The students and teachers of Louis M. Klein Middle School sponsored a week long fundraiser for “Band of Parents” – a non-profit organization which raises money for Neuroblastoma Research.  For the LMK community, there was a personal connection to the cause.  They were raising funds in honor of Gia Gentile, the niece of Harrison police officer and the school’s SRO Domenick Gentile.  The Gentiles are relieved to say Gia is currently in remission from this disease.

The students and teachers launched their initiative with a Teachers vs. Teachers Wiffleball Game in the LMK Auditorium.  Students made signs to encourage their teachers. Students also wore purple, orange and gold during the week to represent the fight against Neuroblastoma as well as other childhood cancers.  The LMK community is proud to announce they raised over $2,100 for this wonderful organization.

According to the organization’s mission statement, “Band of Parents is a grassroots, nonprofit organization that funds innovative research and clinical trials for Neuroblastoma, helping increase the survival rate for this childhood cancer. We are a support network for the newly diagnosed and their families as they go through treatment. Our goal as parents is to fast track a cure using less toxic, targeted therapies.”

Neuroblastoma is the most common cancer in children under the age of two and is diagnosed in approximately 700 children in the U.S. each year.  Neuroblastoma is often difficult to treat, with patients suffering multiple relapses, and research is severely underfunded. Band of Parents awards grants for hospitals and doctors to research new ways to treat and cure this cancer.  With the help of Band of Parents, Neuroblastoma cure rates have gone from less than5% in the 1980s, to over 50% today.

“I am so proud of our LMK team of teachers and students who came together as an entire school to raise awareness,” said LMK teacher Julia Long who was the organizer of this event.  “You could feel the positive energy throughout the building as we came together as a school community to make a difference in the lives of others.”

To learn more about Band of Parents and the Gentile’s Story, please click here: