Slaying the Dragon They Call Cancer

The story of how the loss of one life is saving countless others

By Matt Ginella

Curing Kids Cancer is an organization that has raised more than $23 million with a simple mission: “Find cures for all childhood cancers.”

This podcast tells the story of how one family’s loss has resulted in the inspirational progress to fund the development of CAR T immunotherapy. You’ll meet Grainne and Clay Owen, who almost 20 years ago lost their son Killian to leukemia. On the one-year anniversary of his death, the couple founded an organization that continues to change lives. 

“I didn’t have the luxury of feeling sorry for myself,” says Grainne. “That would’ve been way too selfish because I had three other boys that needed me and they saved me from myself.”

You’ll hear from Dr. Stephan Grupp of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who has become a leader in research devoted to developing cell-based and molecularly targeted therapies to treat leukemia and solid tumors. 

“What motivates me is I see what it looks like when it doesn’t work,” says Grupp. “And it’s completely unacceptable.”

Is this a golf story? Not really. But golf has played a critical role in the cultivating of the funds that are being used to make a difference. Curing Kids Cancer’s 17th annual golf tournament will be held on Oct. 3 at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas and is expected to raise upward of $400,000. PGA Tour player Matt NeSmith will be there, and he makes a cameo in this podcast as he explains why he and his wife, Abigail, are involved in supporting Curing Kids Cancer. 

Lee Corso of ESPN’s “College GameDay” also offers his perspective and support. 

“It was 15 years ago when I met Clay Owen,” says Corso. “He was making his speech in Atlanta about how he and his wife lost their son Killian to leukemia. I was so touched, I walked up to him on the stage, and I grabbed him and I said, ‘How can I help?’”

Corso hasn’t stopped with his support ever since. There are countless others. 

If you are interested in getting involved, please give this story a listen and then go to curingkidscancer.org.

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