Papa’s Ride 4 Dray
Fighting to eliminate childhood cancer
Papa’s Ride 4 Dray
Our Mission: Helping doctors diagnose kids with brain tumors and to raise funds to support the fight to save the lives of children.
Our Vision: Eliminate childhood cancer!
Papa's Ride: To help raise awareness and funds, I am taking a 2 month, 10,000 mile motorcycle ride and visiting leading children's hospitals and cancer research centers, over 60 RSM offices and many RSM Alliance firms. I challenge you to join the fight and watch my blog for updates on my ride progress and the donation level. Together we can make a difference for Dray and kids like him!
It's time to make a difference!
The pain, the stress, the anguish, and a helplessness has been building for several months, as I am prevented from being a hands-on grandpa to my two year old grandson, Drayson (Dray), who is now in the fight for his life! Dray has an extremely rare health condition – lipodystrophy associated with a cancerous brain tumor. The seriousness of his condition combined with COVID, relegates me to hugs and high fives through a storm glass door. I’m grateful to have that, but it’s not enough! It’s time to take to the road to make a positive difference, and not just for Dray, but for all kids and their families facing a similar fight - this is the genesis and my motivation to take Dray’s plight to the road. And I need your help!
Hi there, my name is Jim Clarahan from Peoria, IL, proud Papa of Dray,and his big brother Duke. Please join our fight.
How you can help!
First, please share the Ride 4 Dray with friends, family and your local healthcare professionals.
Second, invest a few minutes to learn more about Dray’s unique story.
Third, please make a donation to the Ride 4 Dray.
Online contributions are preferred and can be made by clicking on the DONATE NOW button
100% of all proceeds will go to the Ride 4 Dray's designated beneficiaries - healthcare organizations focused on early diagnosis, innovative research, improved care therapies, and post-cure thrive programs
Papa is personally matching the first $20,000 of donations to the Ride 4 Dray
Contributions to the Ride 4 Dray campaign are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. The Draysontate Children’s Cancer Research Fund (DCCRF), is a registered 501(c)(3) organization, (EIN/tax ID number: 85-1513281)
Drayson, his family, nor any of the officers or directors of the DCCRF will be compensated or directly or indirectly benefit from any of the proceeds raised
All costs of the ride have been generously covered by the Ride 4 Dray sponsors
Not long after Dray’s first birthday, he rapidly started losing 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 six 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, last October, Mayo Clinic’s pediatric endocrinology and pediatric 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 lipodystrophy scientists at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. 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 was immediately scheduled and wa lah, there it was – 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!
Drayson now had an answer to what he is up against. It gave his family renewed hope for a treatment that would lead to a cure, and eventually a return to a normal life. Dare we hope and pray for such an outcome?
For the past nine months, the medical teams from the OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois, the St Jude Affiliate and Mayo Clinic have been collaborating with the greatest of care to administer a 60-week chemo therapy. The tumor has not reacted to the chemo as desired. The good news - the chemo has stunted the tumor from growing, the bad news - the tumor has not shown any signs of shrinking. A biopsy was performed in late June, identifying the tumor as a cancerous, grade 2, Pilomyxoid Astrocytoma (PMA).
Dray’s chemo therapy is being modified to tackle this uninvited scourge. No stone will be left unturned, and all alternative treatments are being evaluated.
Dray's Unique Story
The relative survival rates, for children under the age of 9 with brain cancer, are appallingly to low! Given the child has survived from the time of diagnosis, the published survival rates are: <1 year = 36.2%, 1 year = 54.4%, and 3 years = 78.5%; Dray is currently in the <1 year phase. These survival rates should be 100%!