About Shane: Shane is our third child and our family’s connection to childhood cancer. Shane’s life may have seemed short to some, but those who were touched by his gentle spirit understood that the quality of his life far exceeded the quantity of time. Whether playing nerf with his brother Chase, or making us laugh as he danced to Frozen songs with his sister Ella, Shane taught us the value of perseverance and hope. Even though Shane was diagnosed at 8 months with an incurable childhood muscle cancer, rhabdomyosarcoma, Shane always found a way to make us smile.
Shane’s Legacy: Paul and I knew Shane was among the 1 in 5 children whose cancer has no cure. When treatments were no longer working, we wanted to help other parents of children like Shane in the future. So, we donated his tumors to further alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma research. Shane’s tumor became a cell line, shared many times around the world. His tumor also became an Avatar Mouse, publicly available to all researchers and used to discover an Achilles’ Heel of rhabdomyosarcoma, published as the cover article of the scientific journal, Science Signaling. A national clinical trial resulted. Shane’s tumors’ DNA findings can be downloaded for research from a public data- base. Altogether, Shane’s tumor has been a part of discoveries in more than a half dozen scientific publications.
About Shane’s Inspiration: Paul and I created Shane’s Future Days to raise awareness, support scientific research and support families in the Philadelphia area battling currently nondurable childhood cancers. In addition to donating Shane’s tumors for research, we have funded research projects and purchased lab equipment for cc-TDI (www.cc-TDI.org), as well as serving as board members and volunteering our time to the organization. We work very closely with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Palliative Care Team who provide the world’s best care to patients with currently incurable childhood cancers. We collect gift cards and support families during the grieving process. We are currently working to create a music program in Shane’s honor with them. We also adopt local families during the holidays and provide them with holiday gift wishes.
About your partnership: These past two years has been like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic created obstacles, but Shane’s Future Days rose to the occasion. We have continued working for the children and their families affected by childhood cancer. We look forward to the upcoming 2022 season and being able to hold in person events.
Michele and Paul Metzgar
Shane’s mom and dad