Medical University of South Carolina Visit

Last week, I met with Bobby Houck and Hank Futch of the Blue Dogs along with Barbara Rivers of MUSC and Dr. Jackie Kraveka to discuss Dr. Kreveka’s breakthrough neuroblastoma research at MUSC.  Through the Blue Dogs and Friends concert this December 28, all monies directed to Press On will be reserved for the support of this…

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T-Cell Research Showing Promise!

Augusta, GA.     Research premised in altering the human T-Cell to attack cancer cells in much the same way that they would attack a virus or bacteria is showing much promise, as recently published in a New York Times article.   The Press On Fund has invested in two separate studies for NK Cell therapy,  for…

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Press On Pleased to Announce Long Term Georgia-Regents University Partnership

Press On is pleased to announce its long term partnership with Georgia Regents University in establishing a translational pediatric oncology research program for the State of Georgia. The landmark grant which made possible through was achieved with the valuable support of Janus Research and Tony and Jeanie Loop. For more information about this announcement, on…

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Press On Announces Medical Advisory Board: September, 2014

Press On is pleased to announce the formation of a Medical Advisory Board. The Press On Medical Advisory Board (MAB) is comprised of leading experts in their fields. The MAB’s role is to advise the Press On Board on a range of issues and to provide scientific review of research proposals to ensure that the research programs…

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Press On in Augusta, GA… and Beyond

We have some exciting news to share with you regarding Press On and its move to the CSRA Community Foundation in Augusta, GA (“CSRACF”).  As you know, Press On was the first “named fund” of CURE Childhood Cancer, Inc.  For over six years, CURE’s administrative support, specifically efforts by Kristin Connor, her staff, the Board,…

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Press On in the Morning

It is Friday morning, exactly one month since the Play for Press On tournament in Augusta. Thirty days ago, I woke early and jumped in with a literal army of compassionate volunteers who had taken a day of their lives to pull off this event. In its second year, it has already been ingrained as…

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Searching, Feeling, Holding

With a deep relaxing breath my eyes briefly close and the tension from my hobbled race through the Columbia, SC airport begins to fade. My thoughts drift to my beautiful new book, “Peace Like a River,” which sits dog-eared in my lap waiting to be finished. I close my eyes for a minute and drift.

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“See you later, again.”

Its been a long time, and that’s a good thing, I guess. I begin writing this from the darkness of my bed at Grizzly House on the St. Jude campus. The room is dark with the exception of residual light from my laptop monitor, concentrating its dull glow on me as Brennan sleeps soundly in the adjacent bed. It is our last night here from a fairly rigorous week of examinations, scans, screenings, samplings and reunion, as Brennan undergoes the most thorough check-up of his remission. It is now well past the middle of night. My mind is racing, so I write.

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Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
– Someone

…. At least that’s my belief, and I pray the belief of those who have communicated in some form or fashion that the Carepage and Blog updates about Brennan have been missing. Officially, the Carepage updates are over; however, with the new medium of our Press On website, and the Blog post section designed for the specific purpose of providing updates on Brennan, his health and status, I figure that we’ve laid off for long enough.

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Looking Forward

“You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good bye.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.”
– Crosby, Still, Nash and Young

Attending church by myself is not something I grew up doing. As a matter of fact, in such circumstances, I probably would have creeped myself out not that long ago. Things change, though. What would at one time have been a straight shot into the bowels of discomposure has transmogrified itself into an amazingly accurate channel for insight.

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Why Press On?

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.

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Full Circle

Gasping atop the steps leading from the Mississippi to our home-away-from home atop the bluff in Memphis, the remaining warmth from the setting sun cascaded itself around the gigantic steel girders of the railroad bridge in front of me. Looking up, it was blinding.

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It is precisely because they play that we press on. As the song says, we’re changing day-to-day, but the children always play. Through our own life-experience with innocence, we have all lived. Whether through our past, our fervent devotion to our own children, or even a glancing appreciation for a joyful child we meet in passing, we are able to taste and feel the purity of life, the irreproachability of love. Things change. People die, but the children always play.

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Take a Vacation and Help Find a CURE for Childhood Cancer

“Gee… tough decision… I could make a $2,000 donation to Press On, or I can rent a great place for our family vacation at the beach or mountains this summer?” Let’s face it, family always comes first.  It does in our home, and we expect it to in yours.  Consequently, dilemmas like this are usually…

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“Through the years we all will be together If the fates allow
and hang a shining star upon the highest bow, oh yeah,
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now”
Lyrics from “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” from the recollected perspective of CHristmas 2010

Monday, December 5, Brennan and I spent virtually the entire day at the hospital clinic. It was bone chilling cold outside; cold, windy and rainy, three of the primary ingredients strictly excluded from his daily lifestyle prescription. When it is my turn to be accompany this little man, days like this are maddening. Fortunately, he is feeling better, and therefore impatient and eager enough to pursue fun things unattainable on days like this.

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Unexpected Turn

“A thing long expected takes the form of the unexpected when at last it comes”
Mark Twain

I guess we were expecting Brennan to catch a bug sooner or later. While endeavoring to plug as many holes in the bubble as we could, the bottom line is that: a) he’s a kid; b) it is approaching winter; and people are spreading germs left-and-right; and, c) the new immune system was bound to be put to a test someday.

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Broken Alleluia

Tuesday morning, October 4 2011 was my day with Brennan. We awoke early with the rest of the gang, helping Christopher and Nat getting with their breakfast (a la Tara’s usual pre-school chocolate-chip pancake recipe) and ready for school. These days Brennan is feeling pretty good, serving as the attache to whichever parent is leading the morning charge.

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Grace in a Glass of Milk

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” – unknown author

It was a dream, thank God. All five of us were in a white cottage at the base of a mountain. It was a huge mountain range under a cornflower blue sky. This was not western North Carolina. We all walked from the back door and hiked to the top, where there was another cottage. Brennan, for some reason, stayed behind. …read more

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“Oh, don’t go too far
Stay who you are
Everybody knows
You only live a day
But it’s brilliant anyway
I saw you in a perfect place
It’s going to happen soon but not today
So go to sleep and make the change
I’ll meet you here tomorrow
Independence day”
Elliot Smith

The waning hours of Independence Day, 2011. All three of our boys were upstairs watching “Evan Almighty.” Intuited from the occasional thumps and giggles from the bedroom floor above us, there was more taking place than a DVD. read more

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A Homecoming Miracle

“The primary function of miracles is not to shock the senses but to bring revelation to grant us a glimpse of the divine and through that glimpse the opportunity to be transformed.”
From a book I picked up at Robin Smithwick’s house.

It was my night to stay with Brenny. Tara and I had spent most of the day rifling through every nook of the Bluff House in preparation for sorting, packing and gradually shipping our lives back to Augusta.

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