Hear from Julian’s Doctor
William Tap, M.D.
Chief, Sarcoma Medical Oncology Service
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
TeamJF was established in 2017 by Julian’s friends and family after he fought and lost a year long battle with osteosarcoma. Julian was an All-American Swimmer and Collegiate Water Polo player when he was diagnosed at age 19. Unfortunately, Julian’s story is not uncommon. That’s our reason for being – to raise money to fund promising research that will save the lives of other children and young adults.
Currently the medical protocol for osteosarcoma treatment has not advanced or changed in over 30 years. With every donation collected and conversation started, TeamJF strives to create momentum in the fight against rare cancers.
The following was written by Alec Fraser and shared on the first day of his coast-to-coast bike ride.
“Jamie and I are starting our Coast-to-Coast Cycle to Cure Childhood Cancer on Sunday, August 15 from Old Greenwich, CT to Santa Clara, California, at the start of the Julian Fraser Memorial Water Polo Tournament on October 22. We will be cycling over 4,560 miles, over 120,000 vertical feet, which I’m told is the equivalent of riding from sea level to the top of Mount Everest, through 17 states, averaging 68 miles per day for 68 days.
Jamie and I did our homework before undertaking this ride. MSK put us in touch with someone who did this ride several years ago. When we opened the Zoom call, he did a double-take, and blurted out, “Wow, I wasn’t expecting a couple of old guys.”
The truth is, we’re riding to continue the battle against cancer for those that no longer can, and to give hope to those fighting. I’m thinking of my son, Julian, who passed away four years ago from osteosarcoma, and my father, Jack, who passed away from lymphoma this past June. I’m thinking of my friends Shan and Markus, who are fighting the battle now. Sadly, we all know someone we love who has been affected by this disease, and we all want to do something about it. Team Julian is all about coming together as a team to fight cancer.
Our ride is self-funded, meaning that all of the money we raise will go directly to Cycle for Survival to support Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s rare cancer research efforts. Over 50% of all cancer patients have a rare cancer. Rare cancers include brain, pancreatic, ovarian, and stomach cancers; all types of childhood cancers; and many others. Research for rare cancers is drastically underfunded. Only 4 cents of every federal dollar supporting cancer research goes to fund rare cancer research. Memorial Sloan Kettering relies on monies raised by Cycle for Survival to fund rare cancer research.
Rare cancers pose some of the most challenging difficulties for cancer research, as these forms of cancers are typically more resistant to immunotherapies, and other new cancer treatments than the more common systematic cancers. Therefore, breakthroughs in rare cancer research hold promise for treatments of a whole array of cancers.
Memorial Sloan Kettering, like other major research hospitals, shares its research data with other researchers, and participates with other research hospitals and institutions in clinical trials. Therefore, money raised for Cycle Survival helps cancer research globally, not just for patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
You are all invited to be part of Team Julian. As part of Team Julian, we ask two things of you – to give what you can, and to help us spread the word. Please follow us on Instagram (@teamjf) and Facebook (/TeamJF4Cure).
Thank you for being part of our team.
I want to thank Kendra Farn, Noah Finz, Heike Coffee and Claire Russack for all of their support. We also want to thank all of you who have given to the cause.”
The mission of TeamJF is to raise funds for promising research into the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of childhood cancers with a laser focus on finding a cure.
Educating the public will help in our fight to develop new treatments and save young lives.
Every donation helps us get a step closer to funding new research and bringing an end to children’s cancer.
We’ve partnered with MSK Kids to advance the fight against children’s cancer and other diseases.