Legacy of Brady Wells to live on through Hugs for Brady Foundation Pediatric Cancer Research Lab


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One day prior to what would have been Brady Michael Wells’ 10th birthday, his family celebrated the Hugs for Brady Foundation Pediatric Cancer Research Lab.

On Aug. 20 was the ribbon cutting at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the institute’s first laboratory devoted to its Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program.

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Because of generous financial support from donors, Brady’s legacy will live on through the research at this lab. With this new gift, his mother Sherrie said, the institute is closer than ever to giving all children what they deserve: “the chance to play, learn from their mistakes, go to prom, attend college, and grow old with the people they love,” according to information posted on The Hugs for Brady Foundation website.

Hugs for Brady is a non-profit focused on eliminating childhood cancer. Sherrie and Michael Wells, of South Brunswick, founded Hugs for Brady in 2009, shortly after 13-month-old Brady Michael was diagnosed with non-differentiated acute leukemia, a very rare form of leukemia. In 2010, Brady passed away at 23 months old, after he had battled the disease for 10 months.

In a typical year, more than 10,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed among children from birth to 14 years, and nearly 1,200 children are expected to die from the disease, according to information provided by the foundation.

Although pediatric cancer death rates have declined by nearly 70 percent over the past four decades, cancer remains the leading cause of death from disease among children. The most common types of cancer diagnosed in children ages 0-14 years are leukemias, brain and other central nervous system tumors, and lymphomas, according to the foundation. Neuroblastomas are the leading cause of cancer deaths in children.

To try and eradicate these statistics, two annual fundraisers will support the foundation.

A charity golf outing will be held on Sept. 25 at The Meadows at Middlesex Golf Course in Plainsboro. There will be golf, contests, prizes, and margaritas from On the Border.

Cost is $125 per golfer for golf, cart, beverages, lunch and dinner. Foursome is $500. Sponsorships available.

Sign up for the golf outing at any On the Border location or at www.hugsforbrady.org.

Next up, The Hugs for Brady Foundation and the Township of South Brunswick will present a Halloween Family Fun Festival 5K and Family Fun Run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Oct. 20 at Rowland Park, 235-55 Broadway, Cranbury, on the border of South Brunswick.

The 5K starts at 9 a.m. Registration begins at 7:45 a.m. The cost is $30 for pre-registration or $40 on the day of. Includes t-shirt, timing and free entry into the festival.

The Kids Fun Run begins at 2 p.m. Cost is $20 pre-registered or $25 on the day of. Includes t-shirt, race medal and free entry into the festival.

The festival will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Includes trick-or-treating at more than 100 vendors, a bounce house, face painting, pumpkin decorating, live bands, food trucks, pony rides, train rides, children’s entertainment and a movie under the stars.

Costumes are encouraged.

For more information, to register, to volunteer or to become a sponsor, visit www.hugsforbrady.org/5K.

The Hugs for Brady Foundation has the support of the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Foundation in cooperation with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.hugsforbrady.org.

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