The Max Cure Foundation is excited to announce that we been invited to bring Dunk Your Kicks to the Empire State Marathon and New York State Health and Wellness Expo in Syracuse, NY on October 17th – 19th. (more…)
The Max Cure Foundation is pleased to announce that OrthoCarolina has joined the fight against pediatric cancer and has become the newest collection site for DYK. OC will be collecting sneakers at 30 offices in the Charlotte area and have set a goal to collect 30,000 pair of sneakers by November 30. (more…)
The Max Cure Foundation traveled to Tucson, Arizona on September 28th to support the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona – Troop 26 as they official launch their Take Action Plan. Although these young ladies have been collecting sneakers for Max Cure’s Dunk Your Kicks campaign for three months, their official “kick-off” was this weekend. Every year, our Girl Scout Council hosts a “Thin Mint Sprint”, which is a 5K event whose proceeds help fund the scholarships which help other girls become Girl Scouts, as well as many council sponsored events through the year.
“As a new Brownie Troop leader in the Southern Arizona Region (Troop 26), I wanted to really try and provide my girls with a “girl led” experience, and also introduce them to the idea of impacting a world beyond their immediate view. Additionally, I was interested in helping the girls get prepared for working on their Bronze, Silver and, eventually, their Gold awards; the highest awards that Girl Scouting offers. All of these awards have a component of community service involved.” Stated Nicole Hopkins, the troop leader who also ran the 5k race today to show her support for The Girl Scouts and her Troop.
Rather than The Max Cure team managing the Dunk Your Kicks booth, the troop and a few fathers took on the responsibility while we watched with pride. Their goal is to collect 5,000 pair of sneakers in order to adopt a three families for six months into the Arizona Roar Beyond Barriers program.
Lion Max came out to join the fun at the Thin Mint Sprint, and even ran his very first 5k event! We have to give credit to Jason Piper, Jordan and Jaida’s Father, for wearing our Lion Max costume and running 3.1 miles in the Arizona heat in order to support the young ladies while raising awareness for pediatric cancer causes. His efforts and sacrifice goes to show the dedication of not only the young girls, but also their families, friends, neighbors and community.
Max Cure Foundation’s youngest Dunk Your Kicks ambassador, Jayden, age six from Chandler, Arizona also made the trip. Waking up bright and early he asked his parents “is today the day we get to help kids with cancer?” Jayden had the important role of providing each of the Girl Scouts with a Max Cure Foundation Special Forces medal for their hard work and dedication while making a difference in the lives of children battling cancer. Jayden has been supporting The Max Cure Foundation since he was only four-years-old collecting over 100 pair of sneakers and even running a 4.25k to raise money for the foundation.
The Troop currently has donation locations at Zona Fitness at Rita Ranch, Platinum Fitness at Speedway Blvd and any Jim Click dealership. Their long-term goal is to reach out to other councils where Roar Beyond Boarders is established, using the video to recruit other troops. In addition, they are also trying to organize with U of A to have an end of the semester “dunk your kicks on the UA mall.”
If you are in Tucson and would like to support the Troop’s efforts, email us here and we will get you in touch with Troop leader, Nicole Hopkins.
