Saturday, March 29, 2008

AJ Piniewski

Check out the video.

AJ's dad recently was asked to speak at the dedication of a foundation for cancer research. He spoke with passion of AJ's battle with Burkitt's. He spoke of the eventual realization that treatment options had run out. He spoke of a memory he will never lose...the day his son asked, "Dad, what's hospice?" A son should never have cause to ask his father that question, but it happens far to often. There is a cure. We just have to find it.


* In the U.S. almost 3000 children die from cancer each year, more than from asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies, and pediatric AIDS combined.

* Cancer is the number one disease killer of children between ages of 1-19

*1 in 330 will be diagnosed with cancer by age 20.

*The incidence of childhood cancer has increased EVERY year for the last 25 years!

* In the past 25 years ONLY ONE new cancer drug has been approved for pediatric use. Since children can handle much more chemo than adults, most treatments are little more than mega doses of adult cancer chemotherapy treatments. The result of these high doses of chemo on children is a higher rate of secondary cancers. For reasons not fully known, teenagers experience the highest rate of secondary cancers as a result of the high dose chemotherapy treatments.

*A 5 year study at Children's Hospital Pittsburgh of UPMC recently concluded that teenage cancer survivorship is lower due in part to a lack of access to clinical trials. They concluded: "Patients who are enrolled in clinical trials offering the most advanced cancer treatments do better than patients who receive conventional treatment. Adolescents and young adults with cancer are less likely than younger children to be enrolled in clinical trials."*At the time of diagnosis in children, the cancer has already spread in 80% of the cases. That is compared to the 20% in adults.

*Young adults aged 15-22 have the lowest cancer survival rate of any age group.

*Teenagers are extremely under represented in clinical trials for cancer, especially the 15-19 age group. They tend to be excluded from both childhood and adult cancer studies due to their age.

* September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month, which nationally goes largely unrecognized.

*Currently there are between 30-40,000 children being treated for cancer in the US.

*As a nation, we spend $14 BILLION per year on the space program, but only $35 MILLION on childhood cancer research per year.

* The National Cancer Institutes federal budget is about $5 Billion. Less than 3% of the budget goes towards all pediatric cancers combined. The rest goes toward adult cancers. Breast cancer alone receives 12%. Prostate cancer receives 7%.

*The government recently cut the budget for Childhood Cancer Research!


Anonymous said...

OK, so you read a post like this and you wonder how much of it is true. Well, all of it is true. You can go to and see how much (how little, really) our government is spending on medical research. They brag about 28 billion per year. Kyle says 5 billion for cancer, and the real number is under 6 billion. 28 billion annually for all medical research, while at the same time, we spend 12 billion per month on the Iraq war. Our government's total research budget for all diseases is less than 20% of our Iraq war budget.

I don't have kids, but I'm a taxpayer and a voter. I'm sick of reading about how people's kids ask them to define hospice, how their parents pass on chemo because they see what it did to their kids, about funerals for teens who got cancer and died. I'm furious, irate, incensed that people's children are dying of cancer while our government prioritises things that none of us really care about. Certainly none of us whose kids, nephews, or whoever are dying because our priorities prevent us from helping them adequately.

Kyle, you so deserve for your kid to walk out on the other side of this. Tyler, you so deserve a complete recovery. I sincerely hope you guys get what you so deserve. I hope that all your readers will carefully consider their charitable contributions, and more importantly, who they vote for.

deyerles said...


Hope you having a relaxed and enjoyable day. I know you getting stronger everyday and will soon be ready for round 6. You're getting closer and closer to the cure!

Fight to Win!

Anonymous said...

Tyler and Alfriend Family, We have been thinking of you and hoping that your time at home has been relaxing and renewing. Amanda just brought home the dodgeball tournament info for this weekend...what a great time that will be! She will definitely be there and hope to see some of you too! Fight to WIN!
The Davis Family

Mom said...


Thank you for putting out the word about September being Pediatric Cancer month. I did not know this but I will now make sure The Discovery Shops of California (62 in all) put together a special fund raising for Pediatric Cancer during the month of September. As you know I do volunteer work for our Shop here in Pacific Grove. We raise almost one million dollars per year in our little shop alone for cancer research.

Also thank you for all the information and research you do to enlighten and educate so many of us. A cure will be found with great warriors like you bringing more focus and more money for this most important cause.

We must save our children - NOW!



Anonymous said...

Hey bro,
keep going man I know u can do it!!
you'll be in my prayers
-Dustin Shidaker