“Superhero” Steals the Show – and Hearts – at Annual Conquer Cancer Event
Each year, the Conquer Cancer Foundation hosts a dinner and silent auction fundraiser during the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Conference (ASCO). The highlight of this year’s event was 10-year-old superhero, Bella Raffin. OHC’s Patrick J. Ward, MD, PhD, (pictured, right) and David M. Waterhouse, MD, MPH, (pictured, left) were fortunate enough to meet Bella and have their picture taken with this real-life superhero.
Bella is a brilliant 10-year-old girl from northwestern Indiana. She is a big sister, a cousin, a niece, an outstanding student, a loving friend, and a precious daughter. In 2017, Bella was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer that forms in the nerve tissue, and accounts for less than 10% of all childhood cancers. She has touched the lives of everyone in her community with her bravery and strength, as evidenced by her attire: at each chemotherapy session, Bella dressed as Wonder Woman.
Bella’s mom, Brandy, was the special keynote speaker at the dinner, which is part of an invitational event at ASCO’s annual conference. There was not a dry eye in the house as Brandy shared Bella’s and the family’s story.
Thanks to Bella and Brandy, more than $1.2 million was raised to support ASCO Young Investigators (AYI) awards, which provide funding to promising investigators to encourage and promote quality research in clinical oncology. Bella’s doctor is an AYI whose ongoing research, supported by the Conquer Cancer Foundation, has led to more success stories like Bella’s. Dr. Waterhouse is also a former AYI award recipient and member of the Foundation’s Conqueror Circle.
The Conquer Cancer Foundation was founded by the foremost cancer doctors of ASCO to seek dramatic advances in the prevention, treatment, and cures of all types of cancer. ASCO was created in 1964 by seven cancer physicians with a single purpose: to improve the care of people with cancer. ASCO has grown from its original seven members to nearly 45,000 today representing over 120 countries. As its foundation, Conquer Cancer helps support ASCO’s many programs and activities, including cancer research, learning opportunities for oncology professionals, patient and caregiver education, and more.
If you’d like to learn more about OHC’s nationally recognized clinical trials program and available trials, please visit https://bit.ly/2PT1TOE. To learn more about the Conquer Cancer Foundation, visit https://bit.ly/2GipJhm. Without cancer clinical trials, there will be no cure.