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Pediatric Cancer Fundraiser Aims to 'Fight For Our Kids'

Oct 19, 2015 09:15AM ● By Jeanne Fratello
A night of hope aimed at combating a deadly disease: That's what two local parents aim to create at a pediatric cancer research fundraiser to be held in Manhattan Beach next month.

The "Fight for Our Kids" fundraiser, organized by Christina Holman and Tara Burt Hackley, will be held at the Manhattan Country Club from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. on November 13.  It will feature dinner, dancing, and special appearances by an honored guest from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Libby Kranz, founder of the Unravel Pediatric Cancer organization.

"One of our local friend's sons had cancer at the age of 2," said Holman. "Cancer is such a vicious disease but it is made so much worse when it involves someone who can't fully understand what is happening. This also is what makes the courage that we watched in this 2 year old so much more inspirational. He didn't know what he was up against, he just knew he was going to fight. He did and thankfully he is doing really well and is the strongest young man I know. His mom and special friend, Tara Hackley has shown this same strength. She has been just as inspirational to me."

Holman continued: "I have also gotten close to a Bay Area mom, Libby Kranz, who recently lost her six year old daughter to cancer. Jennifer was diagnosed on her 6th birthday and passed away 3 1/2 months later. Libby started an organization called Unravel Pediatric Cancer to help in coming closer to finding a cure. I thought to myself, 'I can’t believe this mom can find the strength to do something like this in the midst of such tragedy.' I knew then that there was no excuse as to why I couldn’t do something to support her efforts."

According to Unravel Pediatric Cancer, pediatric cancer is the number-one disease killer of children in the U.S., ahead of AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital abnormalities, and diabetes combined. Each day, 36 kids are diagnosed with cancer and 7 kids die. At the same time, less than 4 percent of the government's cancer research dollars are dedicated to pediatric cancer research.

"When you parent a living child you do whatever you can to protect them, and as a parent to a child in heaven you do whatever you can to protect their memory," said Kranz on her website. "I hope one day that Unravel will not be needed because change will have happened.. but until then.. until there is a cure I will be here."

Tickets for the November 13 event are $85 per person.

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