COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Nearly 50 teams of people are signed up to compete to pull a 35,000-pound fire truck this Saturday in Columbia.
Now in its sixth year, each team at the Curing Kids Cancer Fire Truck Pull will pull in honor or memory of a child affected by cancer.
The team with the fastest time wins, but the ultimate goal is to raise even more money for the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood disorders at Prisma Health Children’s Hospital.
The hospital says because of money raised through the Curing Kids Cancer endowment, right now research studies are being done.
Director of Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders Dr. Stuart Cramer says currently they’re working on a phase one trial which is looking at a common cancer drug but in a different form. As funds allow, they hope to be able to do even more in the fight against cancer.
“One thing I'm trying to explore right now is this new idea of something they call a liquid biopsy which is being used in adults,” Dr. Cramer said. “Instead of having to do bone marrows or biopsy actual tissue, you do a blood draw and look for specific markers inside of a tumor, and you're able to follow that instead of having to do other invasive procedures.”
Dr. Cramer adds that the ultimate vision of the endowment money that Curing Kids Cancer is raising is to be able to have more research studies and clinical trials in Columbia so that our local kids fighting cancer can be a part of those opportunities.
“A lot of our patients are eligible for these studies, but unfortunately there’s a lack of those studies in our state,” Dr. Cramer said. Cramer adds if a child can’t travel or if there is not a trial that’s evaluating a particular drug when it comes to pediatric cancer they often have to jump through many hoops to try and get a drug to treat a child.
“So sometimes what we have to end up doing is applying not only to the drug company, but also to the FDA to grant us the opportunity to get that drug, and this is a very long process even though they've tried to streamline it. It takes hours upon hours, and there's a limited time,” Dr. Cramer said.
By participating in or donating to the Curing Kids Cancer Fire Truck Pull, organizers say you can help make more research opportunities possible.
“We have patients right now that are facing these challenges and without the support of the community, and without the support of Curing Kids Cancer, these things wouldn't be possible that we're trying to challenge and fix,” Dr. Cramer said.
Curing Kids Cancer is looking to complete their $1.2 million endowments for the children’s cancer clinic at Prisma Health which would ultimately rename the clinic to the Gamecocks Curing Kids Cancer Clinic.
There are already more than 45 teams of 10 to 12 people signed up for the fire truck pull. It's happening Saturday, April 6 on the 1200 block of Lady Street not far from the Soda City Market.
You can still register a team now by clicking here.