In 2007, the day before his 4th birthday, a Manhattan boy named Max Plotkin was diagnosed with a rare B-cell Lymphoma, a stage four cancer that had never before been seen by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Max fought the disease with courage for more than two years, and thankfully, today is in remission. While he and his family are extremely grateful for Max’s recovery, his remission is tempered by a lifetime of unknown side effects from both the disease and the treatment.
Twelve thousand five hundred children are diagnosed with cancer every year.
This is the bittersweet reality for three out of every five children who survive childhood cancer but experience long-term effects, some of which are life threatening. Twelve thousand five hundred children are diagnosed with cancer every year. Pediatric cancer has become the number one cause of disease- related deaths of children. Over three thousand children die each year from the disease. In the days following Max’s diagnosis the Plotkin Family learned how under-funded research for pediatric cancers was. In fact they were shocked when they heard that for every dollar that goes to American Cancer Society less than three cents or three percent goes to pediatric cancer research. “This news made me numb and so we decided to take a stand “, says David Plotkin, chairman of The Max Cure Foundation for pediatric cancer causes, (a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation) ,” weeks later Max Cure was born.”
The Max Cure Foundation has spent the past three and a half years raising money and building awareness. Its message is “Be Brave ”. It has built up an enormous presence in New York City and the surrounding areas and have gained national media exposure. It has put together a dedicated team that consists of family and friends who are committed to the cause. “Our message is one that the entire world can relate to and understand. We just need to get it out there. It doesn’t matter what country you live in or what language you speak”, says Plotkin. “If LiveStrong and the Pink Ribbon can become house hold names, and raise hundreds of millions of dollars for their respective cancer causes, so too can Be Brave.”
In September of last year, Plotkin was invited to Washington, D.C. to meet Congressman McCaul ( Austin, Texas), co-chairman of the Congressional Pediatric Cancer Caucus. Congressman McCaul and his team were responsible for spear-heading the first Bipartisan Pediatric Cancer Caucus in observance of September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Be Brave Adventures
The Max Cure Foundation has recently launched it’s first Be Brave Adventures program in New York City at Kidville. This program was designed to appeal to parents looking to empower their young children through the physical challenges and adventure of play, as well as the motor skills and positive attitude developed through being active. Programs such as this will bring the Foundation closer to achieving its primary mission of underwriting a one of its kind cell therapy lab at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center to address pediatric cancer research.
Partnership with Spartan Race
Max Cure has recently announced an exciting partnership with Spartan Race, an over the top obstacle race event that has gained the attention of hundreds of thousands of people from all ages around the globe. The race is designed to test resilience, strength and stamina while experiencing the adventure of a lifetime. The mission of Spartan Race is to get its participants active, healthy and excited about challenging themselves and overcoming obstacles that confront them.
Within three years Max Cure has raised well over one million dollars for pediatric cancer causes, and in addition has helped children and their families, bringing hope to communities who are living with a child with cancer. The Max Cure Foundation’s message to it’s supporters and to all of those fighting is “Be Brave”. If there is any group that can relate to that message, Spartan Race Team can. The Spartan Race Team knows what it means to Be Brave. In fact, bravery is one of the core values of the Spartan Spirit. It’s a quality that Spartans seek to promote both within themselves and in others.
This new partnership with Max Cure gives Spartans the chance to raise awareness and funds from around the globe for pediatric cancer, and to support the charity that’s racing to cure it. Wherever Spartans go, they will carry the roar of Max Cure. They will spread the message “Be Brave” throughout their communities and will Roar For a Cure until one is found.
On March 26th 2011 Spartan Race will be coming to The Smithville Ranch right outside Austin Texas. Texans have a history of independence, instilling a lifestyle of endurance in preparation to conquer what lies ahead. What better place than the confluence of energy and medical innovation to marshal our youngest Spartans in training to “Be Brave”. In Texas, Max Cure and Spartan Race have partnered with RunTex, which was founded by Paul Carrozza, who previously served as a council member on President Bush’s Council on Fitness and Sports, and currently serves as co-chairman of Governor Perry’s Advisory Council of Fitness for the State of Texas. He also serves as chair of The Mayor’s Fitness Council for the city of Austin. RunTex embodies the Lone Star State’s can-do spirit. For a quarter century, RunTex has challenged ordinary people to draw on their inner-strength, to take on daunting physical challenges and to “Be Brave”.
A Race for Families
With the support of RunTex and the Austin community, on March 26th, Spartan Race will be launching a new style race designed for families and their children. In honor of Max Cure they will officially name the new race “Be Brave Spartan Adventure”. It will be a mini obstacle course set up for children ages three and up. There will also be a “Be Brave Adventures” play area for the toddlers. One hundred percent of the entry fee for the children will go directly towards the mission of The Max Cure Foundation. Proceeds for this event will benefit The Max Cure Fund at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center and Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, and will also financially assist a young family from the community battling pediatric cancer.
“It is how we face obstacles that truly define us”- David Plotkin