Cancer is a somber subject, especially when it affects children. But there was nothing but positivity and smiles in the Chantilly Ballroom at the Hilton Anatole for the 25th annual Children's Cancer Fund luncheon themed "Under the Sea."
More than 1,000 supporters — including emcees Steve Eagar and Clarice Tinsley, luncheon co-chairs Jennifer DeLaughter and Elizabeth Farr, Camille Cain, Yvonne Crum, Marisa Huckin, Leland Burk, and Will Stroud — lunched as local celebs escorted 38 child cancer patients and survivors down the runway in an adorable fashion show produced by Rhonda Sargent Chambers.
Among the stars walking hand-in-hand with the kids were honorary chairs Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, Miss Texas Danae Couch, gospel musician Rudy Gatlin, former Dallas Maverick Ray Johnston, and Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware and Brandon Carr.
Children's Medical Center's Dr. Shannon Cohn continued to lift spirits as she talked about her goals to find better alternatives to chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. "My focus is to utilize a promising new class of medications for treatment of childhood cancers of bones and muscles," she said.
Dr. Cohn's research focuses on analyzing mTOR, the protein that enables cells to grow normally but causes cancer cells to become overactive and metastasize. This research will help her understand why cancer cells are resistant to mTOR inhibitors and bring her closer to her goal of finding a better treatment solution.
To reel in extra funds, Christopher H. Martin painted "Sea Smiles" with the help of children Logan Cosgrove, Averi Moya, Margaret Strand and Candance Bennett. It sold for $3,000 in a live auction, along with 45 prints of the painting, which raked in more than $4,500.
All tallied, the luncheon raised more than $300,000 for CCF to advance pediatric cancer research and treatment programs at Children's Medical Center and UT Southwestern Medical Center.