Martinez gardener Kris Gordon knows all too well the heartache that comes when a child is diagnosed with cancer. Her grandson Patrick Chance was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma four years ago. Patrick relapsed in June 2009 after 34 months of chemotherapy.
Gordon's daughter and son-in-law, Erin and Stephen Chance of Atlanta, founded Press On in June 2006 after Patrick was diagnosed. In their first year, Press On raised $100,000 and has raised more than $300,000 during the past three years.
Gordon has made it her mission to help in their effort to fund childhood cancer research, starting a holiday fundraiser with her local garden club several years ago.
Press On for the Holidays, previously Patrick's Paperwhites, involves the selling of potted paperwhite and amaryllis bulbs.
"We thank everyone for their support last year," Gordon said. "We sold 633 pots, contributing $7,800 to Press On. We have been challenged this year to really step up to the plate by the donation of 1,000 ceramic pots by www.tahoeblue.com, a Web site for eco-friendly items for the home and garden."
EasytoGrowBulbs.com has once again partnered with Press On for the Holidays to provide the bulbs.
"The paperwhite bulbs -- Ariel -- are bred to be shorter than the more common paperwhites and also have more blooms on stronger stalks," said Gordon. "The amaryllis -- Minerva -- is absolutely spectacular with some people reporting up to six blooms per stalk."
The paperwhites sell for $15 each, and the amaryllis are sold for $20 each. Orders will be taken this month and in October for delivery in November.
Last year, Turner and Tara Simkins of Augusta joined Press On after their son Brennan was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on the eve of his seventh birthday. The Chances and Simkinses have been lifelong friends and are united even more as they work to raise funds for Press On.
Both Brennan and Patrick are waging a battle with "far fewer and far riskier options," said Gordon. "Beating neuroblastoma and AML requires additional national resources for more research and for expensive and risky clinical trials.
"The Chances and Simkinses have often summoned the will to 'press on' -- Philippians 3:12-16 -- during the most difficult days of their war on cancer," added Gordon.
Martinez gardener Kris Gordon and her fellow garden club members are selling bulbs to raise money for childhood cancer research in honor of her grandson, Patrick Chance (above), who has neuroblastoma.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.