In 2010, Carley Rutledge learned she had stage IV Ewing Sarcoma, a bone cancer, after a year of pain misdiagnosed as a sports injury. So began a journey that no one ever dreams of at the age of 15—a fight for life.
Carley and her family were thrown into a world of chemotherapy, doctors, radiation, blood transfusions and 11 months of hospital stays while missing school, sports and time with friends. Fortunately, she and her family had a wonderful support group that stayed with her throughout the journey until she completed her frontline treatment.
Despite the advances in pediatric leukemia’s and other adult cancers, the cure rates for Ewing sarcoma and most young adult cancers have not improved in over 30 years. To help the cause, Carley’s family and friends joined together for the first Gold Ribbon Games Kickball Tournament to “Kick Out Sarcoma!” After experiencing the overwhelming support, they decided to start a foundation committed to sarcoma research and the care of young adults with cancer.
A year after the foundation began, Carley’s cancer returned just before graduating high school. Carley was able to attend college due to a new vaccine clinical trial that teaches her own immune system to fight the cancer, unburdened by chemotherapy. It is trials such as this one, which the The Rutledge Foundation seeks to support, in order to improve the lives of young adults with cancer.
MESSAGE FROM CARLEY
I have witnessed too many teens and young adults stricken with cancer. Most will suffer life long side effects or worse, lose their long fought battle. With 72,000 AYA cancer patients diagnosed every year and little to no improvement in cure rates, helping tomorrow is too late. We need to bring hope to these young adults today. By funding much needed research and encouraging medical communities to work collaboratively, less toxic treatments and improved cure rates can become a reality. Please consider joining this important cause. The lives and futures of many young adults need your support.
DID YOU KNOW…
- Young adults (YA’s) are defined as people between the ages of 15 and 39.
- Approximately 72,000 YA’s are diagnosed with cancer every year.
- YA’s are 8 times more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than kids under 15.
- Cancer survival rates in YA’s have not changed in 30 years.
- Less than 2% of YA’s with cancer participate in clinical trials.
- YA’s are most underinsured or uninsured age group in the U.S.