TRANSFORMING CHILDHOOD CANCER CARE WITH THREE RS: RESOURCE, RELATE, AND RESEARCH

On behalf of the MaxLove Project team and the thousands of childhood cancer families we served this past year, we are so deeply grateful for your continued support. 2018 was a banner year for us because of change-makers like you. This year we served more childhood cancer families, saw a greater improvement in their health and quality of life, and laid the groundwork for several new programs that will revolutionize quality of life and preventive care for childhood cancer families everywhere. We couldn’t be more honored to have earned your support this past year, and we couldn’t be more excited about what’s in store for 2019.

This past year—in addition to honing our cornerstone programs like the Fierce Foods Academy cooking classes, our individually tailored Fierce Foods dietitian consultation program, our SuperFamilies Support Network (which now consists of over 1250 families fighting childhood cancers nationwide), the Broth Bank, Ethan & Choco’s Book Club hospital reading program, our BeSuper Thrive Kit initiative, and foundational BeSuper Action Plan—we started building three new initiatives that will integrate all of  these programs in a way that will help us serve even more families in a deeper way. We think of these new initiatives as our Three Rs: Resource, Relate, and Research.

Our primary goal at MaxLove Project is to resource families with knowledge, skills, and therapies that will help their child thrive in cancer treatment and beyond into survivorship. This includes holding therapeutic cooking classes and educational seminars on health topics like nutrition science, sleep, stress management, and physical therapy. So, to better resource families, we began work on building our own mobile teaching kitchens, what we’re calling “Fierce Foods Kitchens.” Our goal is to build unique mobile pop-up spaces in children’s hospitals that will meet the unique educational needs of children with cancer and other life-limiting diseases as well as their families.

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Second, we have found that all the resources we offer can become overwhelming unless we relate them to each other in a single, easy-to-use, family-friendly program. We’ve spent 2018 working hard with the best clinicians at CHOC Children’s Hospital to design and implement a program that integrates all our resources into a twelve-week program that will profoundly improve the health and wellbeing of children and families fighting childhood cancers. We call it the “Ohana Project” because Ohana means family in Hawaiian culture, and this program not only treats the entire family but also connects childhood cancer families to each other. Our first Ohana Project families began the protocol in early 2018, and it will be rigorously studied in order to broaden and deepen its impact for years to come.

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Finally, we understand that evidence-based integrative medicine can’t exist without rigorous, scientific research. This year we began fundraising specifically for research in the field of nutrition and cancer. Recognizing that there are very few funds available for research in this area, our executive board decided to fill this gap. We are proud to report that our first major research funding was awarded to Dr. Adrienne Scheck at Barrow Neurological Institute. Dr. Scheck is at the forefront of researching the effects of therapeutic diets on brain cancer. Her work provides the evidence base that has the potential to change the face of integrative medicine in cancer care.

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None of this would be possible without you. And you can help us do it again but bigger and better in 2019 by considering an end-of-the year, tax-deductible gift to the MaxLove Project. We are so honored to have earned your support and we are working at breakneck speed to make 2019 even more impactful. Thank you for standing with us and thousands of childhood cancer families as we continue to thrive against the odds!

Erin Long