FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Sydney Dungan is “11-going-on-21″, or so says her Dad, as he beams about the “precocious”, delightful daughter who wasn’t supposed to make it past four.
“She’d just turned two years old, ” says Mark Dungan, “and we were given the longest of shots. We were given a 15-25% chance that she’d be here two years. So every day’s a gift.”
Soon after her second birthday, doctors discovered a grapefruit-sized tumor in Sydney’s abdomen. She was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma, a deadly cancer with no known cause or cure. Over the next few years, she would endure multiple surgeries, a stem cell transplant, 12 rounds of radiation, high-dose chemotherapy and a barrage of other treatments. But, she has endured– and she has survived.
“If Cook Children’s wasn’t here, I don’t think Sydney would be here,” says Dungan. “We had more opportunities because we were here, more phase I trials, phase II trials, which are huge. Those are our only chances at therapy, those are our only chances at winning.”
Now, the entire nation can join the team. Taking a page from Neiman’s lavish holiday wish book–the Fort Worth hospital is being included in a national children’s hospital ‘wish list’ organized by the Children’s Miracle Network. The organization raises funds to support children’s hospitals nationwide. Supporters can log on to www.GiveMiracles.org to give a little, or a lot.
“If you have 8 million, or if you have 8 dollars, if you have one dollar, there are still ways to donate to us,” says Jackie Daulton, with Cook Children’s Health Foundation.
The catalog includes a wide range of gift options– from diapers and diagnostic equipment to blood pressure cuffs and books. $30 will buy toys, $970 gifts a pediatric wheelchair. And if you’ve got $8 million you’d like to put to good use, Cook Children’s will throw in naming rights to the new 80,000 square foot children’s cancer wing as a ‘thank you.’
“If you have a real passion for a specific type of service, or a specific type of product or an age range, you can absolutely do it through this catalog,” says Daulton.
100% of local donations will fund services at Cook Children’s. Supporters are also encouraging friends, families and organizations to consider skipping the fruit cake or bad sweater exchange, and make a group donation that will make a big difference in the lives of tiny North Texans already waging the battle of their young lives. Daulton says with one click, donors can create their own fundraising page that they can be pushed out through social medical – through twitter, through Facebook–, and all of those funds will come directly back to the hospital.
“Every dollar counts,” says Dungan. “Another vial of medicine. Every chance that they get could be the difference in a Sydney. This is kids’ lives, and it’s absolutely making a difference. “
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