On January 4, 2008, Adam Tanksley’s parents received devastating news about their (then) 3-year-old son. Doctors at Levine Children’s Hospital told Sharon and Mike Tanksley their son had Stage IV Anaplastic Wilms’ Tumor, a very rare childhood kidney cancer with unfavorable histology (25-30% estimated cure rate). Approximately 6-7 kids are diagnosed per year with this stage and type of cancer. No parent wants to hear, “Cancer,” and “Stage 4” in the same sentence. Adam immediately began a 48-week regimen of chemotherapy and radiation to combat the aggressive cancer. Levine Children’s Hospital (LCH) became his “home away from home.” Adam spent 325 days in the hospital during his battle with cancer that first year.
Thankfully, despite the odds of a 25-30% survival rate and 80% chance of relapse, today Adam is 5 years in remission and was diagnosed “cancer free” in December 2013. The Adam Faulk Tanksley Foundation, a not-for-profit organization created in honor of Adam’s FIGHT against pediatric cancer, is also a founding partner of the Carolina Kids Cancer Research Coalition, which was established to provide funding for the introduction of Phase I and Phase II pediatric cancer clinical trials at Levine Children’s Hospital.
Clinical Updates (March 2014):
Clinical trials in the pediatric BMT program at Levine Children’s Hospital have accomplished some of the best outcomes in the country with greater than 90% 1-year survival rates. Charitable contributions are being used to fund two studies: a Phase I (first-in-humans) study that gives cell treatments after transplant to decrease leukemia recurrence, which has so far enrolled 25 patients, and a Phase II study (being done at only a few hospitals in U.S.) that removes harmful parts of a transplant so that half-matched family members can be used as donors, which has enrolled 36 patients. Both have had very good outcomes and have led to national presentations by Dr. Andy Gilman and colleagues.
We are thankful to everyone who continues to support clinical advancements in pediatric cancer treatment through dedicated partners like the Adam Faulk Tanksley Foundation.
Two important ways that you can join us in the FIGHT against pediatric cancer:
The 4th annual Keep Pounding 5K
Proceeds benefiting pediatric cancer research at Levine Children’s Hospital
The 5th Annual Adam Faulk Tanksley Foundation Golf Tournament:
Monday, June 16
Providence Country Club