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Kids' Runway for Research Makes Donation to Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders

Fashion Show Featuring Cancer Survivors Raised $17,500

Friday, Jan 24, 2014

Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington

From left: Maureen Karmondy, NCCBD; Patricia Ajizadeh; Dr. Andy Kolb; Sandi Patterson; Denise Baroski, Delaware Dreams; Lisa Sorentino and Ken Pamer, Kids' Runway for Research Steering Committee; Meredith Betz, Nemours Fund for Children's Health.

Last fall, nearly 50 children and youth aged 2-21 walked the runway modeling clothes from local boutiques and national chains to benefit childhood cancer research. What made the fashion show extra special were the models themselves — all survivors of childhood cancers.

Through ticket sales to the show as well as live and silent auctions, the Kids' Runway for Research event raised $17,500 to support Nemours cancer research and Delaware Dreams, a program that provides for the special needs or wishes of children facing cancer and other serious illnesses. Event organizers and Runway participants recently presented checks to Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (NCCBD) and Delaware Dreams.

  • Sandi Patterson and Patricia Ajizadeh, the organizers of Kids' Runway for Research, hold the event annually in September to recognize Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, to shine a light on the need for more funding for pediatric cancer research, and to allow kids and teens who are in treatment for or have recovered from cancer their day in the spotlight.
  • The 2013 Runway show was the fourth annual. It has grown in size, participation and funds raised each year.
  • Proceeds from the 2013 show totaled $17,500: $15,000 was donated to Nemours cancer research, $2,500 to Delaware Dreams.
  • The Phi Sigma Sigma sorority at the University of Delaware has chosen Kids' Runway for Research as the beneficiary of its many fundraising activities in 2014.

Ajizadeh, a physician's assistant, and former social worker at duPont Hospital, said: "We have a true connection to the hospital, the kids and their families. We are privileged to be able to give back and to keep our support local."  In thanking Patterson and Ajizadeh, E. Anders Kolb, MD, Director, NCCBD, emphasized the importance of grassroots organizations such as Kids' Runway for Research: "To look for better therapies and advance childhood cancer treatment, we get just a fraction of the support we request from the government, which is why these fundraising efforts are so critical and so valued."

Cheryl Hayes of Dover, DE, mother of Matthew Hayes, 9, a four-year veteran of the Runway, said: "When Matty was diagnosed (with leukemia), I didn't think we would see sunshine again. This hospital and the people we met here became our second family. Matty is now cancer-free and the Runway is one way we celebrate that fact. It gets bigger and better every year. We enjoy it so much and want to express our sincere thanks to everyone who supports the show."

About Nemours

Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the two free-standing children’s hospitals: the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, Fla., along with outpatient facilities in five states, delivering pediatric primary, specialty and urgent care. Nemours also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens,, and offers on-demand, online video patient visits through Nemours CareConnect. Nemours is a program dedicated to preventing reading failure in young children, grounded in Nemours’ understanding that child health and learning are inextricably linked, and that reading level is a strong predictor of adult health.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to families in the communities it serves.