Nine-year old Caroline Hamilton from Methuen has the ability to raise money for cancer research. Her family and supporters have raised close to $300,000 in three years since she was diagnosed with a variation of astrocytoma, an incurable brain tumor, in 2007.
It was hard enough for her parents to learn that she had a brain tumor, but it was even harder to learn that Caroline would undergo treatments that have not been improved upon for nearly 25 years. “There really has been no advances in 25 years,” Caroline’s mother, Sarah Hamilton, told the Eagle Tribune.
The treatments have been neglected due to a lack of research funding for the disease, which is why the family is raising money. This Sunday, September 12, Team Chickaroo will be walking in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. Their 102-member team will be among the anticipated 8,000 people walking in the event.
After Caroline’s diagnosis she underwent two rounds of chemotherapy in a span of 15 months’ – both failed. She was given 25 blood transfusions in a year, and underwent surgery in late May, when doctors removed a portion of the tumor.
Caroline’s father, Air National Guard Maj. Rick Hamilton, had been deployed to Iraq since January. He was granted three weeks of leave to be with his daughter for the surgery. He returned to Iraq and remained there until last month.
While stationed in Iraq, Rick talked about his daughter’s condition with his comrades and mentioned that he would be missing a golf tournament to raise money for cancer research in honor of Caroline in July. That was when his friends decided to organize their own charity golf tournament. They scraped out an area in the desert and made a makeshift green with a tarp on the north end of the runway at the base.
They called their project the Baghdad Golf & Gun Club and recruited 24 golfers who played golfed from 5:30 – 7:30 AM for three days due to the fact that it was 110 degrees by 9:00 AM. They had shirts made and raised $4,000 in donations from soldiers, airmen, Marines, and civilian contractors.
The Iraq golf tournament ran in conjunction with the Methuen tournament, together raising a combined $25,000.
As of yesterday afternoon, September 9, Team Chickaroo had raised $32,386 for Sunday’s walk, according to the Eagle Tribune.
To learn more about Team Chickaroo and the walk please click here.