Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Research, For the Win

This morning, Georgia had a brain MRI to get to the bottom of some troublesome headaches she's been having (four in the last month). They seem to have somewhat of a pattern, which points to a "simple" answer like hormones or a blood sugar issue, so we've been trying to fend them off with snacks after physical activity and lots of fluids and rest. But they are pretty debilitating, and because of her history, and to rule out a possible relapse, her team wanted labs, the MRI, and a full headache work-up. We're still waiting on the labs, but we got the scan results today, and the news is good - great, even! Her brain not only looks normal, it looks HEALTHY. There is no sign of relapse or of damage from the 25 rounds of chemo she had injected into her spinal fluid, so it was worth the tension of the last two weeks and the very loud and uncomfortable 30 minutes in the tube to get such beautiful pictures!

We'll follow up at the survivorship clinic next week (with a possible guest appearance by Dr. Neff!), and at the end of March, she'll have her endocrinology appointment, which is a great place to get some of this sorted out. But we won't get in to neurology to start the headache work-up until April, so we probably won't have a definitive answer for a while. All this to say, though, we are thrilled with today's results.

In the not too distant past, children diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia were treated until they reached remission, and a large majority relapsed within months, either in the bone marrow, the Central Nervous System, or both. Leukemia that reoccurred in the CNS was particularly dangerous and nearly impossible to treat, which is why the fairly recent inclusion of CNS prophylaxis (which Georgia received in those 25 spinal tap/intrathecal methotrexate injections) was a game-changer. That, coupled with the introduction of vincristine to standard treatment protocols, dramatically increased overall survival rates for ALL to upwards of 85% today. 

So how did we get to those numbers and those successes? Science. Research. Clinical Trials. All of which require people dedicated to doing years of work and people willing to help fund that work. We wouldn't have these results, or any of the other good results Georgia's had all along, without the research that has improved ALL treatment protocols and saved the vast majority of children that would have otherwise been facing a death sentence. Funding research is imperative to finding cures and safer, less-toxic treatments for all childhood cancers, and in honor of Georgia's fight, victory, and future, we hope you'll consider supporting our mission to conquer this disease, once and for all. Our youngest and bravest Peachy Keen would especially appreciate your generous donation, and we thank you, again and forever, for keeping Georgia on your mind and in your heart.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Envelope, Please

And the award for Best Supporting Sister goes to ... Ivy Francis Moore! Our sweet girl has decided to brave the shave in honor of Georgia and all kids battling cancer! She has actually been wanting to shave since Mommy did it when Georgia was first diagnosed (Ivy was six at the time!) and has asked to every year, so ... this year it is! She will be joining her Poppa at the Dell Children's event on March 21st, and we'd love any and all Friends of Georgia *and* Ivy to come out and cheer her on. And, of course, we'd most appreciate your donations in our efforts to fund childhood cancer research and to hit our 15 for 15 in '15 goal. We are so proud of our girls, both champions in this fight, and we are honored to share the love with families still fighting. 

Her MaxLove hat says it all. Click here to support our brave girl.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Race to the Finish

Our hardworking volunteers rocked the Mile 9 water stop for the Austin Marathon on Sunday! Everyone got in on the act, and with the warmer temperatures and high humidity, the runners really, really appreciated it. It's pretty inspiring to see folks push themselves to the limit like that - in some ways, it reminds me of some other inspiring folks we know ... : ) 

5:30 AM volunteer call

Georgia, Sierra, and Claire - Marathon Angels

Ready for the runners!

Cheering on their Ann Richards sisters!

Georgia is finishing up the last week of this 4th six weeks of school, so the year is two-thirds of the way over. Which means she'll be one-fourth of the way through high school - already! The days are flying by, and she is working hard, but she is also having fun and making great memories with her friends. Summer will be here before we know it, and I have a feeling our girl will spend most of it in the water. Perfect!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Team Spirit

Georgia and the rest of the Ann Richards Stars had a great time at the regional swim meet, and we were lucky enough to catch a few events. Driving two hours each way to see her swim for 30 seconds may sound crazy, but it was totally worth it! 

This weekend is the Austin Marathon, and we'll be back at our waterstop posts with Superhero Kids! They do so much for kids in treatment at our clinic, so we're happy to help out in any way. And the marathon is always such a fun event! We're looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and cheering on the brave runners!

And in other team news: A familiar face has joined the Peachy Keens to shave for the second time in honor of Georgia - her Poppa! Pictured here at our first St. Baldrick's event five years ago, he's ready to celebrate Georgia's success as well as raise awareness, hope, and research funds for kids still in the fight. 

You, too, can join the mighty Peachy Keens and brave the shave as part of our 15 for 15 in '15 campaign. If you'd like to put a price on your head to help further our mission to end childhood cancer, email us for details. And, as always, we appreciate your support and generous donations! Thanks, y'all!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Every Day is World Cancer Day

Today is officially World Cancer Day, but truly, we recognize it every day. And to that end, this is just as good a day as any to let y'all know that I'll be shaving my head for the fourth time with the 46 Mommas this summer - Kansas City, here I come! The team has raised over $1.6 million to date, and we're powering on to $2 million! And to add to the excitement this year, the funds I raise for the Mommas will also benefit the Georgia and the Peachy Keens Hero Fund, enabling us to directly support particular research and possibly choose the grants we help fund. Those opportunities motivate and energize us, as does our amazing survivor, so we hope you'll once again join us in supporting research and conquering childhood cancer!

Click HERE to donate!

And click above to view and SHARE Georgia's video - 15 for 15 in '15!

 Off to Regionals tomorrow - just keep swimming, Georgia Girl!