Rally for Kids with Cancer!

Help families in need due to COVID-19

TOKC’s #1 priority has always been the safety and well-being of our kids with cancer and their families, our volunteers and office personnel. Since the progression of COVID-19, we have had to adapt our standard operating procedures to maintain this practice.

We are working diligently to prepare for all our recent events that have been postponed to a later date, so that we are ready to go as soon as things return to “normal”. We are all awaiting that day with anxious anticipation. In the meantime, please know that our work providing assistant to our nation’s kids with cancer continues. TOKC is coordinating with local grocery stores, restaurants and retailers to help provide household essentials and necessities to help provide immediate relief and respite to these families.

We understand this disaster has affected a number of our advocates, so now more than ever, we are truly grateful for those of you who have “Rallied” for kids with cancer by donating to our current campaign. TOKC continues to help these families, and they have never needed your help more than NOW.

Any amount you can contribute will help to alleviate some of the overwhelming burdens our children and their families are currently facing. One person CAN make a difference, and we invite you to #DoThatOneThing!

Sincerely,
Your Friends at TOKC

 

Click the link below to pay via PayPal or Credit Card
Send Venmo payments to @TOKC1
Mail checks to TOKC, 723 Coleman Ave, Corpus Christi, TX 78401 OR
Call 361-883-8652 to call-in your pledge NOW




The wait is finally over…

Now Available on Amazon Prime!

GivingTuesdayNOW!

Support TOKC on May 5th

Childhood cancer is the #1 disease killer of children in the U.S. and only 4% of U.S. federal funding is dedicated to childhood cancer research. Even in these challenging times, TOKC remains committed to raising awareness and funds for pediatric cancer and providing HOPE and JOY to kids with cancer. HOPE through fundraising for research, which is of utmost importance because without it there will be no end to this dreadful disease and JOY through visiting local hospitals and bedsides with events and activities designed to help provide immediate relief, respite and joy to cancer patients and their families. And we are able to do that with YOUR support.

The Triumph Over Kid Cancer Foundation was established in 2010 by 17-year-old James Ragan and his sister, Mecklin. James was diagnosed at the age of 13 with Osteosarcoma, a form of pediatric bone cancer. Recognizing that his condition was likely incurable, James was determined to make a difference in the health and survival of other children with cancer.

Headshot of James A Ragan “I want you to remember my face. Because my face is the face of every kid that dies from a pediatric cancer that isn’t profitable to cure. My face is the face of every kid that dies because the drugs don’t have a rigorous business plan demonstrating demand and self sustainability.

And every day you ignore a cancer like pediatric cancer, you cost this country the energy and leadership of thousands of kids just like me with infinite potential to secure the future of our country.”

-James A. Ragan, 2012

PLEASE remember TOKC by making a one-time or recurring contribution on May 5 for #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving created to increase generosity and support for nonprofits around the world. Mark your calendars, follow us on social media and spread the word! We look forward to coming together on May 5 and sharing all the ways that you can help the 46 children still being diagnosed with cancer EACH day!

Click the link below to pay via PayPal or Credit Card
Send Venmo payments to @TOKC1
Mail checks to TOKC, 723 Coleman Ave, Corpus Christi, TX 78401 OR
Call 361-883-8652 to call-in your pledge NOW




TOKC: First Genomic Project Publication

Immuno-Genomic Landscape of Osteosarcoma

Click HERE to Read Full Article

From Mecklin Ragan and TOKC’s Board of Directors

An Important Message

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Precautions at TOKC

Donate to TOKC

In Memory of Eva Margaret Damiens

TOKC extends its deepest thanks to the Damiens and Hennessey families. Although dealing with the loss of Eva Margaret Damiens, otherwise affectionately known as “Mema”, a mother, sister, grandmother, they still exemplify their Mema’s spirit of joy, service and giving, and take time to remember kids with cancer during their grief. Your donations will bring hope to kids with cancer through funding vital research. All research donations are matched dollar for dollar. Here, Eva Margaret “Mema” Damien’s legacy and life will always be remembered.



