On the eve of his fourth birthday, my son Max was in Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Earlier that day, we were told he had cancer, a rare B-cell lymphoma that was in the bone of his right arm, which ultimately spread to his left knee.
Being told that it was malignant and stage four was devastating news. Those words still echo in my ear every day. To think that it was found because he fell while playing baseball, still baffles me even five years later. I often ask myself what if he hadn’t tripped over first base that day.
Today, we are blessed because Max is in remission but that does not mean that life goes back to normal. In fact, our lives are far from normal. Yes, his hair is full; he is growing, playing sports and will soon be celebrating his 9th birthday.
However, when he is hurt, complains about something bothering him or even sleeping soundly, we wonder if the cancer will ever come back or if it came back. When he has his scans, we anxiously await the results. It never gets easier. That is the reality of this disease. The fear of not knowing what tomorrow will bring is a fear we do not take for granted. The intense chemotherapy used to kill the disease, acts like a tsunami and takes out everything in its path. You pray that the day will come when the roses will once again bloom, but you fear the weeds will grow back.
With a strong determination and will to fund less toxic treatments for these children and find cures in childhood cancer, The Max Cure Foundation was born and is gaining traction. Our voice has turned to a roar and is being heard around the country. Our family’s determination, inspiration and our friends who believe and support our mission have driven our recent successes.
BTIG, TOWN, WJB Capital, PNC Foundation, MCC Capital, Marquis Jet, Silo Financial, Jefferies & Co, Old Oaks Country Club, A&J Produce, Gazilli World, Hitouch Business Services and Maxim Group to name just a few, have been contributors to Max Cure since it’s inception.
When Max was diagnosed with cancer, my closest friends took a stand. We have over ten major events taking place this year, which is sure to raise incredible awareness and funds for pediatric cancer, the number one leading cause of disease related deaths in children.
Since the beginning, we have taken a unique approach to fundraising, we educate, we inspire and we raise awareness. Eventually, the funds will come. Every foundation tries to develop a fundraising platform. For us, we took a grass roots concept of recycling sneakers and are making it fun, while teaching kids the art of philanthropy and spreading The Max Cure message.
Dunk Your Kicks is our lemonade stand. We tell everyone to clean their closets of old sneakers and dunk them into recycling bins literally helping us take steps towards funding cures to pediatric cancer. Knowing first-hand the difficulties of having a child with cancer, The Max Cure Foundation has launched “Roar Beyond Barriers” a program designed to assist low-income families around the country who are battling pediatric cancer. For every pair of sneakers collected an average of $1 will go towards local families within communities battling this disease. This program currently assists families in New Jersey, New York City, Connecticut, Louisiana, San Francisco, Florida and Long Island and will continue to expand nationally.
The Max Cure Foundation will be playing a role in a soon to be released animated feature film, Henry & Me. The movie is about a young boy named Jack who is fighting cancer and is inspired to fight with bravery by the pride and magic of the NY Yankees. The movie is scheduled for a September 2012 release with an all-star cast of Richard Gere, Danny Aiello, Chaz Palminteri, Luis Gomaz, Cyndi Lauper, Luci Arnaz and the NY Yankees team.
We are looking forward to this summer’s events in the Hamptons, which includes The First Annual Sparks Fylin’ Grills Smokin’, an evening catered event to watch the fireworks provided by The Clam Shell Foundation at the home of the Duke family, the B-East Roar (an outdoor spin by B East Fitness Studio) and the 4th Annual Roar for a Cure Carnival. The Carnival has grossed over 1 million dollars in the past 3 years. Newly launched Hamptons Water Company will be donating five cents for every bottle they sell to The Max Cure Foundation and will be the proud sponsor of all future Max Cure events.
My son Max, will be honored at the Trent Tucker All For Kids Foundation Celebrity Golf & Gala this coming September 9 & 10, 2012 by Trent Tucker and his former teammates from the NBA NY Knicks and World Champion Chicago Bulls which will include Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley to name a few.
We are starting to film a 90-minute feature length documentary called Max Cure “Roar Beyond Barriers” which is scheduled for a summer 2014 release.
Please feel free to visit our website to learn more about The Max Cure Foundation and our exciting list of events and programs.www.maxcure.org