8-year-old fights cancer with help from local teens

8-year-old fights cancer with help from local teens

Print
Email
|

by ANN SHERIDAN / NBC Charlotte Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheridanWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 7:45 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 22 at 11:37 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Grier Christenbury is everyone's son.  He's your neighbor.  He's your nephew.  He's your grandchild. 

The eight-year-old Selwyn Elementary School student has a form of pediatric cancer, called Neuroblastoma,  cancer of the nerve cell.  

Christenbury needs research so that doctors can cure him quickly.  It can't happen soon enough.

That's why a Myers Park International Baccalaureate  student used a class project to help raise money for the second grader last year. 

Through a 5K race, a fun run, a bake sale, and a national program called Cookies For Kids' Cancer, Abbey Rogers and her friends, helped raised more than $14,000 for pediatric cancer research. 

They ran the race like a business, getting sponsors, media attention and community support.

On Saturday, March 23, Rogers, and residents in the Randolph Park Neighborhood, hope to raise even more money for kids like Grier. 

"He likes to talk.  We call him our little man because you can have a really funny conversation with him even sitting in a  waiting room," said Grier's mom, Amy Christenbury.

There have been lots of waiting rooms, lots of surgeries and lots of chemotherapy.  If you ask Grier about it, he's polite, never complaining, always smiling.

Last year, more than 450 people ran in the Charlotte Cookies for Kids' Cancer Randolph Park Neighborhood run.   

Rogers, now a Junior at Myers Park, and her friend Carolynn Carmichael, a Junior at Charlotte Catholic, hope to have more than 600 runners Saturday.  They've spent months signing  sponsors, bakers and of course, runners.

"I think people think it takes millions of dollars to fund a clinical trial.  You can fund a clinical trial with $100,000," said Amy Christenbury.

Christenbury says pediatric cancer is underfunded and research is badly needed to help survival rates improve. 

While eight out of ten children with pediatric cancers will survive, there has been little improvement on those statistics over the last two decades, experts say.  

Many children with cancer are cared for like adults, even receiving  adult doses of chemotherapy. 

The National Cancer Institute spent five-billion dollars in research and grants, but only about three percent of that money goes toward grants for pediatric cancer, according to Working Mother, a website dedicated to parenting issues.

"We all need to open our eyes and see kids are fighting every day and do something.  We have to do something," said Amy Christenbury.

The Cookies for Kids' Cancer run will take place Saturday, March 23, in Randolph Park.  The race begins at 9:30 a.m. 

Those interested can register up until race time Saturday.    It will begin at the corner of Chillingworth Lane and Hardwick Road.     The bake sale  will continue until noon.
 

Print
Email
|