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Christopher Brandle Joy of Life Foundation: Casino night for pediatric brain tumor research

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Buying a ticket or an ad for a casino night Feb. 10 at the Venetian in Garfield can help contribute to finding a cure for childhood brain tumors, and to help the families of children who suffer from them. Among the special gifts available are N.Y. Giants jerseys signed by Eli Manning and Justin Tuck, and wide-screed LCD TVs.

More than 10 children a day in the U.S. are diagnosed with brain tumors, a number that the people behind the Christopher Brandle Joy of Life Foundation hope to change.

The foundation was created last spring to honor the life and memory of a courageous 10-year-old from Oakland who died March 31 from a form of pediatric brain cancer called Medulloblastoma.

The non-profit group seeks to raise funds for research and to help families struggling with the costs of caring for a child stricken with a pediatric brain tumor.

The casino night was organized by Jim O’Connor, a security consultant and New Jersey State Police instructor who is Chris’s uncle and on the foundation’s Board of Directors.

Individual tickets are $125, but corporate table sponsorships and journal ads are also available.

“We are also looking for donations such as gift Baskets, sport items, and tickets to events and signed sports memorabilia,” O’Connor said.

*** Each year, 3,750 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with a pediatric brain tumor;
*** More than three-quarters of them are under 15;
*** The deadliest childhood cancer, brain tumors take 130 forms;
*** Survivors often suffer longterm side effects from all forms of treatment.

After returning from a family vacation in August 2009, Chris began complaining of headaches. His parents took him to New York Presbyterian Hospital in August after an MRI found the brain tumor. He underwent aggressive radiation at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, followed by six weeks of chemotherapy at NY Presbyterian.

But the disease advanced, undeterred.

Chris was just as persistent, inspiring friends and loved ones with his zest and positive attitude and enduring the aggressive treatment with courage. Chris dreamed of one day being a star pitcher. So even though he was a Yankee fan, he went to Red Sox games while undergoing treatment in Boston.

“Even during his toughest moments, he displayed his sense of humor and wit and was an incredible source of inspiration,” says the website CBJOYOFLIFE.ORG . “He simply amazed his family, friends and hospital staff with his strength.”

Mary and Brian Brandle created the foundation the day after their son. Their vision is to honor his “incredible bravery and strength” by building the foundation into an organization that “truly makes a difference by funding the most valuable research and improving the lives of children and their families battling this disease.”

Donations can be sent to :
Brandle Joy of Life Foundation
P.O. Box 354
Oakland, NJ 07436

Email :
Phone : 201.774.7757

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