MCAMF is committed to improving the treatment options for children diagnosed with osteosarcoma and improving the treatment experience for children and teens diagnosed with any type of cancer. To support our goal of developing a generation of compassionate youth leaders, we also recognize young people who demonstrate caring toward others and high academic achievement. Our fundraising efforts support these initiatives.
A diagnosis of osteosarcoma means months of chemotherapy, limb-salvage surgery or amputation – and in some cases, both, and frequent diagnostic testing to ensure that the disease has not recurred. All of this takes a toll on a young person’s ability to excel in school, and . As a reflection of Mason’s commitment to his education during his treatment, we have established a scholarship for high school graduates with a prior diagnosis of osteosarcoma who are pursuing careers in medicine. An overview of the scholarship program is available. The application may be accessed here and is due May 14, 2021.
Congratulations to our 2021 OS Scholars Austin Beatty (High School Scholar) and Maeve Smart (College Scholar)!
Mason Allen was an exceptionally kind and caring young man. Personal accounts of classmates and those who encountered during his brief time with us underscored how he would seek out those who were excluded, isolated and in need of a kind word or deed. Mason was also an honor roll student, a member of the service learning club, and part of the school district’s gifted program. In his honor, the MCAMF will make a monetary award to one student matriculating from the elementary and middle schools Mason attended, and the high school he planned to attend.
2021 Student Humanitarians:
Neshaminy High School – Jacob Dudek
Carl Sandburg Middle School – Casey Pierson
Albert Schweitzer Elementary – Olivia Schafer
2020 Student Humanitarians:
Neshaminy High School – Rachel Krane
Carl Sandburg Middle School – Bolu Akinrinade
Albert Schweitzer Elementary – Benjamin Behar
2019 Student Humanitarians:
Neshaminy High School – Adrianna Fisher
Carl Sandburg Middle School – Allison Sperling
Albert Schweitzer Elementary – Chase Hoffman
2018 Student Humanitarians:
Neshaminy High School – Julianna Schwab
Carl Sandburg Middle School – Julia Aquilone
Albert Schweitzer Elementary – Michael Miller
2017 Student Humanitarians:
Neshaminy High School – Dominika Burkiewicz
Carl Sandburg Middle School – Valerie Benson
Albert Schweitzer Elementary – Amelia Schaller
Thank you, for awarding me this prestigious scholarship, it truly means a lot to be chosen for it. More so it means more to know that my words were impactful. Even if what I wrote was just enough to sway a few hearts to believe in my ideals it is proof enough for me that I really can bring about change. So thank you again for the honor the scholarship represents, and for allowing me to move forward.
Jacob Dudek, 2021 MCAMF High School Student Humanitarian
Each year, MCAMF holds events to raise awareness about pediatric cancer, and specifically about osteosarcoma – the most common bone cancer affecting children and young adults. Funds raised support osteosarcoma research through the funding of promising studies in partnership with the Children’s Oncology Group Foundation. Current research is described below.
Surgical Management of Pulmonary Metastases in Osteosarcoma. This goal of this project is to determine the best surgical approach to children and adolescents with osteosarcoma who have metastases to the lungs. As surgery is known to impact outcome, studying the most effective approach is one of the COG Bone Tumor Committee’s research priorities. One of the limitations we historically faced is that while clinical trials generate a great deal of data and primary research questions are efficiently addressed, important secondary questions, such as surgical approaches to the disease, have received inadequate attention, in large measure due to the lack of resources necessary to support statistical analyses that guide research. That is the case as it relates to determining the best surgical approach to lung metastases. Two approaches are used today – resection through a traditional surgical procedure where each side of the chest is explored through a surgical incision and the lung physically examined, and the other using a less invasive approach with a scope/camera that visually identifies the metastases. We are currently developing a study to help determine the best approach, but the design is not as simple as it may seem, because a number of factors need to be considered when evaluating each treatment approach. To that end, MCAMF’s research funding will enable analyses, including an analysis of data obtained directly from pediatric surgeons through the American Pediatric Surgical Association. The data will inform COG investigators on the current landscape of surgical management of pulmonary metastases in osteosarcoma patients and help inform the study design for a clinical trial.
In keeping Mason’s spirit alive, the Foundation will create opportunities for local youth to participate in community service projects that benefit children diagnosed with cancer as well as other activities that provide a meaningful service experience. The Foundation will also provide support to missions by Make it Better Agents to fulfill the wishes of children diagnosed with osteosarcoma.