Ride 4 Dray and Run 4 Dray
Fighting to eliminate childhood cancer
Ride 4 Dray and Run 4 Dray
Our Mission: Raise awareness to help doctors diagnose kids with brain tumors and cancer as-soon-as-possible, and to raise funds to support the fight to save the lives of children.
Our Vision: Eliminate childhood cancer!
Ride 4 Dray and Run 4 Dray 2023: our 2023 campaigns to help raise awareness and funds for the fight against pediatric brain tumors and cancer are ready to take flight. Together we can make a difference for Dray and kids like him. Please check out our Events page, save the dates, share with your friends and donate!
Let's make a difference!
Drayson (Dray) recently turned five, and it has been nearly four years that Dray has been in the fight for his life!
In October 2019, Dray was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. He completed a 60-week chemotherapy protocol in December 2020 indicating a stable condition - just in time for celebrating the holidays. Highflying spirits were quickly dashed away the following January, when Dray started experiencing extremely painful headaches. Scans revealed new growth and spreading to the cranial nerve endings, the brain stem and spine. Chemo restarted in March.
In July 2021, Dray was admitted to St Jude, Memphis, for a two-year clinical trial. The trial requires chemo twice-a-day for two years, in the morning upon waking up, and just before bedtime. This is Dray's new battle and my family's new normal. The good news: Dray's has gained most of his weight back, now in the 80th percentile of his peer group. He has the liveliest personality and a thorough joy to be around. The bad news: 1. a new tumor appeared in May 2022, and 2.the original tumor is showing signs of growing again. At the time of this writing, uncertainty abounds with the possibilty of another biopsy sometime in 2023. Bottom-line, we cannot rest or let up on our mission to fight brain tumors and childhood cancer.
Hi there, my name is Jim Clarahan from Peoria, IL, Dray's proud Papa. In the Summer of 2020, I established this charity in honor of my little warrior, Dray, for ongoing awareness building and fund raising to benefit organizations dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer. Please checkout the rest of this website for event info and donation opportunities.
Please join our fight!
How you can help!
Second, share what you learn with family, friends, and your local healthcare providers.
Third, please join the fight by becoming a sponsor or making a financial donation here Donate Now.
The Draysontate Children’s Cancer Research Fund (DCCRF), is a registered 501(c)(3) organization, (EIN/tax ID number: 85-1513281) The "Run 4 Dray" and "Ride 4 Dray" are registered DBA's with the State of Illinois
Online contributions are preferred and can be made by clicking on the DONATE NOW button.
100% of all proceeds will go to designated beneficiaries - healthcare organizations focused on early diagnosis, innovative research, improved care therapies, and post-cure thrive programs.
Contributions to the "Ride 4 Dray" and to the "Run 4 Dray" campaigns are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
Drayson, his family, nor any of the officers or directors of the DCCRF receive compensation or directly or indirectly benefit from any of the proceeds raised.
All costs of the ride have been generously covered by our sponsors.
Dray's Unique Story
Not long after Dray’s first birthday, he rapidly lost weight and body mass, showing symptoms of a rare disease called lipodystrophy - with a very low prevalence rate of only 1 in 1 million. By 18 months, Dray’s BMI score had dropped to below the 15th percentile, and by his second birthday it was below the 3rd percentile. In spite of maintaining a healthy appetite, in twelve short months, Dray’s body horribly melted away before our very eyes!
For nearly seven months, Dray’s local medical team kept running into dead-end after dead-end, searching for a cause and a cure. When nearly all hope was lost, in October 2019, Mayo Clinic’s pediatric endocrinology and oncology teams came to the rescue.
Providence shined as they somehow recalled a seminal research article published in 2015, authored by a team of world renowned medical scientists at the UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas and the University Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany. Their research discovered three other cases where brain tumors were associated with lipodystrophy, and concluded with the strongest recommendation that “young children presenting lipodystrophy, with or without metabolic abnormalities, should prompt investigation for brain tumors”!
An MRI of Dray’s brain revealed a tumor the size of a golf ball, located in the middle of his brain, atop the optical nerve. Inoperable due to its location. Ugh!
Dray at least had an answer to what he is up against, and it gave his family renewed hope for a treatment that would lead to a cure, and eventually a return to a normal life.
For the next 60 weeks, oncologists from St Jude, Mayo Clinic and OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois collaborated with the greatest of care to administer a weekly chemo therapy protocol that ended in December 2020 - just in time for Christmas!
Highflying spirits were quickly dashed away in January 2021, when Dray started experiencing extremely painful headaches. Scans revealed new growth and spreading to the cranial nerve endings, the brain stem and spine. Chemo restarted in March.
In July 2021, Dray was admitted to St Jude, Memphis, for a two-year clinical trial. The trial requires chemo twice-a-day for two years, in the morning upon waking up, and just before bedtime. This is Dray's new battle and my family's new normal.
The first year of the clinical trial, July 2021 - June 2022, showed great progress with Dray gaining weight and the original tumors becoming stable or shrinking.
Unfortunately his scan in May 2022 revealed a new, yet very small tumor. Uh oh! September and November 2022 scans re-confirmed. The St Jude oncology and neuro-oncology teams are now considering next steps, with the possibility of another biopsy.
The relative survival rates for all patients with malignant brain tumors is appallingly low - 36%. For children under the age of 14 with malignant brain tumors, the five-year survival rate is 74.8%. However, there is no published research regarding long-term life expentacy beyond the fifth year. Dray is now in his 5th year of treatment, participating in a 2-year clinical trial administered by St. Jude Children's Cancer Research Hospital.