Cure Childhood Cancer


Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Mexico for a few days of rest and relaxation. While in the airport waiting to come home, I had the opportunity to meet Susan Berg from Houston. We struck up a conversation because she noticed my LIVESTRONG bracelet and jacket that I had on. We talked about her son, his health issues and how families cope with health issues, especially when it’s their children.

Subsequently, she connected me to several families touched by pediatric cancer. There is so much that needs to be done in the world of cancer ranging from prevention, to detection and research. Building awareness around those issues is vital to making progress in each area.

The United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 1553, the “Caroline Pryce Walker Conquer Childhood Cancer Act,” earlier this month which promises to significantly increase federal investment into childhood cancer research. There is companion legislation (S.911) in the Senate that is exected to come up for vote later this summer.

One of the families Susan connected me to, the Piniewskis lost their son, Alex John known as AJ, to cancer earlier this year. Alex’s Dad, Bob Piniewski, recently watched a 20/20 show with Diane Sawyer interviewing Randy Pausch. He’s living life with cancer. A Professor at Carnegie Mellon, he wrote the “Last Lecture”, and it’s been #1 on Amazon for the past couple months. Bob wrote me he’d NEVER seen a show on Childhood Cancer. And, after spending 8 months on a pediatric cancer floor, he knew that these kid’s stories were just as good and NEED to be told. So, he started a petition with the goal of having just that, an hour long show specifically devoted to childhood cancer. And, during the show, we hope to promote a book about the way these kids have changed the lives of those around them. Our hope is to raise public awareness and funding specifically for childhood cancer research. The petition has been up a month and has nearly 7,000 signatures, all though their contacts at Care Pages and Caring Bridge sites.

But frankly, they need more publicity to achieve their goal. You can check out the petition here.


  1. Susan Berg says:

    I feel honored and blessed to have been at the Gate with you, and know that God truly put us together at that moment. To know that in some small way, I was able to make a difference means so much to me and the other families that I hope that I have been able to help find a CURE for Pediatric Cancer. God Bless, Susan Berg

  2. Brian Dowd says:

    Betty – I just signed the petition. Thank you for bring it to our attention!

    By the way it is already at 9,244 signatures.

  3. mimi avery says:

    Betty ,

    Thank you for caring…

    Mimi (mom to Julian forever 4)

  4. Kerri Schaefer says:

    Thank you Betty! Getting the word out about Childhood Cancer is something not many people do. For the kids it is needed and we are thankful for the blessing you are doing! After Cancer changed our lives, Heaven became so much closer. Hopefully with the help of Live STRONG other kids will be helped!
    Malachi’s Mommy, Kerri

  5. AJs Dad says:


    I wanted to thank you for making the effort to bring the petition increased awareness. Your assistance has been invaluable to our cause. If you don’t mind, I will stay in touch and keep you updated on our status.

    From the bottom of my heart, thanks. And, I know that AJ, Malachi, Julian, Brett, Christian, Kelsie, Krista, Sam, Chase and thousands of other kid’s are smiling down on you tonight.

    AJs Dad

  6. Thank you for bringing attention to the petition. Everyone needs to become aware of the battle these young people are going through. AJ’s petition is critical in bringing that awareness. Bob Piniewski, AJ’s dad, first contacted me as my son was in the worst days of his fight with the same cancer (Burkitt’s Lymphoma). AJ had passed away only weeks earlier. Bob then came to give us support when we were getting 2nd opinions at MD Anderson. No one can see the world these kids live in and walk away unchanged. We can win this fight. My son is still alive and still fighting. But we have attended far too many funerals of people far too young people. There is a cure. We must find it.

  7. Cristina "Julia's mom." says:

    Thanks for bringing this to sight for all. My daughter, Julia, fought and won her battle, she is now 14. She was diagnosed when she was 12, finished when she was 13…We were able to celebrate with all of America her turning 14 and being cancer free for her first year….THANKS…like Mr. P says, we HAVE to find a cure…Far to many funerals have been attended…No 14 year old should be able to say I have lost 13 friends to cancer….Nor should they worry about their “ANC” being to low to go out and play…

    Julia’s mom (osteosarcoma)

  8. Thank you for calling attention to the need for work on pediatric cancer research. We need to find out WHY so many people are getting sick, and we need BETTER treatments, that do not have deadly side effects. Our daughter, Katie (, passed away from adrenocortical carcinoma at age 12, last August. We want to help other families so that they do not have to endure what we did. Together, we can get the ball rolling!

