Foundation to hold annual Hogfan Party fundraiser

by Amanda Niemi
ST.CHARLES—The Friends of Jason Gould Foundation will hold its fourth annual fundraiser for leukemia and lymphoma research on Saturday, Sept. 8, from 4 to 9 p.m. at the St. Charles Moose.

Gould was an Elburn resident and Northern Illinois University graduate who was diagnosed with acute leukemia in 2003. Jason was treated, and told that 80 percent of patients had no signs of remission. He was one of the 20 percent, and went back for treatment a year later.

In 2005, Jason underwent a baby cord stem cell transplant, which was a success in curing his leukemia. However, due to a serious infection complicated by a weakened immune system after surgery, Jason passed in January 2006.

Jason’s Hogfan Party directly supports the research efforts of Ohio State University’s Cancer Research Center and Dr. Rob Baiocchi. Dr. Baiocchi and his team have developed a vaccine to prevent the Epstein Barr virus which complicated Jason’s immune system, the vaccine is now headed to clinical trials and FDA approval. Dr. Baiocchi and Ohio State have partnered with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and a pharmaceutical company to manufacture the vaccine, the first of its kind.

“I researched treatments for two years and found Dr. Rob in 2008,” Sandy said. “He is working on a vaccine to prevent that complication, which one of the highest mortality rates.”

The Cancer Research Center at Ohio State hopes to make the vaccine available within two years.

“People think there is cancer money out there, and there was none for Dr. Rob’s study. With $2,500 of our money, they were able to complete their study.” Sandy said. “There is money for the big-known cancers, but little or no money for the lesser-known cancers.”

A video will be shown at the fundraiser about one of the patients involved in the clinical trial of the vaccine who has been in remission since 2009.

When asked what the community can do to help those diagnosed with leukemia and lymphoma, Sandy said people don’t know how easy it is to become a donor just by getting their cheek swabbed and adding themselves to the donor registry.

One-hundred percent of the funds received from donations and Jason’s Hogfan Party go directly to a 501c3 public charity fund for leukemia and lymphoma research, and are tax deductible.

The Grand Raffle prizes this year will include an iPad 3, 32-inch flat screen TV, a Trek Bike, an American Girl doll and a ride in a hot air balloon.

For more information, visit www.friendsofjasongould.com or call Sandy Gould at (630) 554-5764.