LAUREN’S FIRST AND GOAL DONATES TO PEDIATRIC CANCER RESEARCH AND FAMILY SUPPORT

dr peter phillips chop.JPG LAUREN’S FIRST AND GOAL DONATES TO PEDIATRIC CANCER RESEARCH AND FAMILY SUPPORT

EASTON, PA (Nov. 22, 2010) – Lauren’s First and Goal Foundation will be presenting more than $190,000 to the fight against pediatric brain tumors this year. Seven organizations relating to pediatric cancer research and patient services will receive grants, as well as numerous families in need of financial support.

“On behalf of the board of LFG, we are very proud to be able to support the work of researchers who are dedicated to finding more effective and less toxic treatments for pediatric brain tumors,” said LFG co-founder Marianne Loose. “We are excited to be able to continue our partnerships with agencies that provide essential programs for pediatric cancer survivors and families, offering the support, information and respite that they need to navigate the difficult road they face.

“These grants have been made possible by the thousands of people who have joined in Lauren’s Circle of Strength by participating as players, coaches, volunteers and ambassadors of LFG in their communities.”

With approximately 28,000 children across the country living with the diagnosis of a primary brain tumor, the foundation’s primary mission is to provide funding for research. This year, the foundation will continue to support the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC) with an award of $60,000. With the funding LFG provided last year, the CBTTC collected more than 300 pediatric brain tumor specimens for testing therapies and models of treatment. Additionally, the CBTTC began a collaborative study of childhood medulloblastoma tumors with Johns Hopkins Hospital. Researchers were able to identify new mutations that represent a substantial sub-population of these tumors and have major clinical significance.

Research grants will also be awarded to ongoing research at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Johns Hopkins. The foundation will grant $45,000 to a pediatric low grade astrocytoma research study at Dana Farber and $35,000 to the Pilocytic Pilomyxoid Research Fund at Johns Hopkins.

Along with funding research, Lauren’s First and Goal is committed to making life easier for families dealing with pediatric cancer by supporting various service programs. Earlier this year, the foundation donated $3,000 to Camp Sunshine to underwrite the expense for two returning families during Brain Tumor Week. In addition, the foundation will be contributing about $20,000 toward permanent naming rights to a new volunteer housing suite at Camp Sunshine. This donation would allow for a continuation of the pet therapy and wellness programming at each camp session, and a permanent place for the volunteers who facilitate these services to stay during the sessions.

LFG is also making a difference for local families, giving $12,000 to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley for their parents’ support group as well as social, recreational and educational programming for patients and their families. The donation also benefits a siblings’ support group and bereavement counseling.

New this year, the foundation will donate $5,000 to Kyle’s Peace, which is a program that serves the patients and their families at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia oncology clinic. Kyle’s Peace organizes monthly visits to the facilities that include various activities, comfort services and even yoga.

Earlier this year, Lauren’s First and Goal contributed $2,000 toward a partnership with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society to create a book bag program that contains informational materials and resources for newly diagnosed patients and their families at the Lehigh Valley Hospital Hematology Oncology Clinic.

The final piece of LFG’s mission is family support, recognizing that the financial strain of a cancer diagnosis can present a tremendous challenge for families and caregivers. As of early November, the foundation has provided more than $13,000 to families in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and New York.