Today in the MSKCC clinic I briefly met Dena Sherwood, the woman who runs the Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation. It was inspiring to meet someone who has been in the same battle as us and still found the energy to raise money (a lot!) for all the neuroblastoma warriors. Dena shared that Arms Wide Open has already raised $100,000 this year for MSKCC and that they are hoping to win the Pepsi Refresh Challenge in order to bring the annual total to $350,000. The Pepsi grant would be used by MSKCC for the turbo 3F8 research project. Turbo 3F8 is a super strong version of the antibody therapy Jordan attempted this past spring. Antibody therapy is a crucial treatment option for neuroblastoma and does not have the long-term side effects that come with so many of the other therapies. Dena shared that turbo 3F8 has already been developed...MSKCC just needs $600,000 to move it on to production. Production takes six months and then turbo 3F8 will be available to children in the clinic. This was wonderful to hear...but also a little sad. It is heartbreaking to know that the science is there but that money is preventing this treatment from being available.
Arms Wide Open is currently in second plase in the Pepsi refresh challenge. The top two vote recipients win a $250,000 grant so they need to maintain their current ranking until voting ends at the end of the month. You can vote for Arms Wide Open each day by texting 73774 and entering the code 102653. You can also visit the website below and vote online.