Help Emily Raise $9k for her 9th Birthday 4 Cancer Research

For: Cancer Research (The Ride to Conquer Cancer)
Organizer: The Whitehead Family - Tom, Kari and Emily
$13,310
of $10,000 goal.
Raised by 138 donors
100% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

***Help Emily raise $9,000 for her 9th birthday to donate to cancer research!***

Emily decided for her birthday that she wants to raise $9,000 to donate to cancer research. When we asked her why she chose that amount she said "because it's my 9th birthday!". Then she said "well, let's just make it $10,000 - an extra $1,000 to grow on!"

In honor of Emily's 9th birthday and celebrating two years cancer free we want to help her meet her goal. We will be working on this throughout the summer and the goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of September (Childhood Cancer Awareness Month).

If you would like to make a donation by mail please email us for our address: [email protected]


***About Emily***

Hi, my name is Emily! On Friday, May 28, 2010, just a few weeks after my 5th birthday, I was diagnosed with standard risk pre-b acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at Hershey Medical Center. I was supposed to get chemotherapy treatments for 26 months and doctors said I had an 85%-90% chance of being cured; however, on October 6, 2011 I found out my leukemia relapsed and then they told me I only had a 30% chance of being cured. I received aggressive chemotherapy through January 2012 and was scheduled for a bone marrow transplant in February 2012; however, I found out on February 4, 2012, just two weeks before my transplant, that I relapsed again. Doctors tried more chemotherapy through the months of February and March but could not get me back into remission. At that point, doctors said that I was not going to get better with chemotherapy. In April 2012 I was enrolled into a phase I clinical trial at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). It was highly experimental but my mommy and daddy knew we had to try something different to treat my cancer. I was the first pediatric patient in the world to receive genetically modified T-cells to help fight my leukemia. I was very sick after I got my new cells and was in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) for several weeks on a ventilator. I fought very hard and made it through because my amazing medical team worked around the clock to figure out why I got so sick and how to make me better. Plus I had thousands of prayers from my friends, family, community and supporters. In May 2012 I found out the new cells worked and that I was in remission!! I came home from the hospital June 1, 2012. I have been doing very well since I came home!

News about the T-cell therapy:

The New York Times (December 2012)

"Fire with Fire" 3-minute documentary

Forbes Magazine (May 2014)


***Where will the money go?***

The money raised will be donated to The Ride to Conquer Cancer® in Philadelphia. The Ride to Conquer Cancer® supports Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center’s vision to eradicate cancer as a cause of human disease and suffering through precision medicine, novel research, next-generation therapies, and compassionate care. Penn has developed and continues to develop cutting edge therapies for the treatment of cancer including the T-cell therapy.

Many of the doctors and researchers who work on the T-cell therapy trials at Penn/CHOP are participating in the race including Dr. June (who developed the T-cell therapy at Penn), Dr. Grupp (Emily's oncologist at CHOP), Dr. Levine (he grows the T-cells in his lab at Penn) and others. The team will ride their bikes 150 miles in October to raise money for cancer research at Penn Medicine. Emily will be there at the beginning of the ride and may ride her bike a short way with the team. 

To learn more about the bike ride and/or join the team: http://www.ridetovictory.org(Philadelphia) and the team name to join is: CARs Pedaling for Cures:-)

Depending on the amount raised some funds may also be donated to The Four Diamonds Fund to benefit the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital and/or the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

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