KATY (Covering Katy) – Taylor High School Student Lilli Curry, 16, died last August after battling Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of blood cancer. This was the first Christmas that her family has celebrated without her. It could have been a much more difficult time for the family if not for the generosity of those who made donations in her name.
“We are thrilled that through Dec. 20 the Lilli Curry Memorial Fund has collected $33,251 to go toward development of a drug specifically targeted to fight Ewing’s Sarcoma,” said John Curry, Lilli’s father. In late December, John, his wife Katy and son Chas met with Rutledge Foundation executive director Laura Rutledge and presented a check. The money will be used to help find a cure.
“Although it was tough at times, through God’s grace, we were able to enjoy the holidays. We did so because we wanted to honor Lilli,” said her father, John Curry. “She loved, loved, loved everything about the holidays, and enjoying the holidays is what she would have wanted for us,” he said. “Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers for our family,” Curry wrote in a letter to friends.
Most Ewing’s patients develop the disease when two genes (EWS and FLI1) translocate and fuse. When these two genes fuse, the resulting cells grow out of control and do not live/die the way normal cells do. The treatment being developed at the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center in Dallas targets the Ewing’s cancer cells by attacking the two genes where they have fused and then pulls them apart.
“Success with mice in the lab, which doesn’t necessarily translate to humans, has been extraordinary thus far,” Curry said. The treatment has been 93 percent effective. “We can only hope and pray that it is effective in humans,” he added.
“Fighting Ewing’s Sarcoma is what Sweet Lilli did for five years. Spreading awareness about and raising funds to support childhood cancer research became a passion of Lilli’s toward her last two plus years. It is something Kay and I continue to this day,” Curry said.
Donations can be made to the Rutledge Foundation by clicking on https://rutledgefoundation.org/join-us/donate/lilli-curry-memorial-page/. Or checks can be made out to The Lilli Curry Memorial Fund and mailed to: The Rutledge Foundation, 5608 Malvey Ave., Suite 223, Fort Worth, TX 76107.