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For Brain Tumor Awareness Month of May, We Are Launching Our "Clay Bear" Patient Program 


Did you know a group of bears is called a "hug"? Our goal for Brain Tumor Awareness Month is to send as many "Clay Bears" as we can to kids in treatment for a brain tumor. This new program is in honor of Clay Derderian, and is for kids who are actively fighting a brain tumor.  


Being in treatment is nothing a child and their family should be going through.  Small comforts help a lot.  We saw this firsthand with Clay.  Having someone give you a new stuffed animal when you are in- hospital is a gift of comfort and a reminder that you are not in this alone.  Clay loved his stuffed friends and took one along to appointments and hospital stays.  The wonderful doctors and caregivers  would often "treat" his bear too - sometimes with a full dressing, sometimes a bandaid.  

For a donation of $30 you can buy a "Clay Bear" for a child in treatment for a brain tumor at Children's National  Hospital.  Or, send a hug -- a group of bears!   Give a child something to hold on to and buy a bear by May 31 to show your support.  Bears will be donated at Children's National Hospital, Washington, D.C. in June, 2024.

* Actual bear shown below may vary

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Our Signature Event: The Pumpkin Bash

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Since the inception of Imagine An Answer, our signature event has been a "Pumpkin Bash" held in Washington, D.C.'s Eastern Market building.  This event brings together Members of Congress, Doctors and scientists, corporations and charities, families and friends, patients and parents.  The trick -- delivering 100's of pumpkins ahead of the event to the House and Senate, so Members of Congress can get carving their pumpkins!  These wildly creative carvings are  proudly displayed at the event  (and of course, voted upon!)  


The event, held each fall,  celebrates childhood and the joys of the season -- pumpkin carving, dressing in costume, and of course, candy! Lots of candy!  A silent auction, spookily delicious food and drinks, and treats for the little ones are always included.  Speakers and entertainment vary year to year, but the cause remains the same: raising resources to fund research to help kids with brain tumors live a better life.  



This year Representatives Brett Guthrie and Debbie Dingell headlined our event.  Abigail Tindell, an IAA-funded lab scientist at Hopkins spoke about how IAA and Hopkins changed her career and education goals as she leans into oncology. The best speaker however was Sammy, who is currently under treatment for a JPA.  


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The 2nd bash focused on the science of this disease and what was needed to move the dial forward: Dr. Lindsay Kilburn, Children's National Medical Center, and Dr. Eric Raabe, John's Hopkins Medicine, shared their perspectives.  Senator Leahy and his grandson Patrick also spoke about their friendship with Clay. Patrick and Clay met in preschool. 


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The inaugural bash! IAA was founded this year by Clay's parents.  Clay was diagnosed with a JPA at age 3.  After years in treatment they realized how underfunded scientific research was for this pediatric cancer.

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