Jack’s Angels Foundation is hosting a unique and first event of its kind, “Art for Jack, Celebrating Children’s Art,” featuring works from Professional, Amateur, Student, and Very Young Artists for Silent and Live Auction, including children’s art, exhibits from local artists, free art workshops for children, and live entertainment from 1-7 pm, May 11, 2013 at the Agua Dulce Women’s Club, 33201 Agua Dulce Canyon Rd., Santa Clarita, CA 91390.
One hundred percent of net proceeds are committed to a special research fund for pediatric neuro-oncology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in Jack’s honor. James-William “Jack” Demeter, born 8-30-08, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma(DIPG), a deadly pediatric brainstem tumor for which there is currently no known cure or cause. Little improvement has been made in 30 years with this tumor, having a long-term survival rate of less than 1 percent. Like Jack, approximately 2-300 children in the US will receive a diagnosis of DIPG this year,* dealing a heavy blow to each of their families. The Foundation is dedicated to funding DIPG research, and to raising awareness for this urgency by promoting the arts and education for children locally. Jack survived 9 months past his diagnosis date, taking his last breaths on July 30th, 2012 in his parents’ arms at home.
May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Each year 4,200 more children—11 each day—are diagnosed with a pediatric brain tumor in the U.S. In children, malignant brain tumors are the leading cause of death from non-blood cell cancers, and DIPG is the most devastating of pediatric malignancies (see www.curesearch.org, http://www.pbtfus.org, “Treatment of newly diagnosed Diffuse Brain Stem Gliomas in Children” by David N. Korones). Research that focuses specifically on pediatric brain tumors is crucial to saving children’s lives and improving survivors’ quality of life. Jack’s Angels asserts that if more of our children’s hospitals had advanced genetic research capability, solutions would be found to these problems more quickly and efficiently with greater collaboration between scientists. The foundation is committed to promoting this idea in the world medical community, while acting locally, supporting the neuro-oncology program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
The event features free children’s art workshops, including an acrylic painting class in which children can create and take home their own masterpiece for the cause, to be displayed in the foundation’s online gallery following the event. Crystal Marshall, author, will be reading her book, “Percy the Cat and his Many Wonderful Sweaters” Volume I, to be followed by a book signing. Marshall has been featured in many schools across LA County this last year. Other young artists and musicians will also be featured, and a wide variety of professional musicians, including renowned artist and teacher, Peter Marsh, violinist, performing J.S. Bach.
Using the Arts as a platform from which to build awareness for the need for research will be an ongoing commitment for the foundation. “Art for Jack will provide an opportunity for people to come together for Jack and share the beauty of the heart in artwork for this cause,” says Janet Demeter, Founder of Jack’s Angels. The foundation is planning an online gallery from the “Art for Jack” event as a forum for awareness, and for supporting young artists with the hope of creating an actual art gallery/coffee-house in a year’s time. A musical event is currently being planned for August, 2013, and a “Race for Jack” for October, 2013.
“We hope that others across the country will come together to support their local/regional research institution to find some answers. Thirty years with no improvements for DIPG is an unacceptable reality,” continues Demeter, “…we firmly believe that as more light is shed from new research perspectives on the nature of this tumor, we will find solutions to many of today’s medical riddles in pediatric neuro-oncology, perhaps revolutionizing the way we understand and approach cancer and disease.”
For more information about the event, whether for attending, donating artwork, or silent auction, visit: www.artforjack.org.
For the “Count to a Million!” campaign, visit: http://www.jacksangels.org/Donate.html
For more information about the foundation and DIPG, visit: www.jacksangels.org. To receive updates about the event, “like” Art for Jack on facebook, or Jack’s Angels Foundation.
For more information about Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, visit: www.CHLA.org