It started with one child. It started with just one heart. Sydney Reece Bjornberg was a vibrant, beautiful, smart, kind, silly, fun, caring, 11-year-old girl with a great sense of humor. Sydney loved to run, swim, jump on the trampoline, play with her little brother, ride her bicycle, and she could ski (her favorite thing to do) down any slope on the mountain at Wolf Creek Ski Resort in Colorado.
Sydney underwent treatment for a brain tumor that was diagnosed on May 21, 2012. Her loving network of family and friends, her parents, Michelle and Steve, her little brother Nicholas, age 9, and her dog, Kona, age 13, were with her every step of the way. They believed that she’d beat it.
Sweet Sydney’s life would become the dynamic inspiration for the North Texas Chapter of The Cure Starts Now Foundation. Her life will have a tremendous impact on the fight against childhood cancers.
The Cure Starts Now Foundation is dedicated to finding a “homerun” cure for all cancers, starting first with cancer research for children. Many experts believe that the lessons learned from fighting pediatric cancer may provide the critical first step in winning the battle against all forms of cancer whether childhood or adult.
“Sydney’s Band of Gold Golf Tournament” will be held on Friday, October 6th, at Stonebriar Country Club. Then, let the support continue on the evening of Saturday, October 7th at “Sydney’s Fourth Annual Band of Gold Gala” taking center stage at the Omni Frisco Hotel. Last year, this event exceeded expectations by raising more than $165,000!
Established in 2014, Sydney’s Band of Gold Golf Tournament and Gala has raised more than $500,000. The gala boasts over 500 guests and features a silent and live auction, fantastic food and drink, dancing and lively entertainment. It’s not a surprise that this event has become the number one fundraiser for the North Texas Chapter of The Cure Starts Now.
Childhood Cancer Statistics
- Cancer is the #1 disease killer of our children in the United States out of all other diseases combined
- Most people know the common adult cancers: melanoma, lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer… Few know the cancers that affect our kids: leukemia, brain and spinal cord cancer, neuroblastoma, nephroblastoma or Wilms Tumor, and lymphoma
- 1 in every 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20.
- 1 out of every 5 children diagnosed with cancer will NOT survive.
- Cancer is the leading cause of death to our children only second to accidental car deaths.
- The average number of years of life lost for an adult is 15. The average for a child is 71.
- Pharmaceutical companies fund 60% of all adult cancer research, but they do virtually no childhood cancer research because it’s not profitable.
- Out of the federal funding for cancer research, our children receive less than 4%, yet children make up 20% of our population.
- Funding from larger cancer organizations doesn’t help much… Less than 1% of American Cancer Society total donations are directed toward childhood cancer research.
How Can You Help?
To fulfill Sydney’s last wish, her mother and father, Michelle and Steve, have become the founders of the North Texas Chapter of The Cure Starts Now. They’re spearheading a new strategy in cancer research… One that fights cancer, not according to numbers, but based on knowledge and research. Michelle says,
I lived the horror of watching my beautiful, healthy child die in my arms. I have a choice: I can sit in the corner and rock myself, or I can stand up and fight like Sydney did every day.
Nothing I do will bring Sydney back, but I cannot look another child or parent in the eyes and do nothing after what we have experienced. I’m fighting for your children and for your children’s children.”
Join Michelle and Steve in the fight. Add your company or name to the prominent list of sponsors for this year’s event. Every dollar raised provides the ability to fund research and programs to give afflicted children more hope for survival from cancer.
It may have started with one child, but today the inspiration is carried with us all.