November 5, 2008

Board Members Visit Shands

STOP! Board Members visit Wall of Honor

November 5, 2008 - STOP! Children's Cancer of Palm Beach County board members Tana Gaskill (Treasurer), Fran Smith, Liz Davis and Delores Colton (President) with two of the doctors at Shands Hospital in Gainesville. They are standing in front of a plaque that recognizes the contributions that STOP! has made to pediatric oncology research at The University of Florida.

Palm Beach Post Notables, July 7, 2008

STOP! Presents Checks to Children's Cancer Research Program

Hometown News, May 26, 2006

Organization Aims to Stop Pediatric Cancer

By Sarah Stover
Staff writer

NORTH PALM BEACH - Stop! Children's Cancer aimed to do just that with its annual luncheon and fashion show on May 19.

"The organization is unique in that it does not have any overhead and therefore, can donate all funds to pediatric cancer research," said President Delores Colton.

Stop! Children's Cancer is a nonprofit organization based in North Palm Beach.

Ms. Colton reminded attendees about Cam Jorgensen, who modeled in last year's show. The event was held in honor of his memory this year. Cam said he wanted to be a farmer when asked at last year's show what he wanted to be when he grew up. He lost his struggle with neuroblastoma on April 2 at age 6.

Pediatric cancer patients modeled fashions from Baby Alexandra of Palm Beach Gardens at the Lost Tree Village Club in North Palm Beach. The fashion show followed lunch and tickets were pulled for items in the silent auction after the show.

Dr. Stephen Hunger, chief of pediatric hematology/oncology at Shands Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville, referenced Cam in his speech as well.

"Children like Cam are why we need to continue to work and do research," said Dr. Hunger.

Although Shands saves 80 percent of the children who come there, not being able to save the other 20 percent is unacceptable to Dr. Hunger, who was the bearer of good news at the event. The university will open a proton beam radiation center this coming fall. It will be one of five in the United States

Proton beam radiation "allows the treatment to focus mainly on the tumor, and thus, avoids many of the side effects of radiation," said Dr. Hunger.

A cancer and genetics research building will open on the UF campus on June 12.

The funds raised by Stop! allow Dr. Hunger to continue his research.

Dr. Francine Greco was the special guest speaker. She spoke about her own triumph over cancer, having battled it three times.

"I had cancer when I was 12, when I was 24 and I was 36," she said.

She survived Hodgkins lymphoma twice and breast cancer once.

"September 21, 1967, was a day that changed my life. It was the day I learned to live," said Dr. Greco.

She has been fortunate in that some of the great advances in cancer research, such as changes in radiation, development of cat scans and chemotherapy, came about during her cycles with the diseases, said Dr. Greco.

Through her experience, she can relate to the children Stop! supports.

"The worst thing is to watch your parents when someone tells them you have cancer," said Dr. Greco.

Parents' reaction is a lesson she learned from having cancer.

"A child's entire world is their family and friends. They do not need to be the cause of your crying and suffering; however it is also not good to spoil a child with cancer. They develop their reactions from their parents. (Children) can learn to be strong, or they can learn to be the 'Why mes?'" said Dr. Greco. As a three-time cancer survivor, she served as an example of the importance of research.

"Advances are made because of research and research costs money," said Dr. Greco.

Since its inception in 1983, Stop! Children's Cancer has donated more than $2 million to research. The proceeds from the annual luncheon will add to that amount.

"We had about 225 people. We were very happy. We think we've made a lot of money (today), which is what it's all about," said Ms. Colton. This year's event was co-chaired by Carrie Deitz and Lisa Edwards.

"I believe we raised between $25,000 and $30,000 last year, so we hope to make as much, if not more this year," said Ms. Deitz.

The money goes to Shands and the Nicklaus Children's Hospital at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, she said.

Ms. Edwards went to school with the owner of Baby Alexandra, so they asked the store to contribute the fashions. The kids modeled bathing suits, summer outfits and raincoats with matching umbrellas.

"The models were so great. They were nervous at first, but we can't get them off the runway now," said Ms. Edwards.

After the show, the models walked around offering guests a chance to purchase a balloon for $100 as part of the fundraiser. Guests could also give $20 to the organization and have a chance to win one of the centerpieces, a bouquet of flowers in a ceramic vase, that graced the tables.

"The best part truly has been realizing how generous people really are," she said.

For more information on Stop! Children's Cancer, visit

Hometown News 2/24/06

Group Raises Children’s Spirits on Valentine’s Day

By Sarah Stover, Staff Writer
Photos by Hobie Hiler

NORTH PALM BEACH—Cupid aimed his bow at some unsuspecting Valentines this year.

Stop! Children’s Cancer of Palm Beach County, a nonprofit organization, based in North Palm Beach, distributed Valentines to children on the oncology floor at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in West Palm Beach.

Every holiday, a group from Stop! Children’s Cancer throws a party for the children to raise their spirits.