 

OBITUARY: Eva Margaret Damiens passed away at home in Metairie on Friday, January 17, 2020 at the age of 84. Her joyful spirit lives on in our hearts and in heaven. Eva was born in Jennings, Louisiana and was a lifelong resident of New Orleans. She was a graduate of St. Joseph Academy, Soulé Business College, and a member of several organizations including the World Trade Club Women’s Auxiliary and the Altar Society of St. Maria Goretti. She is preceded in death by her husband, Marcel Joseph Damiens; parents, Herve Antoine Tabary and Cecile deLeaumont Tabary; stepmother, Vera deLeaumont Tabary; sister, Cecile Tabary Kopanica. Eva is survived by her daughters, Marcelle “Sammy” d’Hemecourt (Tommy), Mignon Franco (Michael) and Michelle Hennessey (John); her sons, Tab Damiens (Lourdes) and Mark Damiens (Laurie); grandchildren, Thomas d’Hemecourt (Chenét), Suzette d’Hemecourt Olson (Peter), David d’Hemecourt, Hailey-Madison Damiens, Hannah Damiens, Anastasia Damiens, Michael Franco Jr (Erin), Christopher Franco (Jenay), Jeffrey Franco (Jacqueline), Michelle Franco, Nicholas Franco (Rebecca), Austin Damiens, Megan Damiens, Taylor Hennessey (Amy) and Zachary Hennessey; and her 14 great-grandchildren. Eva is also survived by her sister, Yvette Tabary Villarrubia, numerous nieces, nephews and other family. Eva was affectionately referred to as “Mema” by her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Spending time with her family was her greatest joy in life. She was a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and a friend to all. Her sweet personality and grace were a blessing to all who knew her. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Funeral Mass to be held at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 3368 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119 on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Visitation at church will begin at 12:00 noon until Mass. Interment will follow the Mass at All Saints Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made in Eva’s memory to “Triumph Over Kid Cancer Foundation” at www.triumphoverkidcancer.org. The family invites you to share your condolences online at lakelawnmetairie.com.

Texas Legends Junior Tour’s

5th Annual James A. Ragan Memorial

Tan, Winans and Petruzzelli Win at James A. Ragan Memorial

 

CORPUS CHRISTI – Andrew Tan of Austin shoots 3-under 68 in the final round to win the Boys 15-18 Division of the James A. Ragan Memorial at Corpus Christi Country Club. Richardson’s Meagan Winans wins the Girls 12-18 Division, while Dallas’ Andrew Petruzzelli wins the Boys 14 & Under Division.

Leaderboard:

 

Boys 15-18 Division

1.  Andrew Tan                   136

T2. Cole Sherwood            141

T2. Jackson Drake            141

T4. Shaheen Momin        142

T4. Alejandro Gonzalez   142

 

Girls 12-18 Division

1. Meagan Winans           140

2. Gabbi Bentancourt      142

3. Caroline Kent                147

4. Denise Pan                     148

5. Sky Sudberry                 150

 

Boys 14 & Under Division

1. Andrew Petruzzelli     142

2. Grant Yerger                 145

T3. Jonathan Kim              147

T3. Kevin Mu                      147

5. Daniel Macias               149

 

Leaders: Tan posted consecutive rounds of 3-under 68 to get to 6-under overall and five strokes ahead of the field in the Boys 15-18 Division. The win was Tan’s first with the Legends Junior Tour as he racked up 10 birdies and an eagle in 36 holes. The eagle came on the par-5 fifth. Winans posted the low round of the day with a 4-under 67 and won the Girls 12-18 Division by two strokes. She joins her sister, Libby, as a past champion of this event after going bogey free and making four birdies in the final round. Petruzzelli picks up his second win of the second with a score of even-par 142 in the Boys 14 & Under Division.

 

Top Finishers: Austin’s Cole Sherwood and Lubbock’s Jackson Drake finished tied for second in the Boys 15-18 Division at 1-under 141. Shaheen Momin of Sugar Land and Alejandro Gonzalez of Mexico tied for fourth in the division at even-par 142, while Jacob King of Boerne and Peyton Johnson of Shreveport tied for sixth. Frisco’s Gabbi Bentancourt finished second in the Girls 12-18 Division behind Winans, while Caroline Kent, who won the LJT Fall Challenge last month, finished third. Houston’s Denise Pan finished fourth and Sky Sudberry of The Woodlands finished fifth in the Girls 12-18 Division. Driftwood’s Grant Yerger finished runner-up in the Boys 14 & Under Division, while Round Rock’s Jonathan Kim and Austin’s Kevin Mu tied for third.

 

Course: The course features an open layout that works its way through a residential area and maneuver its way across hills and bodies of water. Tall palm trees surround the property and the wind plays a huge factor into each shot for the player. The course is being played as a par-71 for the event and around 6,500 yards in the Boys 15-18 Division, 6,100 yards in the Boys 14 & Under Division and almost 5,800 yards in the Girls 12-18 Division.

