On April 1, 2011, it was official: 2 ½-year-old Malia Dakota Jusczyk's carefree life of Disney World and pony rides, soccer practice and swimming pools, came to a grinding halt. A CT scan revealed that Malia's recent "tummy aches" were caused by a large tumor lodged in her abdomen. The solid mass wrapped around major blood vessels and pushed against her kidney and aorta.
A biopsy confirmed that Malia has a very aggressive childhood cancer known as stage IV (high risk) neuroblastoma. The cancer had metastasized into her bones and bone marrow (cranium, humerus, and femur). Immediately after the debilitating diagnosis, Malia's parents, Megan and Glen, left Orlando, Florida in order to provide their daughter with the best treatment currently available to her at the Children's Hospital/Dana-Farber Jimmy Fund Clinic in Boston, Massachusetts.
To survive, Malia's little body had to endure six rounds of chemo, nine hours of tumor resection surgery, a stem cell transplant, removal of a kidney and an adrenal gland, twelve rounds of proton radiation, countless blood transfusions, and immunotherapy.
We are thrilled to share that as of July 2012, Malia has been declared NED (No Evidence of Disease). Yay!! However, since the rate of relapse with neuroblastoma is so high (and since there is no cure once a child relapses), we have entered her in a two-year-long remission trial, which utilizes a medication called DFMO 2/day and includes scans every three months as well as monthly oncology appointments.
Malia, like all children diagnosed with this awful disease, has shown an unbelievable strength and willpower throughout her treatment. We are thankful for every single day we get with our beautiful daughter!
Unfortunately, many parents can't say the same. The fact remains that every sixteen hours a child dies from neuroblastoma, and although cancer is the number one disease killer of our children, only 3.8% of cancer research funding goes toward pediatric cancer. That is why we have chosen to expand the non-profit, For Kids’ Sake (created by Malia's dad, Glen Jusczyk), to raise money for neuroblastoma research as well as for families of children diagnosed with neuroblastoma.
According to the Neuroblastoma Children's Cancer Society: "For families affected by neuroblastoma, the medical costs alone typically exceed $500,000 with many costs not covered by health insurance, this experience can devastate a family financially."
Please consider donating to this very worthy cause and helping more children crush cancer!
Watch Malia Loves Kissing Mommy and more videos in the tributes section!
Read new article about Malia and the Tri to Crush Cancer in The Sun Chronicle
For the third year running, the For Kids' Sake Triathlon Team will be competing in the Great Floridian triathlon to raise money to fight neuroblastoma. Donate on behalf of your favorite team, or if you'd like to race as an individual or a team, e-mail Glen with your information!
Thanks to everyone who made the last two Great Floridian Showdowns a great success!
Click on a team below for more information and to donate. Refresh to see the latest totals.
Countdown to Race:47d 18m 53s
Amazon Smile For Kids' Sake
Click below to raise money for the For Kids' Sake Foundation while you shop at Amazon. It's a fun way to help a great cause!
GK Icon USA launches the Pink "Malia" glove as a great addition to their line. This glove stems from the inspiration of Malia Jusczyk and her fight against Neuroblastoma. Proceeds from glove sales will go directly to Malia's foundation. This model is a top of the line match quality glove. The palm is a 4mm super giga grip with a roll finger design. The backhand is embossed latex along with a full embossed latex wrist strap and enclosure. Retail price is $45, comparable models retail for over $100 for this type of glove. Click here to learn more and buy.
Bumper Stickers and Wristbands
We now have MaliaCrushesCancer.com magnetic bumper stickers and wristbands. If you'd like some, please make a donation, then e-mail us with your address and the quantity you wish to receive, and we'd be happy to mail them to you.
Want to raise funds and awareness for Malia's Foundation? We welcome any and all fundraisers to help crush cancer. Email Amber Start at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
For Kids' Sake T-Shirts
For Kids' Sake Foundation t-shirts are available. Email Glen (email@example.com) for more information.