Why was Rally for Reid Foundation created?
The Rally for Reid Foundation was started in honor of our sweet brain tumor warrior, Reid William Gleeson, who passed away from brain cancer at the age of 5. Reid was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma at 27 months, and it recurred after only three months off treatment. Reid continued to bravely fight this terrible disease for over three years. He endured harsh chemo and stem cell transplants, surgeries, radiation, and an endless amount of additional chemos and immunotherapy to try to cure him. Unfortunately, there was nothing available that was going to cure our sweet Reid, and he became our angel in October of 2020.
Although Reid’s life was short, it was FULL of love, fun, golf, garbage, and Disney trips. For Reid, there was never time for naps or complaining. He always had things to do! During treatment, Reid could be found dribbling basketballs, golfing, bowling, and playing volleyball in the hallway all while being hooked up to his IV pole. He loved exploring the hospital in Iowa City and checking out all of the garbage and recycling cans wherever he was. We learned so much from our sweet Reid on how to live our lives.
Reid’s love of life, family, garbage trucks, as well as his bravery and resilience left a huge impact on all who knew and loved him. Our lives were forever changed by pediatric cancer, and we knew we needed to take action after our Reid was taken from us. The Rally for Reid Foundation was started less than a month after his passing in October of 2020. The mission of the Rally for Reid foundation is to provide financial and emotional support to families and children impacted by childhood cancer, and to raise funds for pediatric brain tumor research.
What are the goals of Rally for Reid Foundation?
Our goal is to provide support for families who are going through similar battles with pediatric cancer. Whether that is through emotional support, joining in on mealtrains, providing care packages, or sending something to cheer them up at the hospital. Whatever we can do to make their lives a little easier, we will do!
Our other main goal is to support organizations like CBTN who are pushing the ball forward QUICKLY for children with brain tumors in order to find more cures and less harsh treatments. Our kids can’t wait!
What is the focus of Rally for Reid Foundation's efforts?
The focus area for our efforts is pediatric brain tumors. Brain tumors are the deadliest form of all pediatric cancers and are severely underfunded. Not a single drug has been developed to specifically treat pediatric brain tumors, and that is unacceptable. Although we’d love to see a cure for Reid’s recurrent Medulloblastoma, we fund research targeting all types of brain tumors as we realize all brain tumors lack funding and cures for kids, especially those who relapse.
In what ways does Rally for Reid support the brain tumor community?
We provide care packages for children and their families who are going through active treatment. We also provide financial support as needed for housing, gas, and meal gift cards for families who are treated at Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City. We do our best to support to the Oncology floor at Stead Family through providing toiletries, toys or other items as needed for families and children who are being treated there.
Why does Rally for Reid Foundation support the CBTN?
I learned about the Children’s Brain Tumor Network through a sweet friend who just happens to be a Neurooncologist ! Our foundation board was blown away by the work the CBTN is doing and believe in their mission and the actions they are taking. We strongly agree that sharing tissue, clinical, and research data, as well as supporting new research endeavors (which hopefully lead to clinical trials) is the key for finding more cures for children at a faster pace than traditional research.