Seattle Children’s Hospital

Solid Tumor Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Strive-02

$100,000 in new funds ($50,000 donation, plus $50,000 MacDonald match) would cover research-related costs for the first 10 patients enrolled in this innovative treatment.

Community support is moving ahead new T-cell clinical trials in our pipeline that will bring hope to children fighting many kinds of cancer. You can help us develop these studies more quickly. Donors that wish to, may direct their support to a specific T-cell trial being developed at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research.  The Solid Tumor Immunotherapy Clinical Trials fund is the top priority for Dr. Julie Park and Dr. Navin Pinto, providing resources to develop the STRIvE-02 phase I clinical trial for children with relapsed or refractory solid tumors outside of the brain.  The chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells developed for the STRIvE-02 trial will target the B7-H3 molecule which is present on the surface of many childhood solid tumors including neuroblastoma and a variety of sarcomas.

Solid Tumor Immunotherapy Research funding continues…

During our 3rd Annual Be The Hope Walk on July 17th, 2021, Valley Girls & Guys was honored to once again present Dr. Pinto with a $50,000 check that will go towards the Solid Tumor Immunotherapy Research fund. We look forward to bringing you more updates throughout the year of how these funds are directly being used and the patients your generous donations are serving through these life-changing trials.

Cancer Clinical Trials Fund

On July 16th, 2022, during our 4th annual Be The Hope walk, Valley Girls and Guys presented a check to Seattle Children’s for $29,900. This money was raised at our 2022 March Event earlier in the year, going towards the Seattle Children’s Cancer Clinical Trials Fund to further support new clinical trials in the fight against cancer. We will continue to provide updates on specific trials being funded by your generous donations as the information becomes available to share on our social media platforms.

High-Risk Leukemia Clinical Trials Fund

$120,000 – will both pay for average cost of genetic sequencing and fill the gap between federal funding and actual cost of clinical trial participation for up to 10 HRL patients.

This fund is the top priority for Dr. Todd Cooper, director of the Pediatric Leukemia/Lymphoma Program, Evans Family Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer, and co-director of the integrated High-Risk Leukemia Program at Seattle Children’s.  The first-of-its-kindHigh Risk-Leukemia Program greatly improves the experience of patient families, who meet with all the experts involved in their child’s care at one time.  Those in-take meetings bring together care-providers from multiple institutions including transplant teams and lab researchers who provide genetic sequencing information to ensure the best match between each child and the most promising clinical trial for his or her leukemia.  This fund supports the cost of those clinical trials, as well as the necessary genetic testing, thus helping improve outcomes for kids. Genetic testing costs on average $5,000 per patient and is rarely covered by insurance.  The gap between federal funding and the actual cost of participation for each child enrolled in a clinical trial varies but is typically at least $7,000 for high-risk leukemia (HRL) trials – note this is higher cost than the general average for all cancer trials. In 2019, our High-Risk Leukemia team anticipates treating 30 patients in Seattle and providing remote consultations for up to 40 additional patients. Donation made in honor of Cecile, Ian, Hanna, and Jack.

Children’s Circle of Care $10,000 Donation! Seattle Children’s Cancer Clinical Trials Fund
This fund is the top priority for Dr. Doug Hawkins who leads our Cancer and Blood Disorders unit. This fund helps cover the cost of studies for all types of cancer — so every child can benefit from the best therapies available. These trials impact hundreds of kids annually. In 2016, our oncology team ran 101 cancer research studies, with 899 enrollments (some patients enrolled in more than one study). Thanks to these clinical trials, and the donors who support them, survival rates as Seattle Children’s surpass the national average for nearly every type of cancer. Many of the promising cancer studies highlighted in our publications are supported by this fund. One recent example is a sarcoma study led by Dr. Hawkins and one of our new cancer team members Dr. Katie Albert. This blog post details the experience of one 5-year-old patient in the study whose tumor has disappeared entirely. The fund also supports a lot of other groundbreaking research, including Dr. Sarah Leary’s exciting Tumor Paint trial.

In 2020, Valley Girls and Guys launched a YES! Campaign as a way to do MORE to support the Cancer Clinical Trials fund during the unprecedented times that surrounded us. In January 2021, the board was excited to present Dr. Hawkins and Seattle Children’s Hospital with a $54,000 check. This money means that MORE trials can take place and more children can be helped in our fight to end ALL cancers.

The Cancer Center at Valley Medical Center / UW Medicine

Valley Girls & Guys Donation of $500,000 for Valley Medical Cancer Center

The Cancer Center at Valley Medical

To date, Valley Girls and Guys has donated $2,725,980 and growing to The Cancer Center at Valley Medical Center. These funds are supporting the HOPE Patient Assistance Fund, the build out of Floor 3 of the NEW full-service Cancer Center, Infusion chairs in memory of loved ones, and much more!

A brief overview of some of the contributions are broken down below.

