News

My miracle - experimental chemo

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

In 2005, I was given a rare, stage 4, metastatic cancer diagnosis of rhabdomyosarcoma that would forever change my path in life. I was told that this cancer had no treatment plan and therefore my roadmap was determined by entering my age, gender, type of cancer and stage of progression into a computer model that would develop a random treatment. The 42 weeks of chemotherapy, along with the highest radiation possible, would devastate my body. My doctors told me I would most likely not see my 16th birthday. There were times that I didn’t think I could go on and simply wanted to give up. I was only 15. 

Cancer took from me my only chance to be a real teenager. But cancer will do that. It will make you fight whether you're ready or not. I remember fearing that I would never get my driver’s license, walk across a stage to receive my high school diploma, fall in love, or ever just be healthy again.

By January of 2007, I had finished my last day of chemo, radiation was over, and my scans were clear! I don't think I had ever felt such happiness like I did that day. I had seen my last outpatient room with the ugliest curtains I ever laid eyes on, thanked my angel of a nurse, Donna, for taking such great care of me and for always providing me with my favorite "after chemo" cocktail of Ativan and Dilaudid, then headed home.

That happiness lasted a bittersweet six months. The morning of my Mom's birthday, I woke up from a vivid nightmare that the cancer was back. And it was. So, I embarked on yet another course of experimental treatment. Round two was another 50-week roadmap of different chemos that would end up taking almost 2 years to complete and another six weeks of radiation. Radiation that I would fail to complete due to the devastation to my body. The following years were darker than I ever thought imaginable. There were daily clinic visits, some emergency surgeries, nearly weekly trips to the ER, and too many blood transfusions to count.

At two points in my treatment, we were told the cancer wasn’t responding, and at 17 years old, I found myself planning how and where I'd like to spend my last days. My doctors told me I’d feel no more pain and that I didn’t have to fight anymore. If there ever was a time to start believing in miracles, that was it. After repeated scans, it wasn’t what they thought. What had appeared to be new tumors in my lungs turned out instead to be tiny pockets of fluid. There was my miracle. The experimental treatment had been working. Experimental chemotherapy that saved my life and gave me the gift of many more tomorrows. During those years, my body had been through changes that I would never wish on anyone, especially not a child.

I recently celebrated my 28th birthday. I wasn’t supposed to have that gift. Not a day goes by that I don’t love and appreciate this life. My hope is that every child will have that same opportunity for life-saving treatment. Research is what saved my life. That’s what led my doctors to the experimental therapy and to my miracle.

Please give generously to The Morgan Adams Foundation, so they can fund research to help more kids with cancer. Donate online at morganadamsfoundation.org.

Thank you,

Morgan McKillop



You can help kids with cancer RIGHT NOW

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Our young friend Cooper knew research was being done on rare types of kids' brain tumors. He knew that research took money. So when doctors explained last April that his hope for remission was gone, the bright 12-year-old had an idea: he would use his life savings to find a cure.

If only it were that simple. If only the dollars Cooper had saved for college could have made that happen. If only diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, weren't the deadly pediatric brain cancer it is. If only the answers had been found before it claimed his life.

After Cooper passed, Sujatha Venkataraman, PhD - one of the researchers working closely with The Morgan Adams Foundation (MAF) - told his parents that targeting DIPG is her "only mission and focus in life." "I lost my own small son Rishi to cancer," Venkataraman reflects. "Kids should not go through these sufferings. DIPG is under-researched and it is always fatal. We are working hard to find a way to improve outcomes for these children."

Childhood cancer is scary. Some types remain 100% fatal. But there is hope.

Last year, Sujatha and Dr. Rajeev Vibhakar received a $20,000 MAF grant to identify drug therapies that may slow DIPG tumor growth. This research has yielded important data and resulted in more grants - totaling $500,000 - from the federal government and other organizations, and that means a new possibility of hope for kids like Cooper.

You have made this possible.Your gift starts the process of getting good ideas out of the lab and into tangible treatment options for kids and teenagers.

Your continuing support will help doctors and researchers pursue every possible new treatment avenue for kids with cancer. The hope you give these kids will be leveraged many times over. I invite you to join me in continuing our work to create a brighter future for kids and teens battling cancer.

With much gratitude,

 

Founder and Executive Director



Remembering Trevor

Trevor Kling was very involved as a Morgan Adams Foundation Ambassador. A shining light among us, this 14-year-old Honor Roll student missed only one day of school while enduring 36 radiation treatments and 14 months of chemotherapy. He passed in October, more than two years after his diagnosis with anaplastic astrocytoma grade III.

Trevor's dad Dave shares, "When his mom Cheryl and I explained to Trevor that he was dying, he told us he still wanted to fight for other kids. He knew being an Ambassador would help make more money to fund more research, even if it couldn't help him. So, we're going to continue that, because it will make a difference for someone 10 years down the road."

The outlook for kids with Trevor's type of cancer has changed little. Your gift can help move the needle on the translational research needed to change the survival rates for kids battling highly aggressive brain tumors.

Please give generously.





By shining laser light on cancer cells, researchers at The Morgan Adams Foundation Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Program are able to track the effect of promising cancer drugs. "We use a variety of lasers, not for making things happen, but for detecting what is happening in our cancer cells," explains pediatric hematologist-oncologist Dr. Rajeev Vibhakar. "With our imaging flow cytometer, we can detect individual cells, which allows us to learn more from very small samples. The cells are treated with dyes, so that - depending on the laser we shine on them - the light reflected is different. This allows us to tell if the cell is dying - a process called apoptosis - or alive."

