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Kids’ Runway for Research: Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research

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While organizing an American Cancer Society fashion show fundraiser, Sandi Patterson found herself inspired by a handful of childhood cancer survivors.

Later partnering with Patricia Ajizadeh, a hematology/oncology social worker at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, and the Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research, Patterson put on the first Kids’ Runway for Research in the fall of 2010.

Kids’ Runway for Research showcases nearly 50 kids ages 2 through 20, all of whom are battling childhood cancer or are in remission. While primarily raising proceeds to benefit the Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research, the fashion show gives all involved children combating cancer the opportunity to shine.

“These kids don’t have the chance to feel special when they’re going through treatment, hooked up to chemo,” Patterson says. “The show makes them feel pampered, like princes and princesses.”

Through Kids’ Runway for Research, Patterson hopes to bring awareness to the overwhelming need for continued research of childhood cancer and potential treatments. “Cancer does not discriminate by age, and there is a pressing need to develop treatments and medications specific to helping children overcome the disease,” Patterson says.

The 3rd annual Kids’ Runway for Research will take place at The Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington, Sept. 9, during Childhood Cancer Awareness month.

“Our event is focused on the kids. For once people look at these kids and clap, not because they have cancer, but because they look fantastic,” Patterson says. “The everlasting pride you see on their faces, and the fact that they never hesitate at the chance to come back the following year, really says it all.”

(kidsrunwayforresearch.com)    —Mieke Lynch

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