Author: Jonathan E. Agin, JD – Max Cure Foundation Executive Director
In a recent article written by Mathew Zachary entitled The End of Pediatric Cancer Research as We Know It, published on December 2, 2015, the argument is posed that as a society we overplay the death toll from childhood cancer in the United States and are not focusing on the bigger picture at this point: survivorship issues. Mr. Zachary, a young adult survivor of brain cancer, was diagnosed at age 21, and not in the pediatric age range of 0-19 years. He is the founder of Stupid Cancer. (more…)
I want to introduce our followers to Jonathan Agin who joined The Max Cure Foundation (MCF) as of January 1, 2015. I met Jonathan as a result of our being members of the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer (CAC2). I am a member as a result of MCF being one of about 74 pediatric cancer foundations, which are members, and Jonathan is one of 23 individual advocates. We are both attorneys trained to advocate for our clients. We also are both involved in advocating for children with cancer and their families, each of us having been directly affected by pediatric cancer. (more…)
As I look back on 2014, the 6th full year of operations since Max Cure Foundation (MCF) was formed in December, 2008, I am excited for its future and accomplishing my family’s dream in honor of my grandson, Max, a childhood cancer survivor, of making a significant and positive difference for children with cancer and their families. At the same time, though, I question how to overcome what one person knowledgeable about pediatric cancer and other non-profit foundations recently told us, namely, “The Max Cure Foundation and what it is doing for kids with cancer is the countries best kept secret.” (more…)
California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), the authority on California-style pizza and the industry leader in creative dining, is inviting customers to eat pizza and help make a difference in the fight against pediatric cancer. CPK has designated December 10 and 11th as donation days at 36 participating locations where customers can opt to have 20% of their check donated to The Max Cure Foundation, a pediatric cancer foundation whose mission is to fund research to find less toxic treatments for children. You must bring the flier to participate! (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.
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…)
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.