Anti-cancer drugs trigger apoptosis in cells that are diseased. Dr. Vibhakar says, "A lot of the research funded by The Morgan Adams Foundation focuses on drugs currently available for the adult population. We want to find new 'targets' for these existing drugs in the pediatric population." When you support this work, your gift helps us fund ways to get new treatments to kids with cancer faster than the decade or more required for most drug development.

Through your gift, you can help make this happen. In this lab. At this time. Thank you for shining a light on new treatment possibilities for kids with cancer.


"This program is the cutting edge."

 

A neuro-oncology program led by world-class researchers, Dr. Rajeev Vibhakar and Dr. Nick Foreman. A lab producing and documenting breakthrough results. And a promise to stay on the leading edge of finding a cure for pediatric brain cancer. Those energies merged in September at the naming of The Morgan Adams Foundation Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Program. Board Chair John Dudasch recalled his daughter's fight: Avery died at the age of 11 after an 11-month battle with a diffuse high grade glioma. He noted, "These aren't just nameless kids we are asking you to work for. Cancer strikes everywhere. You can help us make a difference."

Please join the Dudasch family in supporting the vital work being done in this dedicated lab. Every gift will be multiplied - in research, results, kids healing, and our infinite hope for a cure.



Newsletter Winter 2015 Page 7

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Newsletter Winter 2015 Page 1

Saturday, November 21, 2015

 


Hope Moves Us Forward And Onward

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Newsletter Spring 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Read our Spring 2015 Newsletter HERE. 


A Million for What Matters Raffle

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Morgan Adams Foundation is participating in "A Million for What Matters Raffle" with AMP THE CAUSE and we need your support!

Please visit WWW.AMILLIONMATTERS.COM and purchase a $10 raffle ticket for The Morgan Adams Foundation and you could win a 2015 Ford Escape provided by Sill-TerHar Motors! The winning ticket will be drawn on May 23, 2015 at Amp the Cause's annual "Denver Day of Rock" at Skyline Park 1 at 15th and Arapahoe in downtown Denver. 


Give HOPE to Kids Like Eli On Colorado Gives Day

Monday, December 08, 2014

Colorado Gives Day is Tuesday, December 9th and like many Colorado non-profits, we are seeking your support.

Please take a minute to watch this amazing 9News segment featuring MAF Ambassador, Eli and the entire Gump-Gold family. Eli was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma when he was 2 years old and in this video they talk about what that has meant for the last 6 years of their lives.   

Thanks to donors like you, we are able to fund smaller, more specific research projects that help kids with cancer RIGHT NOW. A donation on Colorado Gives Day will give the gift of HOPE to kids like Eli.

Thank you so much to Eli, the Gump-Gold family, Danielle Grant and 9News for putting this piece together. Please give generously on Colorado Gives Day - www.coloradogivesdays.org/morganadamsfoundation.

MAF Winter 2014 Newsletter

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Arriving in your mailboxes today...our Winter 2014 newsletter! Click HERE to download an electronic version the newsletter. If you didn't receive a copy via snail mail and would like to, please let maf@morganadamsfoundation.org know and we'll send one your way.

Race to Fund Pediatric Cancer Research

Monday, March 10, 2014

i-DfvSQcX-MHope doesn't just move us forward. It puts us in the fast lane.

When we talk about moving forward in the race to fund research for pediatric cancer, we mean "pedal-to-the-metal" forward.  Fast. Furious. Fantastic.

Enter Alex Welch.  Man on a similar mission.

Alex is an Audi Sport Customer Racing driver and a member of the GMG Racing Team.  He likes things fast.  He has a big heart.  And he has an equally big hatred of pediatric cancer.   He's our kind of guy.

We've buckled up for the ultimate partnership.

Alex has been a donor and friend of the Morgan Adams Foundation and participated in The Race Against Kids Cancer and The Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing Club.

For 2014, Alex decided to pursue his dream of racing in the North American Endurance Cup. He is campaigning an Audi R8 LMS for GMG Racing, and his teammates are James Sofronas, Marc Basseng, and Frank Strippler.

Here's the awesome part.

Instead of looking for a sponsor, Alex donated some of his car space to The Morgan Adams Foundation. Our logo has prime placement of the hood and on top of the back fenders! Alex and the entire GMG racing team have embraced MAF as a charity partner and invited foundation members to join them at the 4 endurance races this season. Joan and Matt were track-side at Daytona in February.

So how do you get in the race?

The next race is the 62nd annual 12 Hours of Sebring and we have an exciting fundraising component. You can now pledge a dollar amount per lap that The Morgan Adams Foundation car will complete during this race. PLUS Alex has also generously offered to match our first $5,000 in fundraising efforts for this race.

THE RACE IS ON.  CLICK BELOW DONATE TODAY AND FEEL THE ADRENALINE RUSH OF RUNNING OVER CANCER ON YOUR WAY TO THE FINISH LINE.

Our MAF Audi hopes to complete the race and should complete over 300 laps in the 12 hour period.  

CLICK HERE TO PLEDGE RIGHT NOW>

Keep your eye out for our logo on the #32 car in the GTD class on Saturday March 15th. The first 3 hours of the race will air on Fox and the entire race is streamed live on http://imsa.com/. We will also be updating you throughout the race on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.