This Friday, April 23rd, will be Johnny’s 12th birthday. On that date last year the City of Galveston held the skatepark dedication, and we used the event as the official launch of the JohnnyKicksCancer Foundation, making our first grant to the Texas Children’s Leukemia Research Team in the amount of $5,000.00. Not a bad start, but literally just a drop in the ocean compaired to what is needed to fight childhood leukemia.
This Friday we will make our second grant to the Texas Children’s Leukemia Research Team in the amount of $30,000.00! We’ve changed the drop into a bble. Still not much compaired to what is needed, but we are hoping that the ripples will continue to grow until we can grant the kind of money that will make a real difference in the treatment of childhood leukemia.
Leukemia is the most common type of cancer impacting children. There is a misconception that childhood leukemia is under control because the mortality rate is lower than most other childhood cancers. This could not be farther from the truth. Even today childhood leukemia kills more kids than all the other types of cancers combined (hince the tagline for our foundation, “Common Doesn’t Equal Cured”). Unfortunately there just isn’t enough funding for the research needed to fight this disease. Although you see kids on all the advertisements for the National Cancer Institute, or the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, very little of their money actually goes towards the fight against childhood cancers. There hasn’t been a new drug developed to treat childhood leukemia in the last 30 years! Julie and I understand why the focus of those organizations is on adult cancers, but at the same time we know that if we want to make sure there is money available to fight childhood leukemia we have to raise it ourselves. Obviously we can’t do it alone.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone here who surfed in the Ohana JohnnyKicksCancer Longboard Classic last year, attended the Rock the Cradle for JohnnyKicksCancer World Cup of Skateboarding event at the Houston skatepark, or made a direct donation at JohnnyKicksCancer.org. Please know that the money you donated will go directly towards our cause of fighting childhood leukemia. With the help and support of Boog at Ohana, and Sidewalksurfer up in Houston those events will continue to raise money for the foundation, and this year we are working on even more ways to create interest in the battle against childhood leukemia. Although we may be small today our goal is to one day be to Childhood Leukemia what Susan G. Komen is to Breast Cancer.
While Johnny was alive he put up a brave fight against this disease. He may have lost that battle, but through this legacy we will work to ensure that ultimately he wins the war.