The number 25 has always been symbolic for me. When I was a kid, I associated the number with being 25 years of age – a milestone that I equated with being an adult, poised to grab life on my own terms.
When I became executive director of this organization, the number 25 took on a new meaning. I began to associate it with the $25,000 cost of enrolling a single child in a clinical trial. These trials are essential for advancing treatments for children’s developing bodies, but we cannot reach that stage of scientiﬁc discovery without ﬁrst completing earlier stages of exploration that tell us if a concept is ready to test in humans. Carrying out that early research takes many resources and is PCRF’s primary focus. If we can establish that a new, potentially audacious idea works in the lab, we can help, together with the scientists, speed trials in kids so that it may become a new, safer treatment or protocol.
I was reflecting on this and more in the wee hours of the 25th Annual Reaching for the Cure recently. Again, that number 25 took on important meaning – and not just because more than 2,500 participants turned out this year. We have cumulatively raised more than $5 million for research via the Race (a multiple of 25, which you no doubt identiﬁed!). During the past quarter century of running this race, we have made a lot of important strides together– our community has grown larger, stronger and more sure-footed; our impact is accelerating as more people and companies support our work; and we are as clear-eyed as ever about the task before us. I have never been prouder of the community you have helped us build or the steadfast way we are pursuing our purpose and mission. To all of our supporters – new and old, Race participants or not – thank you for believing in our ability to achieve our vision of a world where all kids can beat their disease with grace and compassion.
Now, when I think of 25 I think of how we can optimize the next quarter century to accelerate new cures so that we can stop counting the years of our progress. Until then, everyone here at PCRF remains unwavering in our commitment to transform pediatric cancer care so all children facing cancer can spread their wings and soar.