Valley Girls & Guys! pledged $500,000 to Valley Medical Center/UW Medicine’s new cancer Center over the next 5 years (starting in 2018) to help fund new equipment such as the SaviScout, HDR (High Dose Radiation) Machine, Clinical Remote Conferencing system for the MDC and a brand new HOPE (Helping Oncology Patients with Everything) Patient Assistance Fund.  Our final payment of this pledge was presented to Valley Medical during our 4th Annual Be The Hope Walk on July 16, 2022. These funds have and will continue to save lives!

At our 2022 March Event, generous donations  raised $35,000 in additional funding to support the H.O.P.E. (Helping Oncology Patients with Everything). These monies were also presented to Valley Medical Center at our 4th Annual March Event in July 2022.


$120,000 IN NEW FUNDS WILL OPEN THE FIRST EVER ACUTE CARE SERVICE FACILITY FOR ALL CANCER PATIENTS IN THE FALL OF 2020. The funding will fill the gap between now and then and allow us to offer this service to cancer patients immediately. The providers would like to offer an Acute Care service established specifically for evaluation and acute symptom management for cancer patients. This is for people undergoing chemo and radiation who need management of severe symptoms that normally requires intervention in the Emergency Department. This would provide a more supportive, less stressful and more sterile environment designed to meet the special needs of cancer patients.

$50,000 was donated to The Cancer Center at our 3rd annual Be The Hope Walk on July 17th, 2021 to fund the placement of a dedicated Oncology Research Coordinator. This talented new staff member will be a great asset to the care team at Valley Medical Center. They will chart compilations of patients undergoing treatment, working closely with patients to ensure they have the tools and resources necessary for their treatment plans.

UW Medicine Cancer Vaccine Institute


$120,000 in new funds pays for the generation of a master cell bank which is a cassette that can be used again and again to produce more vaccine. The next step is the vaccine production. The GMP laboratory at the FHCRC uses the cassette to generate a batch of the vaccine in large vats. Once the vaccine is made, it is purified over a column, and then put into vials for use. The ovarian cancer vaccine would need to go through this entire process.

Ovarian cancer is treatable the first time it appears. Unfortunately, it is deadly if it returns, which occurs in most cases (over 70%). CVI researchers have developed a multi-antigen vaccine targeting key proteins that initiate metastatic ovarian cancer. CVI researchers now want to manufacture the vaccine and conduct a “first in women” study to test the safety of the vaccine and whether it can generate high levels of immunity against ovarian cancer. If successful, the next step would be a trial to see if the vaccine can prevent ovarian cancer from coming back after treatment.
Update (August 2019)

We have manufactured to the vaccine in the laboratory and are now in the process of performing tests to determine whether the vaccine can undergo “scale up” manufacturing to create enough to conduct a clinical trial and we are determining whether vaccination of specific cell lines produced high enough levels of protein to be able to stimulate an immune response. These studies are part of those required to submit an “Investigational New Drug” application to the US Food and Drug Administration which is one of the first hurdles we need to pass to start a clinical trial.


$60,000 in new funds will be used to use the master cell cassette and make the first batch of vaccines for trial.
Researchers at the UW Medicine Cancer Vaccine Institute (CVI) have identified proteins present in breast cancer stem cells that cause invasive breast cancer. The CVI has created a multi-antigen vaccine targeting five of these proteins. Now CVI researchers would like to manufacture a new lot of vaccine and test vaccine in combination with chemotherapy in women with “locally advanced breast cancer”. This is breast cancer that is too big to be taken out by surgery and women must have chemotherapy before the surgery. The Phase II clinical trial would be designed to see if vaccination can increase the number of immune cells in the tumor and whether vaccines will enhance the destruction of the tumor resulting in eradication of the tumor prior to surgery. This study will set the stage for larger trials to see if the vaccine added to chemotherapy is better than chemotherapy alone.
Update (August 2019)

We have begun working on the design of the clinical protocol, the choice of the patient population, and the types of biomarkers we will use in the study proposed. We have recently identified a more efficient method to vaccinate patients with breast cancer using a small electrical impulse to the skin at the time the vaccine is given. This method is called “electroporation” and is particularly well suited to our vaccine which uses DNA to immunize. We are planning on starting a Phase II trial of testing electroporation in patients similar to those we enrolled on our initial study. If this new method is superior in stimulating higher levels of immunity to these breast cancer proteins we will take this method forward into our therapeutic trial-the one designed to generate anti-tumor responses.

During our 3rd Annual Be The Hope walk in July 2021, a $51,485 check was presented to Dr. Nora Disis by Valley Girls and Guys and one of our amazing sponsors and her team, “Sydney’s Salon Services Legacy”. They hit the ground running and raised over fifty thousand dollars to support UW Medicine’s vaccine clinical trial in honor of Sydney and her continued fight against breast cancer.

