a well earned week

I feel like there is a day for everything. From the fun.. like National Garlic day ( April 19th) and National watermelon day (August 3rd) to the serious National Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Day and National Organ Donors Day (Feb 14th). There seems to be a day dedicated to most things..

But some deserve more than a day.. Its National Volunteer week.. And one thing I know for sure.. people who give of themselves. .. they deserve the thanks.

I honestly didn’t even know this was a thing when I wrote my last post.. That I think explains why our volunteers are so important to me personally.

But it goes beyond my own personal need for Unravel. It goes towards the researchers and the money YOU all have raised. I have seen so many people and especially families that have dedicated and donated so much of their time to Unravel.. with one goal in mind. To Unravel Pediatric Cancer..

.. and I think we are.. I think we are on the way. ..This article highlights how Dr Monje has used Unravel funds to help determine what kind of cells may turn into DIPG, and found out some of the processes these cells go through in order to turn into DIPG.  These processes can be targeted by new therapies.

Dr. Michelle Monje

And Andy Woods a warrior Dad turned researcher.. He saw a problem and has set out to fix it. He had no scientific background when his daughter was diagnosed with Wilms tumor.  He investigated the available treatments and was disappointed with what he found- so he applied to do an internship at cc-TDI (Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute).  Andy is now LEADING a study at cc-TDI which attempts to develop more promising treatment options for children with high-risk Wilms tumor.  Funding from Unravel has helped with critical DNA sequencing.

Andy Woods and his family

The UC Santa Cruz Treehouse Cancer Initiative compares children’s cancer genetic data to other cancers- kids’ and adults’- to help find cases where an adult drug could work for a childhood cancer. In short they are looking at genomic data to make sure doctors can give their patients the correct medication for their exact cancer.

The Treehouse Childhood Cancer Initiative staff volunteering at she.is.beautiful

This money that we have been honored to give on behalf of all of you is making a impact and it is making a difference. Volunteers that flutter with us and those that input all that data afterwards…. those that help put on a MNO and pour drinks at the event. .. Those that run bake sales or lemonade stands.. and that cheer on runners at a race and even ones that sell the worlds best silver dollars!! They donate their skills, talent and their time. Which allows Unravel to make the biggest impact we possibly can.

Just like no monetary donation is too small.. neither is a donation of time. Our volunteers are the gas in the Unravel motor.. and we are covering a lot of ground.. Ground that is often times forgotten .. because it is innovative and looking at the same problems in a whole unique way. .

My Jennifer has been gone just over 3 years.. so Unravel is even younger than that.. close to 2.5 years and in that time WE have been able to use 1.5 million dollars to help in the fight against pediatric cancer.

That simply could not be accomplished without the help of our incredible volunteers.. So thank you.

On behalf of myself and Tony and all 5 of our kids.. Thank you on behalf of the researchers working towards better treatment options.. And thank you especially from the families that don’t know yet that they will need that very research.

Happy Volunteers week.. you are the coolest..

..until there is a cure..



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