Last week, several members of Vancouver Whitecaps FC – including MLS players Philippe Davies and Greg Janicki – had the great privilege of learning about the amazing work being done by the outstanding research team out of the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program.
Led by the incredible investigative team of Dr. Sandra Dunn, Dr. Chris Maxwell and Dr. James Lim, the group was taken on a tour through the program’s facility at the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children’s Hospital.
Funded by the Michael Cuccione Foundation, the researchers have made some exciting progress in discovering how to shut down the growth of cancerous cells. Aiding them in their research is a variety of new technologies, including a microscope which enables the monitoring of cells as they normally live – one of only 10 of its kind in the world.
After going through the laboratories, Dr. Kirk Schultz, director of the Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program, brought the group to the Children’s Hospital clinic where Philippe and Greg met some of the sick children and left signed posters and t-shirts.
Gloria Cuccione – mother of the late Michael Cuccione – explained how her son took to heart the fight against childhood cancer at a very young age. As a rising singer and actor, Michael was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at nine-years-old. He was shocked to learn that even babies were born with cancer and vowed to make a difference, establishing the Michael Cuccione Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research to help children return to healthy, active lives. Michael passed away in 2001 at the age of 16 due to respiratory failure but his legacy remains alive and well.
Find out more about how to donate to the Michael Cuccione Foundation and support Childhood Cancer Awareness month at www.childhoodcancerresearch.org.