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“Your child has a brain tumor”

A simple sentence that puts you in a large community with others who have heard those same words. When Jennifer Martin heard these words, she was motionless. How does one shift to this new type of normal?

Her son Cooper was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma on December 9th, 2016. Cooper, barely old enough to start kindergarten, was about to face a battle he should never have to face. For 3 years Cooper put on his big boy shoes and fought- today he is seen as a Childhood Cancer Survivor.


But, being a Child hood Cancer Survivor doesn’t mean he can close that chapter in the book. Today every MRI scan and doctors visit brings a cloud of worry- the “what ifs” floating in their head. But, no matter what happens, Cooper is ready to fight.

Not only is this kid a fighter, but he is a charmer. Cooper attended the Golden Toast last year and knew how to work the room. The charming young man really knew how to impress, speaking with congressional representatives from both sides of the aisle about his battle with #medulloblastoma.

A strong kid also comes with a strong mother. Jennifer Martin knew that she wanted to help other families who undergo the same situation she did. Resulting in the organization Closer to the Cure.  Jenny says

“After our son Cooper’s brain cancer diagnosis three years ago, we were thrown into a world we didn’t ask to be in. But in this world, we’ve met many people and organizations who are working tirelessly to make a positive impact on the cancer community.”

Touched by the strong community she is now a part of, she decided it is her turn to help others. Her community lifted her up on the hard days and she wants to pass this kindness forward.

Today, Closer to the Cure supports pediatric brain tumor research and supports all of those affected with Pediatric Cancer. Partnering each year with different organizations to generate funds towards. This year, partnering with The Carson Leslie Foundation. Hoping to support #cureMEdullo.

“When we learned about the #cureMEdullo initiative, the Carson Leslie Foundation’s accomplishments thus far, and their plans to advance pediatric brain tumor research, we were excited to partner with their organization. Our synergistic relationship with #cureMEdullo allows us to become even louder on the Hill, as we push for legislative action and work closely with the scientific community. Our partnership has given us hope for a cancer-free future.”

Each year Closer to the Cure hosts an annual Bowlathon, with the special of host of Cooper- now 9. Last year the Bowlathon raised over $73,000 in donations to help fund Conquer Cancer ASCO Foundation study through St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Recently, the organization launched their 2020 event; partnering with The Carson Leslie Center. Due to the new normal in our society- the pair decided to go virtual. Announcing the 2020 event will be a virtual paint night to benefit pediatric brain cancer research.


About the Author

Lucy Long is a Strategic Communications major with a Data Analytics minor at Texas Christian University and is currently interning for Magnus Opus. She also spends her time writing for Carson Leslie Center blog.