Funding Further Research – Antigen Spreading to Fight Cancer

Dr. Nicole Kretzer, at the UW Cancer Vaccine Institute, has started a project with an ovarian cancer vaccine to determine how the vaccine activates immune system cells, like dendritic cells, to cause antigen spreading in the tumor. Antigens are proteins that the immune system recognizes and responds to. Antigen spreading is the development of immunity to numerous antigens after vaccination (even those that weren’t being targeted by the initial vaccine). The CVI reported that antigen spreading in patients after receiving a cancer vaccine is associated with better survival.  At our 2022 March event, Valley Girls and Guys presented UW Cancer Vaccine Institute and Dr. Kretzer with $75,000 in research funding to support researching antigen spreading in ovarian cancer to understand exactly how antigen spreading happens. Her work will identify which immune cells are involved in this process.

In addition to the above, Valley Girls and Guys donated an additional $10,000 to each of the below research areas at UW CVI, coming to a total of $95,000 donated to the Vaccine Institute during our 2022 March Event to support further research in HOPES of saving lives with the increasing discoveries of modern medicines and technologies.

CRYOPRESERVATION: At the CVI lab, we want to study how we cryopreserve (deep freeze viable cells for later use) white blood cells from mice used in experiments. We would like to determine how to store and revive cells to be used in immunology experiments without needing to use as many animals. This work will help us reduce the number of mice used in research and bring significant cost savings for the Institute.

STUDYING VACCINE OUTCOMES: Through our clinical trials, we obtain data about the outcomes of our vaccines. Together with our clinical trial team and our biostatistician, we would like to study whether any side effects from vaccines experienced by patients are associated with their health outcomes. This work is essential to better understand any side effects that may occur from vaccines.

Camp Kesem at University of Washington

Valley Girls & Guys Donation of $500,000 for Valley Medical Cancer Center

Sending Kids to Camp Kesem

Valley Girls & Guys has donated $53,875.00 to send 80 kids (ages 6 through 16) to Camp Kesem for one week Summer Camp last year and this year.  This is a fantastic organization that helps children get through the trauma and pain of seeing a parent or loved one go through cancer treatments or losing the battle with cancer.  We will continue to raise funds in partnership with Camp Kesem at University of Washington to help send more children to Camp Kesem in the future.

Casting for Recovery® (CfR)

Casting for Recovery logo - dedicated to supporting breast cancer patients through sport fly fishing
Casting for Recovery in group with their fishing gear on ready to go fly fishing with breast cancer patients

Sending Kids to Camp Kesem

Valley Girls & Guys has committed to gifting $12,000 in funds to Casting for Recovery dedicated to this year’s retreat and for a second retreat in 2021! They believe in our mission and heard our desire to serve more breast cancer survivors.

CrR mission is to enhance the quality of life of women with breast cancer through a unique retreat program that combines breast cancer education and peer support with the therapeutic sport of fly fishing. The program offers opportunities for women to find inspiration, discover renewed energy for life and experience healing connections with other women and nature. CfR serves women of all ages, in all stages of breast cancer treatment and recovery, at no cost to participants.


  • 100+ mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs, and biopsies funded for those who have no insurance, a high insurance deductible or the financial means to pay for one.

  • 2566+  Blankets mailed/delivered all over the world to all cancer patients.  78% have stayed in Washington State.  We have mailed to 46 of the United States and mailed to 8 countries around the world!
  • 45 Scholarships awarded to graduating seniors going to college that have been affected by cancer in their families = $112,500.00.  Aside from the (2) $2500 scholarships to Tahoma High School, we expanded our scholarship program in 2020 to include: (1) $2500 to Enumclaw High School and (4) to the Kent School District High schools (Kentridge, Kentlake, Kentwood, Kent-Meridian) and most recently in 2023 we are awarding (2) scholarships to ANY high school senior ANYWHERE in Washington State!

  • 80 Kids attended Camp Kesem Summer Camp

  • 15 Who Dreams for individuals terminal with cancer.

  • 3.2+ Million dollars raised for Susan G. Komen for the Cure to fund research, grants, education, mammograms and more!

  • 1,088 patients benefitted from the Valley Girls & Guys! HOPE Patient Assistance Funds, support groups, cards of inspiration, and Savi scout in 2018 at Valley Medical Center/Uw Medicine.

  • $56,690.00 donated to Valley Medical Center/UW Medicine to the HOPE Patient Assistance Fund in addition to our original 2018/2019 pledge

  • $41,400 donated to Seattle Children’s Cancer Clinical Trials Fund (fills the gap between federal funding and actual cost for wide range of cancer clinical trials) in addition to our original pledge.

  • $5,750 donated to Seattle Children’s Strive 02 Clinical Trial in addition to our original pledge.

  • HOPE in your Heart Cancer Support Groups began in January of 2019 in Maple Valley, last Monday of the month.  A place where you can meet others who understand the journey of cancer.  Share ideas, resources, and challenges.  Through open discussion and presentations get the support you and your loved one need.
  • $10,000 donated to Children’s Circle of Care in 2019 in addition to our original pledge in 2018.