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Pervez Saleem


By Pervez Saleem:

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“If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell.” Lance Armstrong
New Cure…New Hope

A new immunotherapy treatment for childhood cancer, developed at The Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research, is producing stunning results in young patients-and hope for families all over the world. Welcome to Strong Against Cancer, a team effort that includes doctors, nurses, researchers, hospitals, companies, and people like you who are supporting this

Team Captain
Russell Wilson

When Seattle Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson learned about this game-changing therapy, he made it his mission to raise awareness and support. Take a moment to watch the videos and read the patient stories. Then step up, join the team, and help tackle childhood cancer.

Children’s launches $100M fundraiser for cancer research

With an assist from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation is kicking off a $100 million fundraising campaign to support research on a promising new type of treatment for some types of childhood cancer.

With an assist from Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation is kicking off a $100 million fundraising campaign to support research on a promising new type of treatment for some types of childhood cancer.

Wilson is an ambassador for the initiative, called “Strong Against Cancer,” said Stacey DiNuzzo, the hospital’s public-relations manager.

The money will be used to fund clinical trials and studies of immunotherapy _ a technique that involves reprogramming a patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer.

Preliminary results from a small number of patients with an aggressive form of leukemia have been promising, but research funding for large-scale trials is hard to come by, DiNuzzo said.

Less than 3 percent of the National Cancer Institute budget is devoted to pediatric cancer, according to a news release from the hospital.

“We are on the threshold of a cure based on immunotherapy, but we lack the necessary funds to provide this treatment to all of the young cancer patients who need it,” hospital president Doug Picha said in the news release.

Last month, Children’s started recruiting patients with neuroblastoma, one of the deadliest forms of childhood cancer, to see if immunotherapy can induce remission.

The multiyear, fundraising campaign hopes to enlist corporate sponsors, as well as individual donors, DiNuzzo said.

Immuno – What?

Immunotherapy is the next great advancement in cancer treatment. Through cellular engineering, we enable the body’s own immune system to heal itself-without the harsh and often lifelong side effects of chemotherapy and radiation.


1.We do a simple blood draw from a patient.

2.Using laboratory techniques, we program the blood’s “warrior” T cells, training them to recognize enemy cancer cells.

3.When re-introduced into the patient’s body, the T cells multiply rapidly, seeking out and destroying cancer cells-without harming normal, healthy cells.


Most patients emerge cancer free within weeks.

Not only do most immunotherapy patients see their cancer quickly go into remission, the side effects of the treatment are far less harmful than chemo or radiation. Finally, a more effective and gentle treatment for childhood cancer is within our reach.


We have the science. We have the track record. All we lack are the funds to bring this treatment to more young patients. As Russell says, “Every donor can make a difference. Why not you?”



Milton was diagnosed with cancer as an 8-year-old and again as a teen. Despite enduring five years of chemotherapy, he managed to graduate from high school on time-then channeled his passion for physical fitness into a successful career as a model. When cancer struck a third time, Milton learned he was resistant to chemo. (“My last hope was the clinical trial at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research.”) The treatment was a success. Today, he is living a full life without cancer.


In June 2013, three-month-old Greta was diagnosed with cancer. She underwent chemotherapy, then a bone marrow transplant. Severe complications required months of hospitalization. The following March, the cancer returned. Greta’s parents considered discontinuing treatment, rather than have their baby endure more pain. Then they were admitted into the immunotherapy trials in Seattle. Today, the disease is almost gone-just a few cancer cells per million normal cells. “The chemo stunted her growth,” says Greta’s dad. “But she’s walking now and making up for lost time.”


Meagan was a healthy, happy 17-year-old when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Over the next five years, she suffered two relapses, despite the heavy chemotherapy regimens she had endured. After the second relapse, she decided to enter the immunotherapy trial. (“You gotta throw whatever you can at cancer.”) Shortly after receiving the re-engineered T cells, there was no evidence of cancer in her body. “It was ridiculously easy compared to chemo or a transplant,” says Meagan who plans to return to college soon.
Strong Against Cancer is an initiative inspired by discoveries at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s.
f you’re interested in donating to Strong Against Cancer with a monthly gift or donation in an amount not listed here, please email
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