Friday Frontline: Cancer Updates, Research and Education on April 24, 2020

April 24, 2020

From a skin cancer survivor raising money for the fight against the novel coronavirus to a Cleveland Browns fan who has survived a rare brain tumor helping to open the broadcast of Thursday’s NFL Draft, here’s what is making headlines in the cancer space this week.

Skin cancer survivor raises money for the National Health Service’s fight against COVID-19

Tom Moore, a skin cancer survivor and veteran of World War II, has raised more than £18 million or roughly $22 million — for National Health Service’s Charities in Britain to help support patients and staff affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moore, 99, originally planned to raise the equivalent of approximately $1,200 by walking 100 laps around his yard before turning 100 at the end of the month. However, within the first 24 hours of starting the fundraising campaign, Moore had raised more than $85,000 and decided to keep the effort going.

“When you think of who it is all for — all those brave and super doctors and nurses we have got — I think they deserve every penny, and I hope we get some more for them, too,” he said in an interview.

10-year-old battling leukemia receives birthday surprise in the hospital

Reese Loggins recently received a bone marrow transplant for his leukemia and had to spend his birthday recovering at Duke Cancer Center in Durham, North Carolina.

This was the second birthday that Reese spent in the hospital and his dad, Rusty, hatched a plan to cheer him up. Knowing that his son has enjoyed watching through his room’s window as cranes worked outside, Rusty arranged for crews to use a crane to lift a bicycle to surprise Reese for his birthday.

“I just wanted to make it a special birthday for (Reese) for all he’s going through,” Loggins said in an interview. “Words can’t describe it to see him in the window and be able to see the bicycle and know that he’s going to get out soon and be able to ride it. It’s pretty awesome.”

Brain cancer survivor introduces the NFL Draft in pre-recorded message

A 12-year-old only referred to as Fletcher was featured during a pre-recorded introduction that led into NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s announcement of the Cleveland Browns’ selection with their first pick in the league’s player draft.

Fletcher, who was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in July 2019, is an avid fan of his hometown team.

“Hello, NFL fans, and a special shout-out to Browns Nation. I am so excited to help introduce the first-round draft pick for my hometown Cleveland Browns. The wait is finally over,” Fletcher said in the message.

Fletcher, according to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he was treated, has finished his therapy and has no evidence of the disease.

Breast cancer survivor gets surprise parade to celebrate reaching a milestone

Paula Tordonato, of Rutland, Vermont, recently finished her last round of treatment after a yearlong battle with breast cancer.

Her family, friends and neighbors decided to surprise her recently to celebrate her reaching that milestone and held a parade in their cars.

“She worked her way all the way through this,” Howard Stratton, Tordonato's brother, said. “We’re so proud of her and we love her.”

14-year-old leukemia survivor achieves a milestone on the golf course

Three years after receiving a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Dakota Cunningham, 14, sank his first hole-in-one on a golf course in Olive Branch, Mississippi.

However, that was not his first highlight-reel moment on a golf course. Dakota, who was treated for his cancer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, recently sank a clutch putt during a charity event at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational to land a $50,000 donation from FedEx to St. Jude.

“It’s these little things that get you through it,” Stephen Cunningham, Dakota’s father, said in an interview with Golf Digest. “The putt that he made with (professional golfer) Justin Rose, little things like that make a difference in these kids’ lives. I talked to a number of pros and they all say, ‘I’m getting so much out of this.’ Well, they don’t understand how much we’re getting out of it.”


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