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Immunotherapy saved him, and now this 17-year-old needs your help to pay it forward

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Immunotherapy saved him, and now this 17-year-old needs your help to pay it forward

WATCH | This California family found hope during its struggle with brain cancer when it discovered immunotherapy. Now they want to spread the word and raise funds to find a cure through their nonprofit crowdfunding campaign called Cancer-A-Gogo.

The genius of the world's researchers and doctors is coming together at a faster pace than ever before. Immunotherapy is really the future.
Rider McDowell, Founder of Cancer-A-Gogo

When Errol McDowell's brain tumor recurred after traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments, his father, Rider, McDowell, began searching online for new options and found immunotherapy.  Not just one type, but 26 different therapies. 

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Errol and Rider McDowell

Fortunately for Errol, he was able to join an immunotherapy trial treatment in Florida after his tumor returned and he was told there were no options left. 

Now, he's on the mend. 

The problem 

Awareness isn't enough. Rider said cancer researchers have trials on hold as they wait for funds from the financially strapped National Institute of Health. That's why the family created Cancer-A-Gogo.  

They say the research needs to  move forward now because people who are battling cancer don't have time to wait for government funding to kick in.

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Just $1

The McDowells are asking for donations of at least $1. "Just think what could happen if every American, all 325 million of us donate," Errol said. 

Donations are tax deductible now that they're an official 501(c)3. 

They were just recognized by the IRS in May but have been collecting donations for almost a year. So far, they have $30,000 to give to the 26 researchers.  

To donate $1 or more, click here.


Immunotherapy treatment

Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses the body's own immune system to fight back against cancer cells. Cancer cells are not always detected by the immune system, and certain immunotherapy treatments help alleviate this issue. Their website, canceragogo.com, lists all 26 types and further explains each approach.


Investigating the disease

Rider is a writer and entrepreneur, and he worked as an investigative reporter early in his career. He used this skill set to research his son's disease, medulloblastoma. Deep in research, Rider discovered a Phase 2 immunotherapy clinical trial about to take place at the University of Florida. "This “Dendritic T Cell” immunotherapy utilized a patient’s own tumor RNA to make a personalized vaccine which, when introduced back into the patient, would seek out and destroy any lingering cancer cells," Rider explained.

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We are always looking for inspiring stories. If you have an idea email circa-cares@sbgtv.com or feel free to contact me directly at sabrams@circanews.com.

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