Last week was an eye opener for me as I travelled to Washington, DC, to attend several events in honor of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. I say this because when I first got involved with the cause in 2007 after Max was diagnosed, there was relatively little attention given to childhood cancer – except of course if you happened to be among those with a child afflicted with the disease, a disease that strikes 15,780 children each year in this country and accounts each year for more deaths by disease in children than any other illness. (more…)
Today I am pleased to share news about an important animated film, Henry & Me, that I hope you will agree, can raise much needed awareness of the needs of pediatric cancers and also help raise funds for multiple charities, including two pediatric cancer organizations, The Max Cure Foundation and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. (more…)
Author: Richard Plotkin, Max Cure Foundation Vice-Chairman
At the ripe old age of 69 I made a new friend, Kenneth Moch. At one time I considered him to be my # 1 enemy who I believed did not care if a 7-year-old boy, Josh Hardy, attempting to defeat his cancer died. But, he later became the main hero in saving that boy’s life. (more…)
Friday August 15th, 2014 – The Empire State Building, a shining and shimmering symbol of America in all of its finest industrial and business splendor, the most well-known spire of the New York City skyline, will illuminate green, white, and orange in honor of India Day. (more…)
First, as background context on myself: I have extensive clinical experience in oncology pharmacy, having interned for over four years at a major cancer center; my career is as an oncology writer focusing on pharma/biotech-sponsored projects in the area of adult oncology, being called upon to help researchers develop data presentations at congresses (example ASCO – American Society of Clinical Oncology) and peer-reviewed journal publications for pharma sponsored clinical trials. (more…)
Each year on the Jewish High Holy day of Rosh Hashanah, which is the beginning of the Jewish New Year, I read a prayer in Temple that states that on that day, it is written in the book of life who in the succeeding year will live and who will die. That phrase has taken on a less abstract and more secular meaning as I venture into the world of childhood cancers and as I do so, am invited occasionally to take an active role in which children with cancer would live and which would die. (more…)
From the very moment the boys, Alex and Jacob – 8 respectively, met Max Plotkin – 11 years old, they knew they wanted to get involved in his cause. The story of Max has been in headlines across the country; battling cancer at such a young age and now (cancer-free) fighting with his family and The Max Cure Foundation to bring comfort and charity to low-income and military families across the country fighting to overcome pediatric cancers themselves. The boys have taken inspiration from Max’s bravery and have turned it in to action for the betterment of children and families fighting for their lives.
The Max Cure Foundation coordinates a program entitled “Dunk Your Kicks” which takes used athletic shoes and recycles them, giving new footwear to developing countries and in turn receiving money that goes directly in to the coffers of pediatric cancer funding for research, preventative medicine, and solace that families caring for children in the hospital so desperately need. It keeps shoes out of dumpsters and landfills, and provides footwear for people on the other side of the planet who may never have the comfort. Further, it is not asking of any monetary contributions out of the pockets of hard working people, but rather the benefits are three-fold – getting rid of shoes they were going to throw out anyway, giving the hope of a better life to a cancer patient, and a chance at a more sustainable life to a person across the globe.
Jacob and Alex began a shoe drive with the tremendous support of the staff at the Driftwood Daycamp in Melville, NY. Culminating in some exciting Sneaker Games while families of the children, staff of the Driftwood Day Camp, and Founder of the Max Cure Foundation David Plotkin, celebrated the boys’ accomplishments with a dunk challenge breaking records that made the kids extremely excited! In the mission statement the boys have shared they state:
“We have met Max and his bravery is an inspiration to us. Luckily he is now 11 years old and cancer-free, thanks to the help he received from doctors and scientists. But other children are still sick, and that is why we all need to work together to help them. Help us raise money for kids who have cancer by donating old shoes. Please ask your mom, dads, and other family members to clean out their closets and donate sneakers they don’t need anymore. … If we all work together, we can make a difference and help other kids and their families, and feel really good about what we are doing.”
Having loving parents, moms, dads, grandparents, giving friends, neighbors, co-workers, supportive camp counselors, teachers, and inspirations like the Plotkin’s can help two young boys show their love for strangers – Children they have never met but want to help – While realizing their aspirations for philanthropy can be achieved to such great heights. Over 1,000 pair of sneakers makes an impact that is far greater than the Max Cure Foundation can show appreciation for. Alex and Jacob are the heroes in this headline story and are becoming an inspiration to others.
Author: Serena Knierim, Max Cure Volunteer, Arizona
Lion Max took a trip from the east coast to visit some children at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital in July 2014. With Team Max Cure Superhero capes in hand, he joined some friends to serve smiles in the summer heat.
The Tucson Brownie Troop who has dedicated their service project to Dunk Your Kicks joined Lion Max and Little Lion Max (Jayden, a 6-year-old Chandler resident) and his sister (Angelisa, age 12) and handed out capes and other fun gifts to the kids receiving treatment that day. Troop leader Nicole Hopkins said “visiting the children and staff at Phoenix Children’s Hospital really helped our girls connect with their Take Action Project, and has given them renewed vigor in their desire to help these families. Meeting Max the Lion was pretty cool also. The girls really want to visit again and spend more time with the kids, and they ALL promise to sing this time!”
