Lambda Chi Alpha Golf Outing for Clay Derderian, Nov 2, 2012


Lambda Chi Alpha Golf Outing for Clay Derderian, Nov 2, 2012

Lambda Chi Alpha Golf Outing for Clay Derderian, Nov 2, 2012

Dear Friends of the Derderian Family,

As friends of JD and Mary Derderian, we are on a mission to raise awareness and funds for vital research for pediatric brain tumors. JD and Mary’s 6 year old son Clay has been battling this disease for over 3 years. For more on Clay’s story, here is some background from JD and Mary:

“Thank you for considering to support the recent efforts to raise money for A Children’s Brain Tumor Cure which is dedicated to funding research of Pediatric Low Grade Astrocytomas (PLGA). The disease afflicts approximately 1,000 children every year. For those children whose tumor is in a location that permits complete removal, the cure rate is close to 90%. However, for those children whose tumor(s) are inoperable, the outcome is not at all positive. Today, there is no cure for this set of children. Multiple chemotherapies, surgeries, and radiation are the norm for these unfortunate children.

We have come to know this disease firsthand from helping our 6 year-old son, Clay struggle with a JPA. Clay was first diagnosed on Easter Sunday in 2009 with a main tumor in the optic chiasm and disease coating the top third of his spine. Since that time, Clay has had two brain surgeries, an implant of a shunt, and years of continuous chemotherapy. For over half of his life, his body has been subjected to five different protocols of toxic chemicals and all of the pain and malaise that comes with this treatment. And yet, the disease continues to advance. The past six months Clay has experienced diminished motor skills from partial blockage of spinal fluid from the tumor near his brain stem. This has forced us to contemplate a risky surgical procedure that would include temporarily severing his spinal cord to provide him some relief from this life-threatening side effect of the disease. Finally, four weeks ago Clay’s main tumor hemorrhaged which devastated his optic nerve and left him completely blind.

The search for a cure for Clay’s type of cancer has been slowed by a unique problem. Science currently does not have the ability to mimic the disease in the lab, which means there is no way to screen new therapeutics other than doing phase 1 clinical trials on children. Clay was scheduled to be part of one of these trials, but it was halted shortly after starting because the therapy actually made the childrens’ tumors GROW. Each new treatment is an excruciating “roll of the dice” for doctors and parents alike.

The dollars raised from these recent fundraising efforts from Lambda Chi/University of Richmond alumni and friends will be directed to an exciting project designed by Drs. Raabe and Eberhardt of Johns Hopkins to develop a reliable disease model. This important first phase, which costs $60,000, will use human neural stem cells to create accurate pre-clinical models of PLGA. This advance will dramatically change the research landscape providing incentive to screen hundreds of possible therapies. This research project can truly be a “game-changer” in the fight against this awful disease.

As a result of the recent fundraising efforts documented on this website, we are thrilled to announce that the Johns Hopkiins research program is now moving forward in the coming weeks! This is only the first step however, so we are asking for your continued support. Lead Researcher Dr. Eric Raabe has indicated that raising $75,000 would allow him to hire a PhD candidate instead of a lab technician to drive the project faster. Of course, if we were able to expand the funds to $100k he would be able to test multiple hypotheses at the same time, thus increasing changes to find a cure.

Thank you in advance for whatever you can do to support this effort and for giving kids like Clay renewed hope!" - JD and Mary Derderian

To all of those who donated thru either the golf outing or thru the website:

Thanks to all that helped make fundraising efforts for Clay a great success. 40 golfers made a round at the Providence Golf Club on UR Homecoming weekend a weekend to remember. Not only did this serve as a day where we were able to bond together as friends and brothers, but it also gave us an opportunity to "act" on behalf of the cause to find a cure for Clay and other children inflicted with this terrible disease. Heartfelt speeches from JD Derderian and CAM Wagner made for tremendous bookends of the day - and to each we remain appreciative and inspired to keep fighting for Clay.

To help raise additional funds, we are keeping our fundraising efforts alive until the end of November. Several of you have asked how you can provide additional assistance…..One way is to place a bid or spread the word about a few auction items which are currently up for bidding:

Item 1: A round of golf for four at Merion Country Club in Merion, PA. Merion is the site of the 2013 US Open. (Thanks to Steve Kneeley for this generous gift)

Item 2: An autographed National League All Star game baseball, signed by the entire team (Thanks to Pat Courtney and his team at Major League Baseball)

To place a bid, simply email<> with your silent (and sealed) bid. The top bid at the end of day on November 30th will take home the respective prize.


Lastly, thanks again for your dedication to this truly special cause.

Dave Ong (Univ of Richmond/Lambda Chi Alpha class of 1987)
Brian Betz (University of Richmond/Lambda Chi Alpha class of 1995)



The brothers of Lambda Chi Alpha, Alpha-ChiZeta invite you to participate in a golf outing to raise money and awareness for the PLGA Foundation, DBA: A Children's Brain Cancer Cure. This year, we have chosen to raise money on behalf of the young son of Jim "JD" Derderian, Class of '85. 

WHERE: Providence Golf Club, 1160 S. Providence Road in Richmond, Virginia 23236
WHEN: Friday, Nov 2, 2012 9AM Shotgun Start
COST: $150 - alumni/family/friends $75 - undergraduate students. Cost includes golf, cart, driving range, lunch and drinks
RSVP: Please respond no later than OCT 24 to secure your spot in the outing.
Registration: By making a donation of $150 or $75, you will be registered for the event. If you are unable to join us, your donations can also be accepted via this site.  On the donation, please add a comment if you are playing golf.

Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to join us or make a donation. This event is open to all who are interested in supporting us in this cause.

Dave Ong and Brian Betz

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