JOIN THE BATTLE. Beat Rare Cancers.
Of exceptional courage and bravery are words that describe our 3-year-old son, Reid.
Sunshine radiates from his very soul. He loves rainbows, dancing (he definitely follows the beat of his own drum), babies, trucks/diggers and cars (specifically his electronic BMW), scooters, colored sprinkles, vanilla ice cream, the care bears, anything tiny, and his latest obsession is with the color turquoise (if you ask him, he will tell you just that).
He’s not shy, and will strike up a conversation or say hello to everyone from the man at the bodega, to a random baby or dog taking a walk. He marvels at “what a beautiful day it is outside” (even if its cloudy), he picks flowers for me out of random planters on the street, and when I ask how his day was, he will say that it was “beautiful and fabulous.”
That’s just who Reid is: sunshine, pure happiness and love.
In August of 2016, a few days after Reid’s 2nd birthday, our worlds were turned upside down when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor---a Pilocytic Astrocytoma, to be exact. Every parent’s worst nightmare. But especially mine.
We were told the tumor was “massive”, obstructing the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, and resulting in Hydrocephalus, a seriously dangerous condition. The tumor was also pushing on Reid’s optic nerve; we would later find out this had caused vision loss in his right eye.
He required immediate surgery to biopsy the tumor, as well as a shunt implanted in his head to relieve pressure on the brain.
Following the surgery, chemotherapy to shrink and stabilize the tumor was the unanimous recommendation. And, after countless meetings with pediatric brain surgeons and neuro-oncologists from the best hospitals across the country, we ultimately landed at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
We connected with Dr Ira Dunkel--a warm, brilliant man who sat with us patiently and answered tons of questions, in laymen’s terms, along with an incredible team including pediatric neurologist, Dr Yasmin Khakoo---and we admired the consistent breakthroughs in medicine at MSK.
If we had to go through this journey, we knew this is where we needed to be.
Over a year (and 76 weeks of chemotherapy) later, Reid is close to the finish line. But because there will likely be many twists and turns along Reid’s health journey, we’ve set up “Reid’s Wolfpack”, intended to raise money to support the research MSK is doing specifically to help children.
Cycle for Survival has previously provided Dr Khakoo, Dr Ingo Mellinghoff, Dr Neal Rosen and Dr Jeffrey Greenfield funding for the development of a new agent that specifically treats low-grade gliomas, a brain tumor which commonly recurs in children. With additional funds added to the pipeline, you can actually help treat recurrences before they happen and also ensure that funds are directed towards this specific trial.
This new agent is something that Reid specifically would be eligible for, which gives us hope for his bright future.
We’ve chosen the team name “Reid’s Wolfpack” because, like Reid, the Wolf is a symbol of guardianship, loyalty, and spirit. A Wolf has the ability to make quick and firm emotional attachments, and they often need to trust their own instincts. Thus, they teach us to do the same, to trust our hearts and minds, and have control over our own lives.
Please join Reid’s Wolfpack Team in NYC, Miami or Los Angeles, and RIDE with US or donate anything you can to help make this agent a medical reality for both Reid and countless other children.
Every one of YOU has made up our Wolfpack…the brilliant doctors, compassionate nurses, therapists, teachers, our family and friends who are family.
Remember that “The Strength Of The Pack Is The Wolf, And The Strength Of The Wolf Is The Pack"
With eternal gratitude & love,
Ryan, Cort & Reid
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