It was a privileged to watch the beauty behind their innocence, wanting to make a difference but too young to really understand. Little Lion Max and the girls were a bit nervous at first. Not fully understanding what these kids were at the hospital for, or what their exact purpose there meant, it was a little difficult at first to warm up but by the time everyone left, Chloe (age 8) even sang “Bumble Bee” for everyone. It was fun to watch children, parents, nurses and a big lion squishing “bees” with their hands and laughing!
Kiersten, a local Mom and Max Cure Volunteer also joined us. Even though she has never personally been affected by pediatric cancer, she makes it her mission to become a voice for these children. “For nearly two years I’ve been fighting for children with cancer, but I never had the opportunity to actually meet who I’m fighting for. When Erica invited me to join, I can’t deny how nervous I was!! I fight for these kids, because I’m a mother myself!! Our kids need more treatment options!!” She stated.
“Running races and raising awareness for childhood cancer is one thing, going in and spreading happiness with children fighting for their lives is another. So I took the advice I was given, didn’t put on my mascara and headed for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I walked through those doors and what I found was the most strong, brave and courageous little people I’ve ever meet!! No tears streamed my face, I was in awe of these kids spirit and strength!! They have more strength in their young years than I could gain in a lifetime!!”
It was a special day for us all at Max Cure and we hope we were able to give the same to the children we met. The Brownie Troop has set an aggressive goal so they may adopt families in our Roar Beyond Barriers Arizona program. We solute them and hope you will support them in their efforts. To date they have donated 154 pair and have a goal to reach 5,000 which would support 3 families for 6 months.
The pediatric cancer community through the Alliance for Childhood Cancer on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, went to Capitol Hill to meet with Senators and Congressmen from all 50 States. The Max Cure Foundation joined forces with over 60 other CAC2 organizations (The Coalition Against Childhood Cancer – A Collaborative Group) and other advocates from the childhood cancer community to both virtually and physically storm Washington, D.C. (more…)
Richard Plotkin, Vice Chairman of The Max Cure Foundation (MCF) visited one of the Roar Beyond Barriers, NYC, families during the holidays at their new home on Staten Island. The Christmas tree was decorated with festive and religious ornaments, signaling the joy and serenity of this holiday season and the hope along with the anticipated prosperity for the year ahead. Grace, age 9, had made the paper snowflake hanging from the ceiling over the tree. Her proud parents were all smiles as MCF brought gifts donated by a friend (who has requested to remain anonymous) of Max Cure Foundation for Grace and Nikki, her 8 year-old sister. (more…)
The Max Cure Foundation is proud to announce that we will be teaming up with the Hamptons Marathon this year and the Bridgehampton Half Marathon in 2015. The Hamptons Marathon gives 100% of their proceeds to different charities each year, and Max Cure is thrilled to have been selected as one of them for this year’s race.
Considering that David Plotkin, Max Cure founder, spent his summers growing up in the Hamptons, and also that Max spent many days recuperating from treatment in Amagansett, we are especially excited to return to our founder’s roots, the site of where it all started for our foundation. We know that we will have an enormous amount of support from our followers in that area, in addition to the support of the Hamptons Marathon, which is very pleased to have us at their events.
The Hamptons Marathon has invited Max Cure and to collect sneakers for our Dunk Your Kicks initiative on their packet pickup days and on the race days. The Dunk Your Kicks program has been crucial to our efforts over the years, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to further expand those efforts at the races in September of this year and May of next.
Through the Dunk Your Kicks program, the Max Cure Foundation will collect used sneakers from participants at the race. For each pair of sneakers donated, The Max Cure Foundation will receive up to $1.00 from an international shoe recycler called Rethink Nation. The sneakers will then be sold by Rethink Nation at an affordable price in developing nations, saving the shoes from landfills and putting them to good use. The money Max Cure receives through Dunk Your Kicks goes towards funding research for innovative medical techniques to fight pediatric cancer, and also to low-income families of children with pediatric cancer, whom we help through our Roar Beyond the Barriers campaign.