 

Weather: The weather was perfect again on Monday with temperatures creeping up to 90 degrees and winds ranging from 10-15 miles per hour.

 

About James: James Ragan started playing on the LJT in 2008 and recorded three top-25 finishes. The Corpus Christi native won the 2010 Jimmy Demaret Junior Classic and earned a spot in the Jackie Burke Cup Matches. He would go on to win the LJT’s first Sportsmanship Award and the next year the award was named after him. Ragan was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in 2006, which is a rare type of pediatric cancer. He founds “Triumph Over Kid Cancer” which is an organization that has raised more than $3 million dollars for pediatric cancer research. James passed away in 2014 but TOKC has kept going with the help of the Ragan family.

 

About TOKC: Founded by James Ragan in 2007, Triumph Over Kid Cancer is dedicated to improving the lives of children with cancer by raising their spirits, raising the public’s awareness and funding research to improve the treatment and survivability of pediatric cancers.

An inside view of cancer treatment, survival and death…

Why Winning This Cancer Lottery Sucks!

Editor’s Note: Nia Meadows currently attends Harvard and was an assistant producer on the film “Until 20.” Her mother, Geraldine Moriba, is an executive producer of program development and vice president of diversity and inclusion for CNN Worldwide. She is also a filmmaker and co-director of this documentary. Follow her on Twitter @GeraldineMoriba. “Until 20” premieres at the Austin Film Festival in Texas on Friday, October 30. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

Story highlights

  • Nia Meadows: When I was 4, my mother had a malignant sarcoma tumor
  • My mom got lucky and her cancer went away, but others, like young James Ragan, are not
  • “Until 20” is a documentary that looks at how James’ determination inspires us to live more fully

(CNN)The day before my fourth birthday, my mom moved away from our family. We celebrated her last day in New York at a pottery class painting piggy banks with my friends. I was too young to understand that she was leaving us. This party was her goodbye. I also didn’t understand that it might be the last birthday I would ever share with her.

My mother had a malignant sarcoma tumor growing along the radial nerve in her right arm. She was told she had maybe six months to live. She was moving to Houston to receive treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Our visits to Houston were super fun — we did things like visiting the zoo and museums. But what I remember best is wearing gloves to “help” my mom clean the chemotherapy port in her chest. Or the time she let my older brother and I cut off all her hair. I laughed, thinking her bald head looked like my uncle’s. Didn’t every kid do this? It all seemed perfectly normal to me.

I didn’t know her hair was falling out because of chemotherapy. Sometimes when she went to get treatment, we waited in the kids’ playroom at the hospital. I thought that was fun, too. I thought all kids used words like chemotherapy and radiation.

The day before Geraldine Moriba moved to Houston for cancer treatment, she took her kids wig shopping to get them used to the idea that she would lose her hair. Warner Meadows (age 7), Geraldine Moriba and Nia Meadows (age 3) are all wearing wigs.

My mom says that her oncologist told her that she hit the lottery when she was diagnosed with cancer and that she might hit it again if she was cured. My mom was lucky. She hit the jackpot twice. After living away for eight months, she came home. I truly didn’t understand how close I came to losing my mom.

Her recurring checkups over the years that followed seemed routine. It was only when she started making a documentary called “Until 20” about a teenager with a rare cancer that everything became clear.

That person was James Ragan. At 13, he was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma tumor in a bone in his right leg. James and my mom both had aggressive tumors that fall under the classification of sarcoma or connective tissue cancers. They both underwent many of the same treatments at the same hospital. They even had some of the same doctors.

Yet at the end of the day, they had different results. Unfortunately, James’s tumor metastasized from his leg to his lungs. Their doctors still can’t explain why my mom’s tumor responded to treatment and his didn’t. There are no answers.

Watching my mother make this film has been an awakening experience for me.

There is too little research on rare cancers and even less research on childhood cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1-14, exceeded only by accidents. Today, there are targeted cancer therapies that successfully cure certain cancers. However, kids with cancer are not the first patients to get these drugs; they are the last.

James never let his disease quench his determination to excel at everything he wanted to achieve — golf, education, relationships and his advocacy work. He supported Sunshine Kids, where he served on the board, and then became a special ambassador with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, helping to lobby Congress for funding for pediatric cancer research. Still wanting to do more, he launched the Triumph Over Kid Cancer Foundation. All of this while he was still a teenager.

