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BIRMINGHAM – In honor of what would have been his 17th birthday, family and friends of Sebastian Lemos are hosting a fundraiser to benefit pediatric neuro-oncology research and treatment at The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama.
Sebastian’s Celebration is Friday, Feb. 9 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Homewood Suites by Hilton in Five Points South (1016 20th Street South, Birmingham, 35205). Individual tickets are on sale now for $50 at http://coa.convio.net/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=102032.
Sebastian Lemos lived each day of his life to the fullest. Whether dribbling a ball down the soccer field or receiving his cancer treatments, Sebastian faced each challenge with bravery and determination. Though Sebastian lost his fight against cancer at the age of seven, his journey continues to give inspiration to all who knew him.
Through Sebastian’s RunWalk for a Cure, held each year since 2009, his friends and family have shared Sebastian’s journey and raised funds for pediatric neuro-oncology research and treatment. In this 10th year, Sebastian's RunWalk has become Sebastian's Celebration. Family and friends aim to reach and commemorate the milestone of raising $100,000 as they honor the day which would have been Sebastian's 17th birthday.
Alyssa Reddy, M.D. is professor of pediatrics, neurology and surgery and director of pediatric neuro-oncology at Children’s. Funding from events like Sebastian’s Celebration has given Dr. Reddy the opportunity to gain a better understanding of malignant brain tumors in very young children and develop new strategies to treatment them. She recently conducted the first international clinical trial to treat atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT), one of the deadliest brain cancers in very young children. Long-term survival improved from less than 10 percent to nearly 40 percent for patients on the trial. Her research is now focusing on the genetic make-up of each person who was treated on the study and their tumor to identify predictors of outcome. Dr. Reddy believes that treatment will eventually be “personalized” to an individual’s tumor. Her ultimate goal is to cure all patients with ATRT and other malignant brain tumors and see them live long happy lives.
Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s provided care for youngsters from every county in Alabama, 45 other states and six foreign countries last year, representing more than 677,000 outpatient visits and more than 15,000 inpatient admissions. With more than 2 million square feet, Children’s is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. More information is available at childrensal.org.