The Hamptons Marathon will take place on September 27, 2014 in East Hampton, New York. There will also be a half marathon at the event, with a 5K. You can register for both the 5K and the Hamptons Marathon at their website, where you can also find directions to the race. Packet pickup dates for the Hamptons Marathon will take place on September 22 and 23 on 140 W 72nd Street in NYC, and on September 26 and 27 at the Spring School in East Hampton. There will also be a 5K on race day, as well as a half marathon in Bridgehampton, New York in May 2015.
We look forward to seeing Max Cure supporters at the Hamptons Marathon and Bridgehampton Half Marathon, where we hope to make yet another stride in our battle against pediatric cancer.
Want to join Team Max Cure and run? We have a few bibs available but fundraising must be completed by August 15, 2014. Email us here for more information.
As a new Brownie Troop leader (girls in grades 2 and 3) in the Southern Arizona Region (Troop 26), I wanted to really try and provide my girls with a “girl led” experience, and also introduce them to the idea of impacting a world beyond their immediate view. Additionally, I was interested in helping the girls get prepared for working on their Bronze, Silver and, eventually, their Gold awards; the highest awards that Girl Scouting offers. All of these awards have a component of community service involved.
The girls were all asked to think about the kinds of people they wanted to help, and why it was important to them. Thankfully, my group is small, so the ideas they had were narrowed down to the following:
My job, as their leader, was to help guide them to find ways we could accomplish these types of service projects. In my investigation, I was fortunate enough to have found some information about an upcoming Dunk Your Kicks event in Phoenix via Facebook (I am an aspiring runner, so my “ad” feed picked this up). Upon investigating what this event was about, I realized that our girls could accomplish ALL of their goals by sponsoring a Dunk Your Kicks event in Tucson…and we had a potential venue!
Every year, our Girl Scout Council hosts a “Thin Mint Sprint”, which is a 5K event whose proceeds help fund the scholarships which help other girls become Girl Scouts, as well as many council sponsored events through the year. I proposed the idea of having a Dunk Your Kicks event with the team at the Girl Scout Council, and they were fully on board.
My girls are now VERY excited about this project, and plan to leverage the skills they have learned by participating in Girl Scouts to spread the word and raise awareness about the Max Cure foundation and the goals this group has. As a troop, we have identified different stores that might let us collect shoes prior to the Thin Mint Sprint, and the girls plan to “pitch their plan” to store managers. The girls are also excited to share their experience with other troops, and hopefully help engage other troops in participating in the Dunk Your Kicks campaign, not only in Arizona, but possibly coast to coast. They have set a goal of collecting 5,000 pairs of shoes, and plan to donate half of their cookie proceeds to directly sponsor a local family identified by Max Cure.
Not only is the Max Cure Foundation helping families who struggle financially with an unimaginable burden of watching their child suffer with pediatric cancer, they are also assisting my girls in learning about service, communication and organization skills and how to execute a project; skills that will help them become future leaders and individuals committed to making the world a better place.
The Max Cure Foundation (MCF) is excited to be visiting Ventura, California thanks to the tremendous support of The Ventura Marathon. The weekend of September 5th through the 7th, Max Cure team members and volunteers will have a Dunk Your Kicks booth, collecting used sneakers and running shoes to raise money for pediatric cancer causes.
“We are very excited to help and it is a great fit. We expect to have about 4,000 athletes at the event and hope to collect 1,000 pairs of shoes. I am planning to donate 10 pairs of used running shoes so only 990 to go. In addition to donating used running shoes participants can also fundraise for the Max Cure Foundation. Any participants who raise $500 through our fundraising site will get their entry fee reimbursed.” Says Ventura’s Race Director and Co-Founder, Josh Spiker.
The mission of MCF is threefold. First it seeks to fund research to attempt to find cures for the various forms of childhood cancers and to discover less toxic treatments for the disease in children. As part of that portion of its mission, it is helping to fund an Immune Cell Therapy Laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Second, MCF established Roar Beyond Barriers, a program to financially assist low income and military families with a child battling cancer. Through monthly gift cards, families are able to purchase food and other necessities. Since the program’s inception, 78 families in 12 states being treated in 21 hospitals have been helped. There are 48 families currently receiving assistance. The third mission is advocacy to increase government funding for childhood cancer research. As part of its advocacy mission, MCF was in the forefront of the #SaveJosh campaign and it’s Vice Chairman, Richard Plotkin, has been invited to serve on a committee consisting of a limited number of childhood cancer advocates dealing with the White House.
