Bob’s Buddies

When Ella Cate was just 2 years old, she couldn’t spend Halloween dressed as a princess or go trick-or-treating through the neighborhood.

She was undergoing surgery to remove an aggressive brain tumor, after being diagnosed with medulloblastoma in October 2010.

Now, after two surgeries, chemotherapy and two experimental treatments, Ella Cate is in remission. She plays with her big sister, goes to school with her friends and enjoys her healthy life.

Bob’s Buddies, a charity event raising money for pediatric cancer research, has helped make all this possible for Ella Cate and hundreds of children like her.

Seven years ago, Bob Dumas, radio host of the morning show “Bob and the Showgram,” was diagnosed with a Grade 3 brain tumor, but thanks to research and treatment, he is also in remission.

Through his journey, Dumas realized that cancer doesn’t discriminate.

“Whether it be your father, aunt or a friend of a cousin, you know someone who has been affected by brain cancer, and that’s not just limited to adults,” he said.

Dumas’ passion to help children struggling with similar diseases has grown into an annual charity fundraiser making strides in finding new treatments. Bob’s Buddies has raised more than $1 million for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and collaborative cancer research.

Brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children, and they  take a serious toll on their quality of life.

“One day, a kid is going to school, playing baseball and hanging out with friends. But that all changes the day they receive the diagnosis,” said Dumas.

So in addition to funding research, Bob’s Buddies wants to help make these children’s lives easier.

“These kids are struggling every day. What else can we do to make those days a little bit better?” Dumas asked.

Quality of life was a huge factor for Ella Cate and her family when her brain tumor returned and radiation wasn’t a treatment option.

“Because of a genetic condition, Ella Cate wasn’t able to undergo radiation, which is the common form of treatment for brain tumors,” said her mother, Lori Inman. “The side effects would have left her with even more health issues throughout her life.”

She added, “Because of research made possible by Bob’s Buddies supporters, Ella Cate’s doctors were able to treat her with experimental treatments rather than radiation.”

Each year, the Bob’s Buddies Radiothon is held the day before Thanksgiving, offering local listeners the chance to contribute to the cause.

For the Dumas and Inman families, it is a time to reunite and give thanks for their health, but also to raise money and awareness for children who are still struggling with this disease.

Since its inception in 2007, Bob’s Buddies has grown to become the largest one-day radiothon supporting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

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