December 07, 2017
The Strong4Sam Foundation is approaching its fundraising goal of $500,000 to support pediatric cancer research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
14-year-old Sam Taylor, for whom the foundation is named, is the inspiration behind various grassroots fundraising efforts. Joined by a passionate group of friends, family, neighbors and complete strangers, Strong4Sam has raised awareness and funds through a wide variety of events from a garage sale to Improv Comedy nights. Examples of some of the other events have included: a Sam5K trail run, poker nights, a volleyball tournament, high school basketball games, a lacrosse team, and restaurants, all supporting fundraisers. The common denominator for all of the events is that they were hosted and attended by people who are passionate about fighting pediatric cancer and discovering less harmful treatments.
Three years ago, Sam Taylor was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor that was blocking the spinal fluid in his brain. He began a 14-month chemotherapy regimen that ended abruptly after 9 months, due to a life-threatening allergic reaction to the chemotherapy. Sam’s parents Jeff and Kellea Taylor learned the painful reality that while effective, the existing treatment options came with difficult and painful side effects. They learned about Project Violet, a nonprofit research group at the Fred Hutch started by Sam’s doctor, Dr. Jim Olson and dedicated to discovering more effective and less toxic therapies for pediatric cancer. In May 2015, after raising $40,000 for Project Violet, the Taylor’s established The Strong4Sam Foundation.
The Taylor family is committed to doing whatever they can to help their son Sam and Sam is committed to helping others. “Every time I go back to the hospital, I am reminded of what it felt like while in treatment. I see the kids who you would see on a cancer commercial. They have no hair, most have feeding tubes because they can’t keep food down, and they all just look very sad and sick. When you donate money, you’re funding HOPE – hope for kids like me,” explains Sam Taylor.
The foundation is looking to raise $30,000 toward a $500,000 goal. Individuals or groups that would like to host a fundraiser or donate can go to https://strong4sam.org. 100 percent of donations go directly to Fred Hutch.
Dr. Jim Olson…