WHAT IS DUNK YOUR KICKS?
One of MCF’s main fundraising initiatives is Dunk Your Kicks, a national campaign which facilitates the collection of used sneakers by Rethink Nation, an international recycler who sells those sneakers to exporters/distributors which, in turn, sell the sneakers in emerging market countries as part of the Affordable Clothing Market. MCF receives payment from the recycler up to $1.00 per pair of sneakers based on the quality of the sneakers collected. In addition to serving as a fundraising vehicle for MCF, Dunk Your Kicks helps the environment by keeping the sneakers out of landfills (200 million pairs of sneakers end up in landfills annually) while, at the same time, creates tens of thousands of jobs globally and reduces the risk of disease in those living in developing countries who go barefoot. Dunk Your Kicks gives a 2nd and even a 3rd life to the sneakers that would otherwise end up, unused, in closets and ultimately be thrown out.
So now its time for Ventura to clean out their closets and Dunk Your Kicks for pediatric cancer causes. Bring those used sneakers with you to the Ventura Marathon or take the sneakers off your feet after the race and let someone else walk a mile in your shoes.
Author: Richard Plotkin, MCF Vice-Chairman
I recently had the pleasure of attending the 5th grade graduations of my grandson, Max Plotkin, and of Qualeek McNeil. These 11 year old boys have much in common in addition to the fact they are looking forward in September to entering into middle school, including the fact they were both afflicted by childhood cancers at young ages, Max on the eve of his 4th birthday and Qualeek when he was 6 years old. Max was diagnosed with B-Cell Lymphoma and Qualeek with brain cancer. Qualeek, due to the chemotherapy treatment he received, is partially deaf, one of the insidious side effects experienced by pediatric cancer survivors. Max is considered a childhood cancer survivor whereas Qualeek still goes for periodic treatments but thankfully every indication is he, too, will be a survivor of pediatric cancer.
Max graduated from the Smith School in Tenafly, New Jersey, an upscale suburban community, just minutes from Manhattan. Qualeek graduated from P.S. 309 in the Bedford Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, also just minutes from Manhattan. Despite their respective proximities to Manhattan, the communities in which these two boys reside are as different as two communities could be. However, what was not different was the pride felt by the parents and relatives of those graduating from the 5th grade and the joy that filled the two school auditoriums, one in Tenafly and one in Bedford Stuyvesant. A significant moment for me at Qualeek’s graduation, in addition to Qualeek winning a medal placed around his neck for his participation in music activities, came from one of the speakers who looked directly at the children, all of whom appeared to be African American or Hispanic, telling them that if they work hard and continue in school, there is no reason why they could not become doctors or lawyers or indeed, as stated by the speaker, “as recent events have proven, even President of the United States.” Wow, that was a powerful message and reinforced how significant it is that this country elected, and then re-elected, an African American as President. The program distributed at Qualeek’s graduation prominently displays the following words on the top of the cover page, “We Believe, We Will Achieve.”
Qualeek was among the first three children whose families were included in the Roar Beyond Barriers program launched in New York City in November, 2011. He and his family attended our Family Day Carnivals in East Hampton during the summers of 2012 and 2013, having stayed at my home in Amagansett during their 2012 visit. Qualeek and his mother, Felicia, attended the Gala on the eve of the September, 2012 Golf Outing with Trent Tucker’s All4Kids Foundation and met celebrity guests such as Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, John Starks, Greg Anthony and Trent Tucker, all having played for the Knicks, and Mike Woodson (then coach of the Knicks) and Howard Cross former NFL All-Pro player for the Giants – and many other celebrity athletes and entertainers. A special friendship developed between Max and Qualeek at these events, a friendship that came about because it is evident that childhood cancers do not discriminate based on race, creed, or socio economic circumstances.
