As the year comes to a close, I wanted to take a chance to update you guys on Stand Up 2 Cancer and the great things have happened since the three-network telethon in September.
In connection with that effort on CBS, NBC and ABC, SU2C has raised more than $100 million for cutting-edge research. Two-hundred and thirty-seven teams of scientists sent submissions, and a group of eight finalists will submit detailed proposals for the chance to win a Dream Team Grant, to be awarded in 2009.
If you watched the telethon, you might remember a very special 11-year-old girl named Pearce Quesenberry.
Pearce experienced fatigue and terrible stomach pains. At the time of our meeting, she needed a tube for nutrition. She was unable to eat food, and she lost her long, curly brown hair.
She was receiving experimental treatment through a clinical trial, and there was a chance for serious side effects, but the cancer Pearce was battling had a 50 percent mortality rate. The Quesenberrys felt they had no choice.
We are happy to report some very encouraging news.
After 10 months of real agony, for both Pearce and her parents, she has been declared NED, which means "no evidence of disease." As her mother, Debbie, told us, "Pearce kicked cancer's butt."
She has been a very brave little girl and we wish her the very best for this Christmas … and all the Christmases in the future.
There are lots of boys and girls and adults who are fighting cancer, and organizations like SU2C are trying to help. For more information, go to SU2C.org.
And to learn more about Pearce Quesenberry and her foundation, visit PearceQFoundation.org.
You can check out our original report above, or watch the CBS Evening News tonight for more of Pearce's story.