Section: Monmouth Medical Center News

The Valerie Fund Children’s Center at Monmouth Medical Center Makes Noise to Raise Awareness of Pediatric Cancer

09/28/2015

Long Branch, NJ According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20.

To raise awareness of the need for pediatric cancer research, the Valerie Fund Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, part of The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, recently hosted a tree-lighting ceremony and reception honoring Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer Foundation as part of the Go Gold for Pediatric Cancer Campaign. A joint effort of Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer Foundation and Monmouth Medical Center, the campaign is designed to raise awareness of childhood cancer and the need for critical research funding during the month of September, recognized nationally as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

"Childhood cancer is the No. 1 cause of death by disease for children under the age of 15," said event organizer Susan Dulczak, clinical director of The Valerie Fund Children's Center at Monmouth Medical Center. "Thanks to ongoing research, the five-year survivorship rate for all cancers is more than 80 percent. But despite these strides, children still die, and pediatric cancer does not discriminate – it affects all ethnic groups, gender, age and socioeconomic groups. It continues to scare families and communities in ways that may never fully heal. We must come together, as a community, to rededicate ourselves to combating childhood cancer."

The event, which was held in front of Monmouth Medical Center's main entrance, featured remarks by New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, who spoke about the need to support research into the cures for pediatric cancers. Remarks were also provided by Michael Perdoni, vice president of operations at Monmouth Medical Center, Meg C. Fisher, M.D., chair of pediatrics and medical director of The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, Heather Grossman, chief of pediatric hematology and oncology at Monmouth Medical Center, and childhood cancer survivor Samantha Whelan, age 14, of Hazlet.

Concluding remarks were provided by the founder of Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer Foundation, Malcolm Sutherland-Foggio. Now 17, Malcolm was diagnosed in early December 2008 with a pediatric bone cancer called Pelvic Ewing's Sarcoma and immediately began raising funds for research and speaking out about pediatric cancer.

At the conclusion of the program, participants who gathered around the tree, which was also decorated with gold ribbons – the trademark color of pediatric cancer awareness – were invited to make some noise with the plastic horns known as vuvuzelas.

The Valerie Fund Center at the Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center provides comprehensive medical services to infants, children, adolescents and young adults with leukemia and cancers and blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia, thalassemia and thrombocytopenia.

For more information about Make Some Noise, visit www.makenoise4kids.org. For further information about The Unterberg Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center or the Valerie Fund, please visit www.barnabashealth.org/Monmouth.

PHOTO: From left, Susan Dulczak, clinical director of The Valerie Fund Children's Center at Monmouth Medical Center, childhood cancer survivor Samantha Whelan, age 14, of Hazlet, Monmouth Medical Center pet therapy dog Maya and New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno gather at Monmouth Medical Center for the tree-lighting ceremony and reception honoring Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer Foundation as part of the Go Gold for Pediatric Cancer Campaign.

About Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer Foundation
The Make Some Noise: Cure Kids Cancer Foundation is an energized non-profit founded by 17-yar-old Malcolm Sutherland-Foggio, a New Jersey boy who was diagnosed with a highly malignant and aggressive bone tumor in 2008. During his treatments, Malcolm discovered he was one of 16,000 children a year diagnosed with pediatric cancer, of whom 3,000 will die from their cancers, and
that childhood cancer receives only 3 percent of cancer research funding. Malcolm decided to tackle the challenge of raising awareness and the critically needed funding for pediatric cancer research through the incorporation of the Make Some Nose: Cure Kids Cancer Foundation. The foundation, selected as a top 3 finalist for "Best New Charity" in the 2011 Classy Awards, has raised nearly $1.5 million since 2009 and been able to fund decisive translational research at pediatric cancer research facilities across the country. For more information, visit www.MakeNoise4Kids.org.

About Monmouth Medical Center

Located in Long Branch, N.J., Monmouth Medical Center, a Barnabas Health facility, along with The Children's Hospital at Monmouth Medical Center, is one of New Jersey's largest academic medical centers and has been a teaching affiliate of Philadelphia's Drexel University College of Medicine for more than 40 years. From its earliest days, Monmouth Medical Center has been a leader in surgical advancement and has introduced many technological firsts to the region, including robotic surgery and other minimally invasive techniques. The hospital is routinely recognized by HealthGrades, the nation's largest premier independent health care quality company, for excellence in both emergency medicine and maternity care. U.S. News & World Report has recognized Monmouth as a regional leader in cancer, geriatrics, gynecology, neurology and neurosurgery. For more information on Monmouth Medical Center, visit www.barnabashealth.org.

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