UCLA and the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) Kick Off Annual “Dribble for the Cure” with Urgent Call for Public to Help Save Lives of Children with Cancer

An annual event that raises money for children's cancer research is going virtual.

Irvine, CA, August 12, 2020 --(PR.com)-- You don’t have to be the next Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) to team up with the UCLA Athletic Department and Bruin Basketball this October. These acclaimed college athletes are urging college basketball fans and hoops-players of all ages and levels to join them and the not-for-profit Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) in a one-of-a kind challenge to raise crucial funding for pediatric cancer research. Fans from Los Angeles to Larchmont and Laredo to Laramie are encouraged to join the 13th Annual Dribble for the Cure, taking place October 11, in support of the Cancer Research Program at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.

Participation is as fun, easy and purposeful as it sounds. All it takes is a commitment to dribble a basketball – no endurance training or time trials required. This year, for the first time, the Dribble for the Cure is accessible via a newly created fitness tracker mobile app, called the PCRF Dribble App powered by MoveSpring. It allows participants to dribble on their own while following a course map that will take them throughout the UCLA campus. Organizers hope big-hearted basketball enthusiasts will donate their time to help supplement dwindling research dollars. Every $50 raised supports an hour of research and every $25,000 raised makes it possible for a child to participate in a clinical trial that could lead to therapeutic breakthroughs. One hundred percent (100%) of all fundraising dollars will go straight to scientific research.

“If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes cities and communities of caring people to help effectively treat childhood cancer,” said Tyus Edney, Director of Engagement at UCLA Athletics and former UCLA Basketball Coach. “We need families, teenagers, and folks from across the country to take part in this year’s Dribble for the Cure to make it possible for children with cancer to get the care they need. Your involvement is critical!”

“This is an activity everyone can get behind, even while social distancing. It will make your heart feel good and you will be doing a world of good for kids and families who really need your help,” added Edney.

The financial fall-out from COVID-19 is having a dramatic impact on pediatric cancer research. Donations supporting this already under-funded area of research are sharply declining, with grave implications. In addition to interrupting research now underway and losing the benefits that might be gained, diminished funding puts at risk the lives of a generation of children diagnosed with cancer.

“We’re fighting for the future of kids with cancer. We’re helpless if we can’t raise the funds to continue advancing exploration of treatments that are less toxic, more targeted, and improve quality of life,” said Jeri Wilson, Executive Director, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation.

“The need for generating financial support for pediatric cancer research has never been greater,” said Dr. Theodore Moore, UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital. "Opportunities to harness the power of one's own immune system to clear cancer rather than chemotherapy have never been greater. We’re at a real turning point now and we are reliant on contributions from the public to enable us to continue funding research at pre-COVID-19 levels. The government has never adequately funded pediatric cancer and now we face the tragic reality that budget shortfalls may impact research that will save children’s lives and minimize the negative effects of chemotherapy.”

Born from the vision -- and heartache -- of UCLA Athletic Hall of Famer John Vallely, who lost his 12-year-old daughter, Erin, to pediatric cancer in 1992, the Dribble for the Cure has become a tradition for UCLA students, players and alumni. For years it has unfolded as a physical event, with participants dribbling their way around the campus and surrounding town. The PCRF Dribble App powered by MoveSpring fully recreates the in-person event in a virtual environment so everyone can have an identical experience regardless of where they are. The event will kick-off with a 5-day Activity Challenge from October 6-10 as a warm-up that leads them to the official Dribble for the Cure on Sunday, October 11. The official event will include streamed content within the app from UCLA teams and coaches, honorary captains and some surprise guests. It will also offer unlockable milestones along the way. In addition to funding the advancement of pediatric cancer research, individuals will be eligible for prizes. For more information or to register, visit dribbleforthecure.com or call (949) 859-6312.
Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation
Julianne Ludwig