I was honored when, several months ago, Felicia told me that Qualeek asked if I could attend his graduation (I told her I would not miss it for the world) and was particularly moved when I saw the smile on his face as he saw me waiting outside P.S. 309 as he and Felicia approached the school for Qualeek’s special day. I quickly understood how significant the Roar Beyond Barriers program is not only in that it financially assists low income families battling cancer in their children, but it also gives the message to the children afflicted with cancer that others care about them. That I was selected by Qualeek to be one of his four guests, made me realize that The Max Cure Foundation is indeed making a difference in the lives of children with cancer and their families.
Start cleaning out your closets Santa Rosa because The Max Cure Foundation is coming to town with our signature Dunk Your Kicks campaign. We want to extend a roaring thank you to the team at The Santa Rosa Marathon for inviting Max Cure to have a booth during their expo and on race day, August 22nd through the 24th. The Santa Rosa Marathon’s Health and Fitness Expo will be held at the lovely DeLoach Vineyards will feature a variety of national and local vendors. Among those you will find our team of volunteers asking for your sneakers!
“When we met the Santa Rosa Marathon team we were welcomed to this event with open arms. The individuals who run this event could not be more supportive and we are lucky to be working with them,” said Max Cure Marketing Director, Erica Bailey. “Our Dunk Your Kicks collections have been widely supported in California so far… Everyone we meet, like the Santa Rosa team, has gone above and beyond to get the message out and we are truly touched by their efforts.”
If you are running the in the marathon or a spectator at the event, take an extra bag with you and pack up your used sneakers and running shoes. Find the Max Cure Dunk Your Kicks booth and Dunk Your Kicks for pediatric cancer causes.
We look forward to seeing you there, taking a stand against pediatric cancer, one pair of sneakers at a time.
Imagine if a holiday card, a birthday card, or any card could change the world? Imagine that you could create a moment, in todays fast past world, where you can give someone a reason to slow down and enjoy the luxury of opening a card…Imagine too that this card would give $1 to the Max Cure Foundation.
Hard to believe? Check out CARDS CREATING CHANGE. an incredible company that donates $1 of every card sent ($2.99) to the charity of the sender’s choice. The company has added the Max Cure Foundation to their select charities and we can’t roar loud enough to share this news!
Steven Potchatek, CCC Founder, combined his love of beautiful greeting cards with his passion to make a difference in the world and created CARDS CREATING CHANGE, a downloadable app that offers personalized greeting cards of which $1 of every card ($2.99) is donated to the charity of the person’s choice.
Steven first heard Max’s story on the Today Show and recounts his decision to include MCF in his mission.
“I knew by the end of the introduction video, I needed to become a part of the Max Cure Foundation! Like Max, I too have survived and like Max, my mission is to help others in the way I was helped. I know his ‘story’ it is my ‘story’!
Owing my life to non-profits of all shapes and sizes, I am on a mission to meet one of the most critical needs facing non-profit organizations… unrestricted funding. I imagined a participation fee free, hands-off, volunteer hour free solution that can be maximized by doing exactly what organizations do today… Communicate with their supporters and friends via email, mail, and social media. I co-founded NJAC Group, LLC and we developed Cards Creating Change, a smartphone app that allows you to send a REAL gallery quality greeting card right from your phone for only $2.99 (plus tax and postage). I am proud to donate 30% of the purchase price or $1.00 to our non-profit partners. Again, like Max, we have an aggressive goal of providing $40MM of unrestricted to funds over the next 5 years.
A few weeks after initially contacted MCF and while reading Facebook, I came across an article about little Josh. As I was reading, I learned that Richard had made the call to offer the money to save Josh! I want to be a part of that kind of change. I want to know that I have done what I can do to help MCF do what you do!! This app is so exciting, I am loving sending cards and creating connectedness. My whole life has been about connectedness and service. Cards Creating Change does both!”
Don’t imagine any more…Send a card for birthdays, holidays, to say hello…whatever the reason, we invite you to create a moment and bring a smile to a friend or loved one while supporting The Max Cure Foundation. The process is simple:
In today’s fast paced world, think of the moment you create for someone when they open a card and hold a luxurious personalized card…Think of the smile, the opportunity to slow down, even for one minute, to enjoy the personal message. With this App you can do just that with the ease of your mobile device and give back to The Max Cure Foundation with every purchase. Download Cards Creating Change today and make someone smile tomorrow.