Lifestyles
Local moms plan September 21 event to raise awareness for childhood cancer awareness
By David Alvey
Sep 21, 2013
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September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and two local moms are coordinating an event to bring awareness and raise funds for more research of childhood cancer.

Carolyn Alvey and Mary Jane Coker will bring families together for the 2nd Annual Concert and Prayer Vigil benefiting TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation 7 p.m. Saturday, September 21 at Watters Creek in Allen.

“This is a free concert and is open to the community,” said Alvey, the mother of three boys. “We want to build more awareness about childhood cancer and the devastation it causes a child and the family. Every day another child is diagnosed with this horrible disease. There isn’t enough funding through the government programs, so finding better treatments and a cure will take private donations. This is truly a grassroots effort.”

The concert will feature the popular rock band White Noise, starting at 7 pm. Then, at 8:30 pm, special guests will pay tribute to children battling childhood cancer and those lost to childhood cancer, followed by a moment of silence. Watters Creek is located at U.S. 75 and Bethany in Allen.

Participants are invited to spread a blanket on the lawn or dine on the patio at one of the restaurants that surround the park while listening to the band and enjoying the Texas stars.

“My daughter Caitlyn is a member of TeamConnor’s junior advisory board with Carolyn's son, Nathan,” said Coker. “We became involved in this cause because it really hits home when you learn what a child endures when they are diagnosed with cancer. The treatments are brutal and the road is long. I am grateful to have healthy kids, so I give back by helping others who are struggling.”

Neither Alvey nor Coker have a child with cancer, but have been drawn to help because of friends.

“My friends, Tait and Joy Cruse, lost their eight-year-old son to cancer,” remarked Alvey. “I watched as they spent countless days in the hospital, traveling across the country seeking new treatments and sadly, saying goodbye to Connor. It was heart wrenching, and no family should have to endure it. Mary Jane and I also have a friend with a three year old son that is currently battling leukemia. And my oldest son went to school with a student that just finished treatment for Ewing's Sarcoma and is now in remission. Childhood cancer has impacted many families in our community and this concert is a great opportunity to build awareness of the need to fund more research.”

The community can support this event by attending the concert and making a donation during the evening, or by sending a tax-deductible donation to TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 941310 Plano, TX 75094.

Every year, more than 12,000 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer in the United States. Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children, yet the budget of the National Cancer Institute allocates only 3% of its funds to pediatric cancer research. TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and funding research and treatment programs to find a cure for all childhood cancers.

For more information, visit www.teamconnor.org or find TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation at facebook.com/TeamConnor