Why We Do It!

By Trey Morris & Mark Morrison

We are pleased that Trey Morris and Mark Morrison are our guest bloggers for this week.  They are our Co-Chairs for the annual May signature event held at III Forks Steakhouse and Gleneagles Country Club benefiting TeamConnor.  Trey and Mark are also leadership volunteers for the organization serving on the Board of Directors for TeamConnor.  This year’s 16th annual event will be held on Sunday, May 3rd and Monday, May 4th.  These two gentlemen are servant leaders who are passionate about raising important funds for pediatric cancer research.  

Trey: It was May 15th, 2005. My phone rang and it was one of my closest friends, Tait Cruse. He told me that his son Connor was just diagnosed with Stage IV neuroblastoma cancer. Until that moment, I had never heard of neuroblastoma, but from Tait’s voice, I knew it was serious. The next day, I jumped on a plane in Chicago and flew to Dallas, so that I could be at the hospital with Joy and Tait to support them. When I arrived at the hospital, our entire Bible Study group was already there. We had all been in a small group together over the last 10 years. No matter what was going to happen, we all knew that we would do this together. We also knew that Connor was a fighter and if anyone could beat cancer, it would be Connor.

Mark:  I was also in this small Bible Study group, and had known Joy and Tait before any of us had kids.  We are all typical newlyweds, then new parents together. Everyone fears hearing the cancer diagnosis, but none of us thought it would affect any of us, much less our children.  I knew they had taken Connor to the hospital because his “tummy hurt”, but we never thought we’d get such a grim diagnosis. As Trey said, we bonded together and committed to support this brave little boy’s fight.  Connor, and his family, put up a tremendous 4-year battle to find a cure, and beat cancer.

Trey:  Over the next 4 years I had to watch Connor fight cancer from 1,000 miles away in Chicago. I did what I could to support Joy and Tait and be available when they needed me, but thankfully so many others were here in Dallas to be with them, care for them, and help them as they fought Connor’s cancer. In the end, Connor lost his battle and we were all heartbroken, but out of the ashes of loss, TeamConnor was started so that other little boys and girls could not only fight neuroblastoma or other childhood cancers but ultimately beat it.

Mark:  We were nearby, and were able to help out.  I was blown away by the attitude of Joy and Tait, and how they focused their energy and talents towards finding doctors, learning the “system” for cancer patients, and pushing for a cure for Connor.  We watched them travel all over the country, and even out of the country, trying to find some way to heal their son. We all learned how little research is being done on pediatric cancer, and how those few projects get funded.  We also saw how traumatic chemotherapy can be on the child, their parents, and their support community. Connor was an unbelievably brave person, and he made an indelible impact on so many people.

Trey:  Fast-forward to 2015, my family finally moved back to Texas, and within a month of being back, I was honored to be asked to be Co-Chair of the III Forks Golf Classic benefiting TeamConnor by Joy, Connor’s mother. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to finally be able to do my part in helping TeamConnor, so that others wouldn’t ever have to deal with such an evil and destructive disease. I am so thankful to be able to play a small part in my 5th year as the event co-chair for the III Forks Golf Classic. I love my committee, the TeamConnor staff, all of the incredibly generous donors, and especially Joy & Tait. I feel like being Co-Chair with Mark has allowed me to pay back for all of those years that I was unable to help while I lived in Chicago.

Mark:  TeamConnor has been so blessed to have the support of III Forks, and the annual tournament was always a highlight for me.  I played in the tournament, and participated in the dinner, and was amazed at how well the event was run.  I was honored to be asked to be the co-chair of the signature event with Trey 5 years ago. As someone who both golfs and loves a good steak, the entertainment value is incredible.  Chris Vogeli, proprietor of III Forks, and his staff put on an amazing dinner, and Gleneagles Country Club is a fantastic golf experience.  My wife and I love the excellent event, the quality of the venues, the good food and the good company.  At the heart of it, though, is the knowledge that the money we raise goes to increase the chances that there won’t be any more cancer and that other families won’t have to go through that struggle. 

Trey:  Both Mark & I are excited to be co-chairs of the 16th Annual III Forks Golf Classic benefiting TeamConnor. This year’s tournament and dinner will be the best one yet and we hope that you will support this amazing organization by sponsoring, playing, or attending the dinner on May 3 & 4th. Together, we will raise the money needed to finally find a cure for childhood cancers, so no child will ever have to fight cancer again.

We hope that you will make plans to join us on Sunday, May 3rd and Monday, May 4th for The III Forks Golf Classic.  For registration information please click here and or contact Sydney Little, Special Events Coordinator via email slittle@teamconnor.org or phone (214) 233-6741.

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Did You Know

Building awareness of childhood cancer is critical to funding and finding a cure. To help, please consider sharing teamconnor.org on your Facebook.

Today, 46 children will be diagnosed with cancer.  Seven will lose their battle.

Did you know September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!

Every day in America, approximately 46 children are diagnosed with cancer.

Childhood cancer does not discriminate, sparing no ethnic group, socio-economic class, or geographic region.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in children, accounting for about 3% of childhood cancers.

On average, 1 in every 4 elementary schools has a child with cancer.

About one-third of childhood cancers are leukemias.

Childhood cancer survival rates in the United States have increased from less than 20% in the 1960s to almost 80% today.

Cancer kills more children each year than Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, and Pediatric AIDS combined.

Childhood cancer is not one disease entity, but rather a spectrum of different malignancies. Cancers found in children are biologically different from those seen in adults.

1 in 300 children will develop cancer before age 20.

Neuroblastoma is the most common extra cranial solid tumor cancer in children.

Today, up to 75% of the children with cancer can be cured, yet, some forms of childhood cancers have proven so resistant to treatment that, in spite of research, a cure is illusive.

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