Kris Gordon sells a personal story every time someone purchases a pot of Patrick's Paperwhites.
An avid gardener, Gordon's story is one of hope for her own grandson, Patrick Chance of Atlanta, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of cancer, in June 2006 at the age of 3.
As a fall fundraiser for Press On: The Patrick R. Chance Fund for Neuroblas-toma Re-search, garden clubs across the CSRA will be selling pots of Patrick's Paper-whites, a premium paperwhite bulb bred to be shorter with more blooms on stronger stalks. Preplanted amaryllis bulbs also will be sold through the local garden clubs.
Easy to Grow Bulbs, the company supplying the bulbs, has joined Gordon's campaign to fight neuroblastoma and is providing a significant discount so that the bulbs can be provided to the local gardening community.
"After the announcement last summer by physicians at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center that they had developed a new neuroblastoma antibody that could extend the lives of children with neuroblastoma by more than 5 years, but that they had not been able to secure funding to manufacture it, I started looking for ways to raise money," said Gordon.
"A group of gardening friends -- Meredith Nicholson, Nancy Trefz, Sharyn Altman, Mary Louise Hagler and Gayle Foster -- agreed to serve on a committee to help me raise funds through the gardening community," said Gordon. "We started with 'Paperwhites for a Christmas of Hope' last fall as our first fundraiser. We sold pots of pre-planted, budding paperwhites to the handful of garden clubs represented on the committee."
The gardening community rallied behind Gordon and her family again this spring when they sold a selection of annual seeds in the "Seeds of Hope" fundraising project, which Gordon said will continue again next year.
Patrick continues to receive painful antibody therapy in hopes of keeping him in remission and is still considered at high risk for relapse. His risk of developing secondary cancers, as well as scoliosis and infertility, also are high.
It is Gordon's hope that the support of the community, and her gardening friends in particular, will lead to a cure for childhood cancers.
"There are no words to fully express how blessed our family feels by the kindness and generosity of so many individuals who have supported us," she said. "I cannot imagine that we will ever stop our fundraising efforts, at least not until there is a cure for neuroblastoma and all childhood cancers."
Individuals interested in purchasing a pot of Patrick's Paperwhites can contact Gordon at (706) 863-7405. For more information on Press On, visit www.pressonfund.org.
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