Celebrities in Good Company on the Runway at Luncheon

Arlington, TX resident Dameon Beechem is getting ready to strut his stuff on the runway, says writer Angie Summers.

Beechem, 13, is being treated for pancreatic cancer at Children’s Medical Center and is a contributing artist to the center’s annual calendar, according to Summers.

He won’t walk alone at the 18th Annual “Beyond the Rainbow” luncheon and fashion show fundraiser conducted by the Children’s Cancer Fund April 21st. This year’s theme is “A Generation of HopeâÂ?¦A Generation of Survivors” dedicated to the hundreds of children and their families who have battled cancer and won.

Arlington resident artist Maren Morris, 15, will also perform a track from her debut compact disc, “Walk On” at the event, according to a recent article.

Funds raised by the Fund and advance research and treatment programs in pediatric oncology at Children’s Medical Center and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center benefits children worldwide.

Tickets for the event are $25 per person and the event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at Reunion in Dallas.

This year’s fundraising goal is $500,000 and 1,500 guests are expected.

“You see even kids can get pancreatic cancer,” said Virginia Griffin, volunteer coordinator for the Pancreatic Cancer Association in Fort Worth, TX.

According to the organization, cancer is the leading cause of death by illness among children and 12,000 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer yearly. One in every 330 Americans develops cancer before age 20 and the median age when children get cancer is six years.

According to research, in Dallas, nearly 200 children are newly diagnosed with cancer annually at Children’s Medical Center alone with more than 400 children receiving therapy at any given time.

Today the cure rate is 75 percent and scientists still do not know the exact cause of most cancers, states the Fund’s website.

The most common childhood cancers are leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumor, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, germ cell tumor, embryonal tumor, and bone and soft tissue sarcoma.

Current sponsors for the April 21st event include American Airlines, UPS, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Dillard’s, Guaranty Bank, Kroger, The Sparrow Foundation, and others.

The Fund was founded in 1982 by a group of parents whose children were undergoing treatment for cancer at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.

Each year approximately 7,500 outpatient visits and 1,100 hospital admissions there involves children with cancer.

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