"When you raise money for things, you don’t see where it’s going, but this is very hands-on," said Delores Colton, Stop!’s president.

The organization was formed in 1983 to help find a cure for children’s cancer through research.

The group raises money that goes into an endowment, which is used to pay for the doctors to do research. The endowment is around $1.5 million, said Tana Gaskill, a member of the group.

"It’s a great thing," she said.

The group gives away anything they receive and pay for expenses on their own.

Justin Syden, 19, was the only patient who could attend the party.

"There was a whole bunch of children with fevers, so they couldn’t come to the party," said Sarah Brummer, a child life specialist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

"The number of patients on the floor varies every time we come. Today there’s seven, but we like it when there’s less," said Ms. Colton.

The women, including Regina Bedoya of Juno Beach, decorated Tupperware boxes for the kids to put Valentines in, but some were already included.

"All the board members signed Valentines (for the kids) at the last meeting, said Mrs. Colton.

The women passed out the boxes, cupcakes, balloons and goodie bags.

Justin’s friend, Shana Pollack, also brought him a Valentine and joined the party.

He had been diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma of the spinal cord, a rare form of bone cancer, said his mother, Sheree Syden.

Her brother died of the same form of cancer when he was 13.

"Pretty much when Justin was diagnosed, I felt like it was a death sentence," said Ms. Syden.

His tumor was inoperable because of its location, so he had radiation and chemotherapy. Three weeks ago, his lungs collapsed, so he was taken to Shands Hospital in Gainesville.

When Justin had an MRI at Shands, doctors discovered his cancer was cured.

That was a Valentine for the women of Stop! Children’s Cancer.

"He was such a delight, and for once, we got good news. We see the same kids again and again when we come here and emotionally, it’s very hard, said Ms. Colton.

"They took wonderful care of him at Shands and they do here, too. We love everyone here and they’ve become like family," said Ms. Syden.

Justin has decided to follow in the footsteps of those who helped him during this difficult past year.

"I’m going to be a child life specialist." He said.

Life specialists work with the children, tell them about their conditions and what they can expect.

"We provide support and distraction for the family and the children when they come to the hospital. We’re here as a friend. Justin’s definitely a good candidate for child life work," said Ms. Brummer.

As part of her job, she deals with volunteers who want to help. She helped the womens’ group arrange the party.

"We definitely rely on outside people to come in with donations and fun ideas. Holidays are important and a great to get their spirits up," said Ms. Brummer.

"Cancer’s a big thing in a child’s life, but if you can make a joke about it, it makes it so much easier for everyone", said Justin.

As the women made their rounds, they stopped in to see Matthew Monnette and his mother, Lyn. Matthew, 5, was in the organization’s fashion show last year, which was also a fundraiser. He hopes to participate again this year.

Lyn and Matthew came in Feb. 13 because he had a fever. Matthew was diagnosed with acute lyphomic leukemia in March 2004.

"He’s never once said, why me," said Mrs. Monette.

The children were happy to receive sweets and gifts on the holiday of love, and that’s what makes it worthwhile, group members said.

"These kids are so appreciative. Their attitude is so great." Said Ms. Gaskill.

"I think its just knowing you’re doing something to make these children feel like normal, fun-loving kids and they’re not thinking about how sick they are," said Ms. Colton.

Stop! Children’s Cancer will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and Mother’s Day at the hospital.


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2005: Benefit Aims to Help Stamp Out Children’s Cancer

(click on image for full view)


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1993: STOP! Establishes the Samuel Gross, M.D. Professorship in Pediatric Oncology at the University of Florida’s Pediatric Research Center at Shands Hospital

The establishment of this professorship will provide a dependable level of funding in perpetuity for the hospital. So far, STOP! has been able to provide the hospital with nearly one million dollars in funding for cancer research.


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1992: STOP! Supports Research in the Magnetic Purging Technique at the University of Florida’ s Pediatric Research Center


In the last several decades, advances in childhood cancer therapies and treatments have been dramatic and numerous. STOP! has been instrumental in supporting the development of one of these advances in particular—the Magnetic Purging Technique at the University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida).

This ground-breaking technique involves removing a small sample of bone marrow from a patient, and then coating the cancer cells in the bone marrow with special laboratory-produced antibodies. The coated marrow is then passed through a magnet-lined chamber, which contains magnetic antibody-coated beads that act like guided missiles seeking out at attaching to the antibody-coated cancer cells in the patient’s marrow. This process separates the cancer cells from the healthy cells in the patient’s marrow. After the marrow undergoes this process, the purified marrow is returned to the patient’s body to replenish vital blood cells killed during treatment.

Because the patient serves as his or her own bone marrow donor, there is neither a wait for a compatible marrow donation, nor the harmful side-effects anticipated when another person is used as a donor.

Cancer survival statistics have risen dramatically in the last 10 years; certain diseases such as leukemia have an overall survival rate exceeding 50% due to these advances in bone marrow transplantation via Magnetic Purging.


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