Special Report: Cycle for Survival – Part 3

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Think about this, every three minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer, one in five of those will not survive. Everyone agrees, cancer research is the only way to find new cures to bring down those numbers.

We are in a contest with seven-year-old Ben Goldberg of Virginia Beach. We are racing each other to see you can raise the most money for cancer research. We spoke with a local doctor who says the only chance for success is finding new drugs. Ben is helping doctors by allowing them to try new combinations of drugs to cure his cancer.

Ben is a hero in the fight against cancer.

Imagine a doctor telling you this, “I am very sorry that I have to tell you this, but your child has cancer.” Those are the saddest words Dr. Jacob Wessler says at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. NMCP is part of Children’s Oncology Group efforts for cancer research.

This is what Dr. Wessler says to parents, “I usually talk about things in baby steps: What are we going to do today? What are we going to do tomorrow? What are we going to do next week?”

Dr. Wessler is always hopeful, confident and cautious. That hope is demonstrated everyday in Ben Goldberg’s life, living with Neuroblastoma, which is a rare cancer of the nervous system.

“We are raising the money for cancer research,” Ben says to great applause from his classmates. He’s the leader of Team Ben at the Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, and everyone is wearing tie-dye shirts in support. The team raised $300 dollars on Wednesday, and $1,000 overall at the school for cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

“I go there at least every month, and I will be there Sunday,” Ben tells his classmates.

Back in Portsmouth, Dr. Wessler is hoping soon there will be a magic bullet.

“We need the dollars in the pockets of the researchers so that they can find that magic bullet that we can knock out an entire disease,” says Wessler.

There is a universal cancer cure hope here In Portsmouth, in New York, and everywhere. I mentioned to Ben’s dad what Dr. Wessler said, “Ben is in a
clinical trial. They are looking for the magic bullet miracle. It can happen, and every day they are outside the box,” Jeff Goldberg says.

Dr. Wessler also says, “We are not doing enough. We will never be doing enough until we can announce cancer is gone, and that we’ve gotten rid of it.”

Back at the Hebrew Academy a little boy plays basketball, “Yes” Ben says as sinks the lay-up.

“When people cycle it raises money for cancer helping cancer research,” Big Ben tells me as he is peddling a stationary bike. He is just a seven-year-old who wants to live.

“We have to try something new whether it’s a new drug, or a new combination of drugs, or a different schedule of drugs. Larger doses, smaller doses, fewer doses, more doses, whatever it is we have to do because what we are doing hasn’t cured the disease,” says Dr. Wessler.

At last check Team Ben has collected $5,516, meanwhile Team Andy is at $390. Everyone loves Ben, and we don’t blame them, we love Ben too.

It’s not too late, you can still click the link to benvsandy.com and donate to your favorite team. You can even sign-up your own team to take part in Cycle for Survival on May 1.

Join the battle.

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