About the Dollar Project
Check out our website directly or continue reading below…
Hi, it’s 4-year-old Natalie Grace, do you remember me from last year? For those of you who are “meeting” me for the first time, I want to give you a little bit of my story. On August 16, 2012 I was diagnosed with high-risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). It’s been a difficult year and a half for my family and I, but I’m happy to report that I am in the maintenance phase of my treatment (oral chemo everyday + IV/spinal chemo once a month), doing very well, and have an expected cancer-free date (all treatments complete) of November 2014!! Less then a year to go….YAYYYYY!!
Aside from my diagnosis, the most alarming thing my family and I learned about pediatric cancer is the simple fact that the funding for research is dismal to say the least (more on this below). With that “discovery” my mom had the idea of having she and I hold up a sign asking friends, family and strangers if they’d be willing to part with a single dollar to send our way for pediatric cancer research. She uploaded that photo onto my Facebook page at the end of April 2013 sharing with everyone that our goal was to raise $50K by my fourth birthday on September 28, 2013.
We thought it would be a long shot, but everyday we checked our P.O. Box, and everyday more and more of your letters arrived! We not only received your beautiful notes, cards, dollars, and checks from ALL 50 STATES, but we also received many international donations as well. All of you kind, beautiful people began holding your own fundraisers then sending us the money to put towards our goal. Your kids broke open their piggy banks, sold lemonade and cookies, declined b-day gifts asking for donations for us instead; you all held yard sales, posted our flyer for the fundraiser EVERYWHERE in your own communities; firefighters + construction workers passed around their helmets for collections; girl scouts held car washes; teachers held dress-down days in their schools; the Middletown PBA held a golf tournament; even the NJ, PA, and Virginia Strength & Honor Motorcycle Clubs held a poker run donating all proceeds to our goal!! As you can imagine, it was a VERY exciting summer, and my mom and I were completely floored by everyone’s generosity! We never did announce that $50K goal, but only because instead we had DOUBLED it announcing that we had raised $110, 000 for The Truth 365’s “Dream Team” of leading pediatric oncologists, where every single penny has gone to research (more on these details in the next couple of months). My entire family was EXAUSTED when the fundraiser was over and we handed off that check to Dena Sherwood (founder of the Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation and mastermind behind The Truth 365), however immediately I told my mommy that I wanted to do it all over again next year….and this time I wanted to go REALLY BIG and have our goal be $150,000!!
DON’T STOP READING (our contact info, links to articles + my FB page are below)!!
Let me briefly explain to you as to why raising this money is so VERY important. As I mentioned, my family and I were SHOCKED to discover (two months into my treatment) that pediatric cancer research is incredibly underfunded. In fact, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) only allocates 4% of it’s funding to pediatric cancer research, and the American Cancer + Leukemia Lymphoma Societies are worse giving even less then that (the rest of all funding goes to adult cancers)! Pediatric cancer has become an epidemic. Did you know that it is the leading cause of death by disease in children + adolescents in the USA? Or that in 20 years the FDA has only initially approved two drugs for any childhood cancer (in a nutshell, our kids are given hand-me-down treatments meant for adults)? Incidence of invasive pediatric cancers is up 29% in the past 20 years, yet funding for pediatric cancer is down! Every single day, 46 new families are given the devastating news that their child has cancer…EVERY, SINGLE, DAY! And worse, seven children, this day and EVERY day (365 days a year), will lose their battle to cancer earning their “wings” (and this is in the US alone). Well, my mom and I think that seven children a day is too many and that the number needs to change to ZERO!!
But will this $150K really result in a cure for cancer? Probably not in the near future, but it’s a much needed step, and what it CAN do is help researchers come up with less painful, less dangerous ways to treat us children. It can fund a clinical trial which could result in saving a child’s life…literally! Right now there is an oncologist somewhere telling a child’s parents that they are at the end of their road with no light ahead…that they need to prepare themselves and begin to say their goodbye’s. Clinical trials can change this conversation; it can give these kids a second chance! And naturally, down the road these trials, each being their own piece to the on-going cancer puzzle, will lead researchers to that final piece that we are so desperate for them to find…the one that will take us to a cure. This won’t be tomorrow, but it is a step in the right direction so PLEASE, find it in your heart to help! Imagine if just a tiny fraction of the world’s population were to send us a single dollar…just think of what we could raise for research to help children all around the world!!! So PLEASE give up your coffee today and put that dollar (or more : ) towards my fundraiser for pediatric cancer research instead!! Besides, we’re not JUST doing all of this work me me, or for my fellow cancer warriors…we’re doing it for all of the kids out there who have yet to be diagnosed, and unfortunately, there are A LOT of them!
THANK YOU so much everyone for your support, there’s just no way that we would have hit last years (or this years) goal without you!! Now please help us to spread the word by sharing this link via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, e-mail, carrier pigeon, morse code…WHICHEVER way you can think will get it out the fastest!
Love, Health + Hope,
Natalie Grace (and my mommy Andrea)
SEND A DONATION VIA LETTER + STAMP: I LOVE getting mail, send to P.O. Box 4064 Middletown, NJ 07748 c/o: Infinite Love for Natalie Grace (Andrea Verdone Gorsegner) PLEASE MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO: Arms Wide Open/The Truth 365
For press opportunities, to request a flyer to hang in your office or around your community, or to further assist with our fundraiser, please contact my mommy Andrea Verdone Gorsegner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To follow Natalie on her journey, or to learn more about this fundraiser, please “LIKE” + share her FACEBOOK page.
THE TRUTH 365: http://www.thetruth365.org/
Visit The Truth 365 website to learn more about where your donation is going (the “Dream Team” is made up of oncologists from Sloan/CHOP/St. Jude/Seattle Children’s/Childrens National Medical Center), to watch The Truth 365 documentary, or to learn more about pediatric cancer truths.