Dance Event Will Raise Funds for Cancer Research at Children’s of Alabama

• Contact: Kathy Bowers 205/914-0357 (kathy.bowers@childrensAL.org)

BIRMINGHAM (Sept. 6, 2013) – The 5th Annual Tapping Out Childhood Cancer Gala will be held Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:30 – 5:30 p.m. at Gabrella Manor (8912 4th Ave. S., Birmingham 35206.) Proceeds from the event benefit the developmental therapeutics program at Children’s of Alabama to help find new and better treatments for childhood cancer.

The Tapping Out Childhood Cancer Gala is a family-friendly event that showcases local dancers and dance styles. Performances by at least a dozen dancers from studios all across the Birmingham metro area will fill the program, with refreshments and games providing additional entertainment. Tickets are $18, children under age 8 admitted free, and are available online at http://childrens.kintera.org/dfc2013.

The event was founded by 13-year-old Alex Swader of Mt. Olive, a cancer survivor and award-winning dancer. He was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in 2007 and underwent three surgeries and eight months of chemotherapy. While he was still in a hospital bed receiving treatments, Swader was dreaming of his return to dance and thinking of what he could do to help other kids going through a similar experience.

“I decided that when I got well, I wanted to ask people to help pay for research,” Swader said.

He founded Dancers Fighting Cancer, and through dance-related fundraisers such as Tapping Out Childhood Cancer Gala, Swader and others have raised more than $50,000 for cancer research at Children’s. His efforts were recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals when they presented him with Young Philanthropist Award in 2012. Swader has been cancer-free for five years.

Children’s of Alabama is the 10th busiest pediatric medical center in the United States. The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama is the state’s only comprehensive center for pediatric cancer and other blood disorders, treating 90 percent of all such patients diagnosed in Alabama. Specialized pediatric services exist for all forms of childhood cancer, leukemia, brain and spinal cord tumors, hemophilia and other bleeding disorders and sickle cell diseases in the state. The program is a partnership between Children’s of Alabama and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology. The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders is home to the only pediatric programs in blood and marrow transplantation, childhood cancer survivorship, developmental therapeutics, pediatric neuro-oncology, pediatric hemophilia and sickle cell disease in the state. The cancer program is ranked among the Top 50 in the nation by US News & World Report. More information is available at http://www.childrensal.org/committedtoacure.

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