Local Pediatric Cancer Charity On Track For $1 Million In Grants Funded; Holding Fundraiser October 12
Middletown-based Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer's 5th annual Wish for a Cure Gala will be held on Friday, October 12, 2018 from 7 p.m. until midnight at the beachfront Ocean Place Resort & Spa in Long Branch, NJ.
All members of the public are invited to attend. Tickets are $150 per person and include a buffet dinner, a full open bar from 7 p.m. to midnight, and a cocktail hour. Infinite Love is a grassroots foundation and is entirely volunteer-run, so 100% of proceeds from the event will be used to fund new research grants and assist families of cancer fighters. Tickets can be purchased here.
Live entertainment will be provided by award-winning singer-songwriter and Jersey Shore native Taylor Tote, who was named one of the "25 must-hear local bands" by NJ.com, and one of the "9 Jersey Shore bands you need to hear" by the Asbury Park Press.
Pediatric oncologist Dr. Filemon Dela Cruz of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will serve as keynote speaker. Dela Cruz was awarded a $50,000 research grant by Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer in 2017, and is using those funds to further his research of rhabdomyosarcoma.
The evening will include a silent auction with 30 prizes including a football signed by NY Giants' quarterback Eli Manning; an electric guitar signed by NJ legend Jon Bon Jovi; a weeklong vacation in Myrtle Beach, S.C., two Green Room tickets to a New York Jets game; weekend getaways to Philadelphia and Boston; and more. The night will also include over 100 raffle baskets, games, and a fun photo booth.
While many organizations exist to fundraise for cancer research in general, Infinite Love is entirely focused on funding pediatric research grants. "Childhood cancer is the #1 disease killer of our kids, and yet it only receives 4% of the National Cancer Institute's annual research budget. In fact, over the last 25 years only 3 new drugs have been developed for any type of childhood cancer," says Jim McCaffrey, Executive Director. "Our children deserve much more than this."
In the United States, approximately 43 children every day (about 15,780 per year) are diagnosed with cancer. About 40,000 children are currently undergoing treatment in America, yet many of them are receiving the same treatments that childhood cancer patients received 30 years ago. Funding is needed to enable research for new, more modern treatment options -- that's where Infinite Love is focused.
"Over the past five years, Infinite Love has fulfilled more than $775,000 in grants to some of our country's leading researchers. Additionally, we are able to help families both financially and emotionally as we truly believe that no family should fight this battle alone," says Andrea Verdone Gorsegner, Founder/President of Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer.
Some of these previous grants include Dr. Don Small's (John Hopkins) research in developing molecularly targeted therapy for FLT3 mutant pediatric acute myeloid leukemia, Dr. Brian Crompton's (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) research aimed at targeting FAK and integrin signaling in preclinical models of ewing sarcoma and Dr. Charles Keller III (Children's Cancer Therapy Development Institute) for research into the functional genomics of anaplastic wilms' tumor.
While funding research is a top priority, Infinite Love also supports families by giving those in need financial grants and/or by helping to cover specific financial needs. Recently they wrote a check to cover the cost of repairing a struggling family's only car. This past summer, Infinite Love teamed up with the Martin Group to gift a backyard makeover and new custom playhouse to a little girl who was restricted to her home due to a very compromised immune system.
This year's Gala will help Infinite Love reach their next major milestone: $1 million in grants funded. For more information and to purchase Gala tickets, visit https://www.infiniteloveforkidsfightingcancer.org.
Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer, Inc., is a registered 501(c)3 corporation. All donations are tax deductible under current IRS rules and regulations regarding deductions to the fullest extent of the law.
Infinite Love was inspired by Andrea and Dan Gorsegner's 9-year-old daughter Natalie Grace who was diagnosed with a very high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia at age 3. Natalie is now cancer-free, but Andrea's efforts to raise awareness and funding for pediatric cancer have continued.
Since its humble beginnings in 2013, Infinite Love has funded over $750,000 in research grants nationwide and has provided of financial and emotional support to dozens of families with children with cancer.
Media appearances include Life & Living with Joanna Gagis and People's Shave a Hero//Save a Hero event with the Middletown Township, NJ Fire Department. Additionally Infinite Love has had media support from PBS, The Today Show, Parents, Asbury Park Press, Women's Health magazine, People magazine, NJTV News, CM Community Magazine, and Journal Publications.
The organization also captured the attention of journalist Joan Lunden for their collaboration with singer-songwriter Taylor Tote on an award-winning music video for "Fighter" (an original song written by Tote and both Hannah and Natalie Gorsegner).
Additionally, Infinite Love recently introduced its new Executive Director Jim McCaffrey who is paving the way for the expansion of Infinite Love to the state of Connecticut. Jim, his wife Marian and their son James dove head first into the childhood cancer advocacy world when their daughter (and sister) Mia Rose was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. Just 364 days into her fight, Mia Rose passed away while holding each of her parents hands. Mia was always celebrating life, even when faced with the impossible so it didn't take long for the McCaffrey family to discover their new motto, and now Infinite Love's as well...to #MakeItAmazing with each and every moment that you can.