Chase After a Cure (CAAC) was started in 2009 by Summerville, S.C., resident Whitney Ringler and her family after her son, Chase, was given a 30 percent chance of survival after being diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma at the young age of 3. Neuroblastoma is a very aggressive and deadly form of childhood cancer of the sympathetic nervous system. Chase endured 8 rounds of high dose chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, 14 rounds of radiation, six months of Accutane, and 11 rounds of painful monoclonal antibody treatment. Chase has since defied the odds and beat the disease after years of grueling treatment. Chase is now a healthy young 10 year old boy. However, like many children who are treated at such a young age, their fight is far from over. An unfortunate reality is that 98% of the survivors of childhood cancer suffer from a chronic health condition by the age of 45, including pulmonary, hearing, cardiac and other problems related either to their cancer or the cancer treatment. Neuroblastoma, the most common solid tumor of infancy and the third most common cancer among children.
Throughout the cancer treatment process, these facts of how aggressive these treatments are on such young bodies became apparent to Chase’s family. There are not many options other than the aggressive treatments like what Chase endured. There is a lack of funding for medical research both locally and nationally that help give these children better options. It is because of the lack of options and lack of research both locally and nationally that the Ringler family and a small group of volunteers saw an opportunity to make a change. This opportunity was to raise funds for childhood cancer research and raise awareness about this very deadly disease. Chase After a Cure is an official 501c3 nonprofit that focuses on semiannual and annual fundraisers that have raised over half a million dollars for the only childhood cancer research lab in the state located at MUSC Children’s Hospital.