Childhood Cancer Awareness: Houston area moms fight to increase funding for kids with cancer

HOUSTON – Lilli Curry,16, died from Ewing sarcoma in 2016.

Now, her mom, Kay Curry, is still fighting to educate others about pediatric cancer in order to help save others.

“All cancers are important to be aware of and to do research on,” Curry said. “The more money that we have, that we can funnel towards it, probably the quicker that either cures or better treatments will be found.”

She feels pediatric cancer isn’t funded nearly enough.

Curry said, only 4% of federal funding goes to research childhood cancer.

According to one estimation, that’s about $26 million. In comparison, other well-known diseases like aids and breast cancer, are granted 10 to 20 times that amount.

Curry also wants more research to fund the long-term effects of treatment on children’s growing bodies.

“It doesn’t go away just because it’s one or two years after treatment, a child can develop issues, major issues with their organs, with their eyes,” Curry said. “Years down the road they can develop secondary cancers, it could be attributed to the chemo they did or the radiation or both.”

According to the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, by the age of 50, more than 99% of survivors had a chronic health problem and 96% have experienced a severe or life-threatening condition caused by the toxicity of the treatment. That can include brain damage, loss of hearing and sight, heart disease, and secondary cancers.

Lilli favored two organizations: Triumph Over Kid Cancer in Texas and St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

These organizations raise funds specifically for children with cancer. Kay said Lilli was on five types of treatments, all established for adults, and she wants more options unique for kids.