mitigating the potentially devastating side effects of current therapies.  To accomplish this goal, the Press On Fund provides grants to scientists conducting research into novel, targeted therapies for neuroblastoma and AML.

The significance of these research dollars for Patrick and Brennan, and many children just like them, cannot be underscored.  Patrick is in his 4th year of treatment.  Having completed his initial 34 months of treatment in March of 2009, Patrick relapsed for the first time in June 2009.  He achieved a second remission in November 2009 and relapsed for a third time in June 2010.

Brennan achieved a first remission and completed his initial treatment protocol for AML in April 2009 followed by a bone marrow transplant in May 2009.  Brennan relapsed in September 2009.  Unable to achieve a second remission, Brennan underwent a groundbreaking second bone marrow transplant within 7 months of his first transplant with over 50% leukemia at the time of transplant.  Brennan relapsed for the second time in September 2009.

Patrick and Brennan have been treated at some of the top pediatric cancer centers in the country:  Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Children’s Medical Center at the Medical College of Georgia.  Exceptional research and innovative doctors and scientists have provided these boys with opportunities that many other children never had.

The Chances and Simkins are dedicated to insuring that their sons and all other children suffering from these devastating diagnoses and life altering treatments may continue to have options for today and for the future.  Please join us in investing in continued innovative treatment protocols and hope for a CURE in all our children’s lifetimes.