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In 2005, 8-year-old Elizabeth Stucker was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. As part of her treatment plan, she was enrolled in an investigational treatment protocol called I-131 metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) therapy. At the time, MIBG therapy was only available in a few locations, which meant that Elizabeth and her mom had to relocate from Fort Worth to San Francisco for five months of treatment.
Elizabeth responded positively to MIBG and subsequent treatments. As MIBG is an investigational treatment, the results were not guaranteed, but the Stuckers were grateful that the treatment had been particularly beneficial for Elizabeth.
They started thinking about other neuroblastoma patients. What if those families weren't able to relocate for months at a time? What would they do? They decided they wanted to help.
In 2009, the Stuckers decided to pair their love of wine with their desire to help fight neuroblastoma. They established Wine for a Cause, a non-profit dedicated to supporting pediatric cancer research at Cook Children's. Their annual event features a seated dinner paired with wine from around the world, as well as silent and live auctions.
Over the past seven years, they have raised more than $200,000, which in part helped to bring an MIBG suite to Cook Children's. Now, patients like Elizabeth can receive this investigational treatment closer to home.
The donor-funded MIBG suite at Cook Children's is the only one of its kind in the Southwest, and offers a viewing window, parent-to-child intercom system, and private adjoining room for parents to stay and be close to their child throughout the entire process. This is necessary because the child is radioactive while receiving this investigational treatment.
And, we are happy to report that Elizabeth is now 19 years old and in remission*!
We are so grateful to families like the Stuckers for seeing the bigger picture and having the desire to be part of the greater good. Without families like theirs, Cook Children's wouldn't be the place it is today.
Your generosity does not go unnoticed by others. It is emulated by those who realize its value to the community. It is revered by those who care for our patients because it enables them to do what they do best. And it is appreciated by every patient and every family who benefits from it.
Thank you from each family, patient, nurse, physician and staff member whose life you will have touched with your generosity.