Some of you may remember Gladys, the mannequin I acquired a couple of years ago in order to create the chair shown in this picture. I am happy to report that, after two years standing guard over the corner of our living room, Gladys has found a new home modeling for the Bainbridge Bargain Boutique, a Seattle Children's Hospital thrift store here on the island.
I'm hoping the chair -- currently on display at the store -- will soon find a new home as well: this week Seattle Children's Hospital is auctioning her off to raise money for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.
I'm writing about this here because the reason I started this blog -- back in September of 2007 -- was because a close friend's 12-year-old daughter had just died after a long bout with cancer; all the posts here are dedicated to Katie's memory.
The good news is that there is a man -- Dr. Michael Jensen -- who has been brought to Seattle by the Ben Towne Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation to pursue some VERY promising research on pediatric cancer, which is the #1 killer disease among children under 18. We all know how overwhelming the side-effects of chemo and radiation are for adults, but for children those side-effects can be devastating and permanent even if the cancer is cured.
Dr. Jensen has developed a method of reprogramming the body’s own immune system, genetically re-engineering an individual’s T cells to destroy cancer. This new technique, which has proven to be safe and effective in the laboratory, promises a future of immunotherapy cancer cures without the devastating side effects of radiation and chemotherapy. Dr. Jensen is now working to translate this breakthrough to children with cancer. I got very excited about this possibility, which is why I decided to auction off the chair: all the money from the auction will go to support Dr. Jensen's research.
So -- if you know someone who would love a one-of-a-kind deck chair, has money to spend, and cares about pediatric cancer, I hope you'll send them the link -- and soon; the auction will close next Tuesday morning, September 20. I promise this is the last I'll speak of it here, and I apologize for the sales pitch, but sometimes the hope for a brighter future gets so intense you just have to speak up. Back to business as usual tomorrow...