Pope.AndrewSorry that it’s been awhile since I last posted.  I’ve been spending a lot of time on the road, but for all good reasons.  This is a very busy time of the year both with September being Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and our schools are back in session.  So, in rapid fire succession, here are a few updates:

  1. Thanks to US Senator Chris Coons, Ali & I had the privilege of having some amazing seats for the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia.  One of the things that Pope Francis said that, of course, resonated with me was that ‘children should be our top priority’.  Amen to that!
  2. The 9th Annual B+ Golf Outing was a huge success.  Thanks to everyone who joined us, sponsored the event, and made donations.  It’s really hard to believe, and pretty sad, that this was our 9th year.
  3. I hit the road to visit some of our most loyal and dedicated college student partners.  Of course, we couldn’t do what we do without the great students of my alma mater, Delaware.  They’re hard at work already to make UDance 2016 the best year ever, in all regards.  Can you believe that these students raised $1.3 million dollars last year?  I spoke to several new groups at the University of Texas in Austin and momentum is really building across campus.  And, to the north, the school that holds the record for having the largest first year dance marathon in the country, NYU, is busy pulling everything together for NYDM 2015 to be held on Nov. 22, 2015.  I had the privilege of speaking to about 300 new students last week.
  4. Following NYU, I headed to Dallas for what is probably the largest childhood cancer research meeting in the world – the annual Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Annual Meeting.  I split my time between staffing a table discussing our research grant program and attending sessions.  While I’m not going to lie and say I understood everything, it was very, very interesting and I’m confident that we are in a time of incredible discovery.  In many cases, it’s money that’s holding up the work.  We are proud to be a supporter of the COG and many of the great researchers.  In case you don’t know, 90% of kids treated for cancer in the U.S. are treated at COG hospitals.  I’m very proud to share with you that we have a truly world-class B+ Scientific Advisory Board who reviews research proposals for us.  For more information on these folks, please visit here.
  5. While I was in Texas, Ali represented us as the Philadelphia 76ers hosted B+ NovaDance (Villanova) Hero, Jibril, for a game against LeBron and the Cavs.  Jibril has DIPG, a very, very serious type of brain cancer.  Jibril and his family got a tour, opportunity to go down to the court, meet the Flight Squad, and other cool stuff.  For some great pictures that Ali posted, please visit our FB page.
  6. Thank you to everyone – companies and individuals – who helped us observe September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  I think we’re opening people’s eyes, albeit slowly.  As I sat in the White House a few weeks back for a meeting, I didn’t actually hear anything new, but at least we now warrant a seat at the table.  There’s an expression in Washington that says “you either have a seat at the table or you’re on the table” (translation: your budget will be cut).  We have a seat at the table.  Special thanks to Seasons Pizza, Capano Homes, and Chick-fil-A for partnering with us this month and raising a lot of money.

On a personal note, Happy 25th Birthday (this past Tues. 10/6) to my fellow Co-Founder, Director of Social Media, daughter, and best friend, Ali!!!

Proud Dad of Ali & Andrew

www.BePositive.org

www.caringbridge.org/visit/andrewmcdonough