As my mom made this film, I could see the impact it had on her life. It gave her purpose. What I didn’t realize was that it would change my life, too. James’ unrelenting determination inspires me to take the most out of every day, because tomorrow is never certain. Even when his days were limited, he never lost his drive and determination to be the best version of himself.

How would you live if you knew you only had a year to live? It only takes one person to inspire you to be a better person. Maybe it’ll be James Ragan for you. For me, it’s my mom.

Meadows, Nia. “Why Winning This Cancer Lottery Sucks (Opinion).” CNN, Cable News Network, 2 Nov. 2015, https://www.cnn.com/2015/10/30/opinions/meadows-cancer-lottery/index.html.

7 Reasons You Cannot Miss TOKC’s Toga Party and Golf Tournament Weekend May 10-11

Reasons You Cannot Miss TOKCs Toga Party

 

What could be better than having a blast and supporting kids with cancer at the same time? On May 10th and 11th, join hundreds of your neighbors at the Triumph Over Kid Cancer golf tournament and Toga Party.

The golfing event, the 12th Annual James A. Ragan Triumph Scramble, will be held at the Corpus Christi Country Club with a shotgun start at 1:00 pm. Tickets are $250 per person.

The 13th annual Toga Party the following night from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.at 4126 Ocean Drive features a live band, a night of dancing, scrumptious finger food from Venetian Hot Plate, silent and live auctions and seeing prominent people in your community in togas & cowboy boots! Tickets are $150 per person. Proceeds from both events fund research into pediatric cancer and support kids with cancer.

Why should you consider attending?

1.) Toga! Toga! Toga!
Old people in togas. Little kids in togas. Groups of people in matching themed togas. One year the mayor showed up in a toga. It’s hard not to have fun dancing in a toga. This year, don’t forget your cowboy boots!

2.) Carrying on James’s Legacy
The toga party got its start back when James was declared cancer-free and his parents wanted to throw him a birthday party. Uncomfortable being the center of attention, James suggested a toga party in the family’s backyard, assuming, mistakenly, that his parents would never consent. The Ragans asked each guest to donate $50 to pediatric cancer research, and they raised an astonishing $40,000 that first year.

The golf tournament kicked off the following year because James loved golf and played it until his dying days.

“Buy a ticket because not only are you supporting children in your own community who have cancer, you’re also supporting incredibly innovative research into new cures for pediatric cancer, and that money gets matched,” says Mecklin Ragan, James’s sister co-founder of Triumph Over Kid Cancer.

3.) Whataburger Breakfast Burritos and Gates Donuts
Those who remain at the toga party as Saturday night seeps into Sunday morning are rewarded with Whataburger breakfast burritos and Gates donuts. No one leaves at 11:30!

4.) Leveraging Dollars for Cancer Research
Because sponsors pick up the costs of the events, every dollar of your admission price and auction bid goes to supporting kids with cancer and investing in pediatric cancer research. What’s more, most of the money raised at the two events is matched. For every dollar you spend, more than a dollar goes to the cause.

5.) Awesome Swag!
The swag bag at the golf tournament is nearly worth the price of admission itself. It contains a golf shirt (your choice of men’s or women’s), customized golf balls with the TOKC and Whataburger logos, a golf towel, pullover, hat and visor, divot repair kit and other sundries like sunscreen, pens and lip balm. The gym bag it comes in gets used year-round. “We’re told they’re great bags,” says Mecklin.

There’s food and adult beverages on the course as well. Oh, and golf with your friends!

6.) People Come From Across the Country for This Weekend
James’s friends return to Corpus Christi from as far as California to participate in the weekend’s activities, but they’re not the only ones. A man from Florida who had never met the Ragan family read about the event and tries to make it every year.

7.) The Funds Raised are So Badly Needed
Only four percent of government funding for cancer research is aimed at pediatric cancers, which are different than adult cancers. The result is that many of the therapies used on children today haven’t advanced since the 1970s. With 175,000 children diagnosed every year, efforts like TOKC’s to raise funding for kid cancer research are critical. It’s why your support is so very appreciated.

“It’s humbling to see the reach James and his story can have,” says Mecklin. “It gives me hope that the work he started is doing some good.”

You can help Triumph Over Kid Cancer win the war against childhood cancers and save the lives of children today and tomorrow. Visit TriumphOverKidCancer.org for more information, to sign up for the events or to make a donation.