Friday, December 10, 2010

Supporting brain cancer research

GIFT OF HOPE: From left, Lisa, John and Elana Sargent, and Batchelor

When her father John was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in June 2009, 10-year-old Elana Sargent wanted to find a way to help. She decided to make bracelets with gray beads and ribbons – gray is the official color for brain cancer awareness – and donate the proceeds to cancer research. Elana called her project "Beading for Brain Cancer" and sold the bracelets for $10 at local stores. The items quickly gained popularity, and orders poured in for more.

In October, Elana and her family donated $1,000 – raised from the sale of the bracelets – toward glioblastoma research at the MGH Cancer Center, where John receives care. Tracy Batchelor, MD, MPH, executive director of the Stephen E. and Catherine Pappas Center for Neuro-Oncology, accepted the check on behalf of the hospital.

"After my dad found out he was sick, I saw how hard it was for people with cancer," says Elana. "I wanted to help so that other people don’t to have to go through the same thing."

Elana’s brother Jack also plans to make a donation to the MGH. He organized a hockey game between students and teachers at his school, and through donations of participants and attendees, raised more than $600.

"We are so grateful to our physicians and nurses and are happy to give back," says their mother Lisa. "Dr. Batchelor, Dr. April Eichler and our nurse practitioner Mary Walsh have all been wonderful."

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