Max's Ring of Fire supports the Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium or NMTRC.

The Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (NMTRC) is a group of 18 universities and children’s hospitals headquartered at the Helen Devos Children’s Hospital that offer a nationwide network of childhood cancer clinical trials. These trials are based on the research from a group of closely collaborating investigators who are linked with laboratory programs developing novel therapies for high-risk neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma.

Their mission is to create a national collaborative effort of researchers, oncologists and family advocates to bring forward new therapies for children with relapsed neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma with the goal of improving the quality of life and survival of children with neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma.

READ MORE >>

We need your DONATIONS to help us give researchers and doctors the tools they need. 100% of every donated dollar is guaranteed to fund meaningful neuroblastoma research and clinical trials NOW!

An ongoing inspiration for many people, Max was born on June 30, 2001. He was diagnosed with stage IV, high-risk neuroblastoma in October 2004. He whizzed through frontline treatment and by the following summer was effectively on the road back to a "normal" life - albeit with almost total hearing loss, a new immune system, and about 10lbs to gain back, all courtesy of Mr. Chemo.

Unfortunately, Max relapsed (as most high-risk NB patients do) in November 2006. Max fought bravely, entering a clinical trial in Vermont where he received nifurtimox in combination with other chemo agents. This combination diminished the disease until there was just one tiny spot still evident on his spine. But in February 2008 the beast came roaring back and we could never control it again, despite everything we tried. Max passed away on August 31, 2008 at 8:45pm in his mommy and daddy's bed.

Read more of Max's incredible fight.

Childhood Cancer by the Numbers

Thanks to our friends at Alex's Lemonade Stand for developing the infographic above and letting other foundations use it to raise awareness!

Neuroblastoma Facts

  • Neuroblastoma is a common and often difficult to treat cancer, the most common cancer in infancy.
  • In the United States, about 600 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year.
  • It is the most common tumor found in children younger than 1 year of age.
  • Neuroblastoma is the most common extra cranial solid tumor cancer in children.
  • Every 16 hours a child with neuroblastoma dies.
  • There is no known cure for relapsed neuroblastoma.
  • Nearly 70% of those children first diagnosed with neuroblastoma have disease that has already metastasized or spread to other parts of the body. When disease has spread at diagnosis and a child is over the age of 2, there is less than a 30% chance of survival.

Childhood Cancer Facts

  • Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer in children.
  • There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.
  • The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) federal budget was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.
  • The American Cancer spends less than 70 cents of each 100 dollars raised on childhood cancer.
  • Cancer kills more children than any other disease, more than Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes and Pediatric AIDS combined.
  • Sadly, over 2,300 children with cancer die each year.
  • Every school day 46 children are diagnosed.
  • 1 in 330 children will have the disease by age 20.
  • Cancers in very young children are highly aggressive and behave unlike malignant diseases at other times in life.
  • 80% of children have metastasized cancer at the time of their diagnosis. At diagnosis, only 20% of adults with cancer show evidence that the disease has spread or metastasized.
  • Detecting childhood cancers at an early stage, when the disease would react more favorably to treatment, is extremely difficult.
  • Cancer symptoms in children - fever, swollen glands, anemia, bruises and infection - are often suspected to be, and at the early stages are treated as, other childhood illnesses.
  • Even with insurance coverage, a family will have out-of pocket expenses of about $40,000 per year, not including travel.
  • Treatment can continue for several years, depending on the type of cancer and the type of therapy given.

Causes of Childhood Cancer

  • Every family is potentially at risk.
  • In almost all cases, childhood cancers arise from non-inherited mutations (or changes) in the genes of growing cells.
  • As these errors occur randomly and unpredictably, there is currently no effective way to predict or prevent them.
  • Most adult cancers result from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, occupational hazards and exposure to other cancer causing agents.

Cancer Research Funding

  • Nationally, childhood cancer is 20x more prevalent than pediatric AIDS.
  • Pediatric AIDS receives 4x the funding that childhood cancer receives.
  • In one month there are 2x as many deaths from childhood cancer as pediatric AIDS for the entire year.
  • In the U.S. almost 3,000 children do not survive cancer each year.
  • Over the past 20 years, only TWO new cancer drug has been approved for pediatric use - Clofarabine (Clolar-Genzyme) in 2004 for ALL and Tenoposide (Vumar/VM-26-BMS) in 1990.
  • Only 3% of the National Cancer Institute Budget goes toward Pediatric Cancer Research.
  • September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, which nationally goes unrecognized.
  • The federal government recently cut the budget for Childhood Cancer Research.
  • Currently there are between 30 - 40,000 children undergoing cancer treatment in the U.S.
  • Young patients often have a more advanced stage of cancer when first diagnosed. Approximately 20% of adults with cancer show evidence the disease has spread, yet almost 80% of children show that the cancer has spread at diagnosis.
  • Today, up to 75% of the children with cancer can be cured, yet some forms of childhood cancer have proven so resistant to treatment that, in spite of research, a cure is illusive.
  • As a nation, we spend over $14 BILLION per year on the space program, but only $35 million on Childhood Cancer Research each year.
  • There are 15 children diagnosed with cancer for every one child diagnosed with pediatric AIDS. Yet, the U.S. invests approximately $595,000 for research per victim of pediatric AIDS and only $20,000 for each victim of childhood cancer.
  • The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) federal budget for 2003 was $4.6 billion. Of that, breast cancer received 12%, prostate cancer received 7%, and all 12 major groups of pediatric cancers combined received less than 3%.
  • Research funds are scarce as most money is diverted to well-publicized adult forms of cancer, such as breast and prostate.
  • In 2005, the American Cancer Society provided only 2.5% of funded grants, or 1.85% of dollars spent on research to pediatric cancer.