If statistics hold true, this year 13,500 kids will be diagnosed with cancer.
Their average age will be 6 years old. One in five of those kids will never see his or her 11th birthday.
Despite this fact, pharmaceutical companies do not invest in drug treatments for childhood and adolescent cancers (for many reasons). In fact, there has not been a new drug to treat children's cancer in over 20 years. Moreover, only 4% of federal funding goes to research cures for these cancers--and only about 1% of funds from private fundraising groups is earmarked for kids.
Our Saint Ignatius community has itself been struck by childhood cancer. We've lost a number of our brothers over the years to the disease. Thanks to the grace of God and the research of dedicated men and women who have received much-need resources to fund their work, a number of our brothers are counted among cancer survivors.
This year, Saint Ignatius will hold the 10th annual "Kevin Healey Memorial Kick-it Tournament": a Kickball tournament named in honor of alumnus Kevin Healey '07, who lost his long fight against cancer in 2009. Tomorrow, April 9th, we begin sign-ups for the April 28th tournament and--more important--for the fundraising that will precede it.
You and your fellow men of Saint Ignatius have been and are amazing for your generosity. You have made 'giving up' Sunday nights to share food and friendship with people on the streets cool. You have made the humble service of being pallbearers the largest extra-curricular at the school. You have awakened early on Tuesday mornings to pray for the sick and suffering and on Wednesdays to pray for the unborn. And in humility you have helped others in their acts of service as well; 'digging deep' to contribute to the missions, giving to our soldiers overseas and helping purchase much-needed food during the canned food drive.
As we begin the Kick-it campaign, we ask you to "go to the well" one more time, helping to raise much-needed funds for childhood cancer research. We are asking that those who wish to participate in the event commit to raising at least $40/man. FORTY DOLLARS FUNDS 1 HOUR OF RESEARCH. We will give you strategies to make that goal easy to achieve -- and it is a goal well worth achieving!
So here are some of the details about what you can do:
1) Get together 8-12 Ignatians
2) Pick a team captain/liaison
3) Pick a name for your team
4) SIGN UP WITH MR HEALEY OR MR BRENNAN
5) Raise money (at least $40/man)!
6) Get ready to play on Sunday, April 28th on Wasmer Field (starting at 5:00--rain or shine)
7) Go to bed the night of the 28th knowing that you've done God's work.
If you have any questions, see either Mr. Brennan or Mr. Healey.
Asking the intercession of St. Peregrine, patron saint of those who suffer from cancer, and grateful for all you do,
Mr. Brennan and Mr. Healey