  9. My 14th month old son Baby Billy was just diagnosed with cancer and our world has been turned upside down. So many questions so little answers. A very happy baby who 2 weeks ago was running around has started his first round of chemo with drugs whose side effects are almost as worse as the disease. The kids are our future so every resource should be thrown at finding the causes and cure for this terrible monster that takes our kids. We can send people to space for billons and billons of dollars but lets take care of the kids first. During my life I always wondered how parents deal with a sick child and now I know. You live strong not only for yourself but for the people who ask the same question that I use to. As we begin our long road to get my son better I offer the deepest understanding and sympathy to anyone who has lost a child from any type of this disease.I will be sending the petition to all the friends and family who have been contacting us thru Caring Bridge.

  10. Hi All-
    Please sign the petition! It’s so true…you get what you give. CureSearch 100% supports this petition drive and we are asking our advocates to do so also.

    We are the little engine that could…and we can…AND WE WILL.

  11. Thank you for helping to raise this awareness! I just heard about the petition today and signed it as well.

    Cancer touched my life through my 2 year old son Grant. His right kidney and ureter were removed due to a Wilms’ Tumor. He’s doing great and now the next phase of MY work begins. When he was diagnosed, I looked for some type of resource to help me through this journey. I found next to nothing. As a result, I am now writing a book for moms (and dads too) of kids with cancer to help them get through this journey. If any of you have any interest in helping me in this endeavor, I welcome your stories, lessons learned from a parents’ standpoint and suggestions. Please feel free to e-mail me with your insight!

    Great health to all,
    Tracy Bautista

  12. Our children are Standing here in front of you until a cure is found. Far to many lives have been taken by this beast we call cancer. Raising awareness is the key to saving lives.
    thank you for caring
    with unstoppable hope Sinjin’s mama

  13. DeAnna says:

    You never think it can happen to you. You are busy, you have things to do… until one day your whole world is no longer the same. It smacks you in the face like a train. We will never look at a leg a ache the same. Raise awareness, find solutions to the side effects.

  14. Joni says:

    I have two girls and I’ve ALWAYS been worried about how the cell phone effects them and me and my husband.
    I heard about the Pittsburg doctor warning that kids should not use cell phones–now they have just released a new study in Sweden showing that children who use cellphones have a 5 fold increase in their chances of getting a tumor-YOU MUST READ THIS

  15. dari mcmanus says:

    THANK YOU for blogging about the petition.

  16. C. Hood says:

    Thank you so much for getting the word out and bringing more attention to the petition. As the petition garners more signatures, awareness continues to grow and that’s what needs to happen! Keep it rockin’ because that’s exactly what the warriors and survivors need!

    Thanks again and God bless,
    Carla Hood (Survivor Stage IV High Risk NB ~ 40 yrs and counting)

  17. Kelly Dayton says:

    Thank you so much for supporting the petition. I am fighting for childhood cancer awareness in loving memory of my 14 year old daughter, Marci. I pray a cure can be found so children no longer have to suffer the disease or the effects of treatment.

  18. Jessica A says:

    I have not gone through this myself, but we need this researched more than anything else right now – Hemp oil as a cure for cancer. Hemp oil that contains high levels of THC; it is easy to grow for people all over the world, and anyone of any age could take it without side effects. Please watch this video for more information:

  19. kathi clarke says:

    Thank you for helping to bring attention to childhood cancer…I hope we will have your continued support.

    I lost my niece (14 yrs old) a year ago to Burkitts Lymphoma. I am ashamed to admit before she was diagnosed I WAS NOT AWARE of the stats of childhood cancer, and lack of funding for research. Now I do know, and I cannot turn my back. No one else should either. Our kids deserve better.

    Please help us.
    Kathi Clarke / Kelsie’s Aunt
    PAC2 member

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