Ride Blog

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

is a kids’ cancer awareness campaign, designed to be a catalyst for change. It's initial mission is directed toward the detection of pediatric brain tumors at the earliest possible diagnostic stage, and to help raise funds to support the fight to save lives. The "Ride 4 Dray”, is sponsored by the Draysontate Children’s Cancer Research Fund, Ltd (DCCRF), with support from the RSM US Foundation, RSM US LLP, OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois, The Heller Center for Kids with Cancer, the National Brain Tumor Society and UT Southwestern Medical Center.

The two objectives of Papa’s Ride 4 Dray

1. Awareness building and 2. Raising Funds!

Papa his aiming high to share Dray's story to generate support for brain tumor detection, research and care for kids and their families facing similar traumatic and life-threatening conditions.

The two month road trip is scheduled to begin Sunday, August 2, 2020, departing from OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois, Peoria, IL, and returning on Wednesday, September 30, 2020.

Papa's ride will include stops at many of the leading children’s hospitals and cancer research centers in the U.S., and visits to over 60 RSM offices, and several RSM Alliance firms, while covering nearly 10,000 miles on the back of his Harley-Davidson.

Please donate to the Ride 4 Dray. Papa is personally matching the first $20,000 of donations.

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  • Jim Clarahan

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Not long after Drayson’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, Drayson’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, Drayson’s body horribly melted away before our very eyes!

For nearly six months,

Drayson’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 departments came to the rescue. Providence shined as they recalled a seminal research article published in 2015, authored by a team of world renowned lipodystrophy medical scientists at the UT Southwestern Medical Center. Their research identified three cases where brain tumors were associated with lipodystrophy, and concluded with the strongest recommendation that “young children presenting lipodystrophy, with our without metabolic abnormalities, should prompt investigation for brain tumors".

An MRI of his brain was immediately scheduled and wah 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 and with the greatest of care, the medical teams from the OSF HealthCare Children's Hospital of Illinois, the St Jude Affiliate and Mayo Clinic have been collaborating to administer a 60-week chemo therapy plan. The good news is that the brain tumor has not shown signs of growth. The not so good news, the tumor has not shown any signs of shrinking, nor has he gained weight as originally expected.

No stone will be left unturned,

a biopsy has revealed that the tumor is a cancerous, grade 2, Pilomyxoid Astrocytoma (PMA). Dray's chemo therapy has been modified to tackle this uninvited scourge. All alternative treatments are constantly being evaluated.

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Papa’s Ride 4 Dray is a kids’ cancer awareness campaign, designed to be a catalyst for making positive change in the diagnosis of brain tumors, funding of research for a cure and improving treatment delivery.

We have so many exciting things going on, be the first to find out!

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