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Cancer Research Fundraiser To Be Held In Honor Of Tulsa Toddler

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Pierce, who had a relatively rare but relentless form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma, died in October. [File photo] Pierce, who had a relatively rare but relentless form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma, died in October. [File photo]
Pierce was diagnosed at 13 months. [File photo] Pierce was diagnosed at 13 months. [File photo]
Pierce, with his parents, Scott and Brandi Phillips[File photo] Pierce, with his parents, Scott and Brandi Phillips[File photo]
Pierce's parents are holding the event at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Catoosa Saturday night. Pierce's parents are holding the event at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Catoosa Saturday night.

By Rick Wells, The News On 6

TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- It's an upsetting statistic: every 13 hours, a child dies from a kind of cancer known as neuroblastoma.

One of those victims was a bright 2-year-old named Pierce Phillips. His parents hope to honor him by raising money for childhood cancer research.

Pierce was 20-months-old when the News On 6 visited him last year. He had undergone 3 surgeries chemo and radiation and seemed to be doing well.

4/8/2009 Related Story: Tulsa Blood Drive In Honor Of Cancer Patient 

But shortly before his second birthday came the news of more cancer.

Pierce had a relatively rare but relentless form of childhood cancer called neuroblastoma. He died in October.

"All the chemotherapy he received was developed in the 40's and 50's one of the drugs he had was developed in the late 70's," Scott Phillips, Pierce's dad, said.

There's nothing new and although Pierce's parents understand why adult cancers get the lion's share of the research dollars, its frustrating none-the-less.

"We wanted to do something in memory of Pierce, so we planned the Pierce Phillps classic," Brandi Phillips, Pierce's mom, said.

They got together with the people at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Catoosa to plan an event.

"The golf portion has been full for a couple of months," she said.

There are still tickets available for the evening event.

"We hope to raise $50,000 to give to Solving Kids Cancer," Scott said.

The organization allows them to target their contribution, and they've asked it go to a study trying to find a way to make chemotherapy more effective.

They hope Pierce will be able, through the Pierce Phillips Classic, to show the way to more effective treatments for childhood cancer

The big gala is Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on the 18th floor. There's a live and silent auction which includes trips, and a guitar autographed by Garth Brooks. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased at the door.

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