09/23/2013 (press release: [email protected]) // Atlanta, GA, USA // Clay Owen
When the Vanderbilt Commodores go head-to-head on the gridiron in Nashville September 28th against the University of Alabama-Birmingham, players and coaches will be raising awareness that September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Working with the nonprofit Curing Kids Cancer, Vanderbilt players will be wearing Coaches Curing Kids Cancer helmet stickers and Players Curing Kids Cancer wristbands as part of the charity’s “Blowing the Whistle on Kids Cancer!” campaign. Vanderbilt coaches will be wearing the Coaches Curing Kids Cancer whistles and lanyards.
James Franklin, Vanderbilt’s Head Football Coach, said, “Grainne Owen, the founder of Curing Kids Cancer, came to speak to us this summer, and that really had an impact on our team and our coaches, and we wanted to get involved with this.” Franklin added, “Obviously having one of the world’s best children’s hospitals right here on this campus, that’s something we’re very attuned to.”
Grainne Owen, founder and Executive Director of Curing Kids Cancer, said, “This is an amazing opportunity for Coaches Curing Kids Cancer to partner with the Georgia, South Carolina and Vanderbilt players and fans to help children with cancer. We hope the teams’ efforts to raise awareness of the desperate need for funding for childhood cancer research will motivate their fans to support them by going to our website and making a donation.”
The Georgia Bulldogs kicked of the campaign September 7th, wearing the helmet stickers in their game against South Carolina. September 14th, the Gamecocks and Commodores wore the helmet stickers at their game in Columbia.
Any money raised will go toward the Curing Kids Cancer’s endowment of the Clinical Research Office at the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital Cancer Clinic in Columbia, S.C., and Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital Cancer Center at Vanderbilt.
Grainne and Clay Owen founded Curing Kids Cancer after their son Killian lost his battle with leukemia at the age of nine. They were told that there was a drug in the lab that might have saved his life but there was not enough money to put the drug into treatment. Now Curing Kids Cancer raises money to help fund these cutting-edge drugs, which will replace traditional chemotherapy. Their goal is to be able to save ALL children who are diagnosed with cancer.
Their flagship fundraising program is Coaches Curing Kids Cancer, which is chaired by Lee Corso. The other main grassroots fundraising program is Players Curing Kids Cancer, chaired by Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves. The charity has already raised more than $3 million to fund research on new treatments for childhood cancer. More information is available at www.curingkidscancer.org.