Childhood Cancer Survivors Take the Plunge
for the Maine Children's Cancer Program
Nothing says "brave" like two former cancer survivors jumping into Sebago Lake in the middle of winter. Neve Cawley and Joshua Conley will jump into the icy waters of Sebago Lake as a part of the 9th Annual Shaw's Polar Dip on Saturday, February 26, at noon at Raymond Beach in Raymond.
Neve Cawley, the 2010 Slugger's Kid for the Strike Out Cancer in Kids Program, insists, "I am going in first; youngest to oldest." The 9 year old and her brother, Finn, are prepared to take the plunge alongside family, friends, and supporters.
The Shaw's Polar Dip is a cornerstone event in the Sebago Lake Rotary Derby Fest, the third largest ice fishing event in the country. Event organizers expect more than 200 brave souls will jump into the four-foot deep hole cut into the ice on Sebago Lake. To participate, each jumper solicits pledges from friends, family and their communities to help meet the vital needs of children battling cancer. For more information visit: www.mmc.org/polardip.
Neve was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) in September 2007 after blood work at her doctor's. Neve was only four at the time, and had just started pre-kindergarten. She finished treatment in December 2009 and doctors are very optimistic about her health.
Joshua, now 15, was first diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma in 2006. Surgery removed most of the tumor, which was followed by two years of active treatment. The cancer returned in 2007, and he underwent a bone marrow transplant that year. He's back in school, getting all As, and finally "feeling like a kid again."
Fundraising Goal: Top $50,000
"Everyone looks forward to this event every year, and every year more and more people jump and help raise money," Larry Laderbush, Shaw's Supermarkets Northern Region Manager, and Maine Children's Cancer Program Board Member. "This year is it's going to be amazing to watch kids who are now off treatment take the plunge."
The 2010 Shaw's Polar Dip raised approximately $50,000 for the Maine Children's Cancer Program.
ABOUT THE MAINE CHILDREN'S CANCER PROGRAM
The Maine Children's Cancer Program a part of The Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center is a comprehensive program that provides treatment for children diagnosed with cancer and blood disorders from all corners of the state of Maine. Each year more than 50 children with cancer are newly diagnosed and treated at MCCP. The average course of intense treatment is typically two years, although it can last as long as four. This means that approximately 200 children are in various stages of active treatment at any given time.