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by Abigail Van Buren

Research on Children's Cancer Raises Cure Rate Every Day

DEAR ABBY: It gave me great encouragement to observe your readers' response to the Rod Carew family's pleas for marrow donors last spring. I was saddened that a match was not found for Michelle, but one never knows how many other lives were saved because of your informative columns.

Cancer is the No. 1 disease killing our children. Some cases -- like that of Michelle Carew -- resist all of our best efforts. However, the National Childhood Cancer Foundation is helping to raise the cure rate every day. Forty years ago, leukemia was an always-fatal disease. Today, 73 percent of children diagnosed with leukemia are alive and well five years later, and hopefully will go on to lead productive lives.

The National Childhood Cancer Foundation is a non-profit organization. Our goal is to achieve a world in which there are no children with cancer, and the only way to do that is through medical research. We support research projects at more than 100 of the most prestigious pediatric medical centers in the world. The improvements in the response and cure rates of children with leukemia (and a great variety of tumors) have been the most gratifying in the entire history of cancer therapy.

However, the work is far from finished. Research on the cures of tomorrow must be done today or we will remain where we are. Abby, please let your readers know that a donation made to the National Childhood Cancer Foundation gets right to work on projects that are just waiting to be funded. Those wishing to contribute can call 1-800-458-6223 for donation information, or write to NCCF, P.O. Box 60028, Arcadia, Calif. 91066. -- MEREDITH BRUCKER, NATIONAL CHILDHOOD CANCER FOUNDATION

DEAR MEREDITH: I am pleased to publicize this fine organization. I cannot imagine a more worthwhile commitment than that of the National Childhood Cancer Foundation: a world where no children (or their families) will suffer from the devastation of cancer. I wish you well.