Shane’s Future Days is a 501(c)(3) volunteer non-profit foundation whose mission is to raise awareness, research funds and assist families currently battling alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma and other high risk childhood cancers. EIN: 47-2556395
Paul explained at our second annual Celebration of Life where exactly the money we raised goes. Here is the speech he gave:
In our family, we celebrate birthday weeks.
Monday, Jully 11th, was Shane’s 3rd birthday. Chase and Ella did a wonderful job planning our day.
It was full of soccer, the zoo, cake and a sunset balloon release. It was busy, which is how we like it. The rest of the week was full of soccer and friends. It ended with a family trip down the beach. The whole Metzgar family was together in Shane’s favorite place.
I wish I could say it gets easier, but really it doesn’t. The feelings get softer, but the pain runs deep. Paul and I listen as Chase and Ella converse. Their conversations are ones that at their age, we never had. We either weren’t exposed to the reality of death or weren’t mature enough to emotionally handle it. These two are truly wise beyond their years.
Thank you for all the warm wishes to Shane and our family. We truly appreciate you remembering our sweet little man!
Side note: I grabbed three candles to light Shane’s cake. Yellow, red and green. We sang “Happy Birthday” and after blowing them out, one candle re-lit. It was green, Shane’s favorite color.
Out of a pack of 28, only 8 were re-lighting. The kids got a kick out of it.
Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare cancer that forms in the body’s soft tissues, such as muscle and connective tissue. In rhabdomyosarcoma, the cancer cells look similar to immature muscle cells. Rhabdomyosarcoma can occur at any age, but it most often affects children and young adults. Rhabdomyosarcoma most commonly forms in the:
Where rhabdomyosarcoma begins and the characteristics of the cells involved in the cancer helps determine your treatment options. Treatment options for rhabdomyosarcoma include chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy. 
There are two main types of pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma: embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma and alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.
Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue cancer in children, with approximately 350 new cases each year in the United States. 
Signs and Treatments
Signs and symptoms may be caused by childhood rhabdomyosarcoma or by other conditions. The signs and symptoms that occur depend on where the cancer forms. Check with your child’s doctor if your child has any of the following:
The following tests and procedures may be used:
If these tests show there may be a rhabdomyosarcoma, a biopsy is done. A biopsy is the removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer. Because treatment depends on the type of rhabdomyosarcoma, biopsy samples should be checked by a pathologist who has experience in diagnosing rhabdomyosarcoma.
One of the following types of biopsies may be used:
The following tests may be done on the sample of tissue that is removed:
The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the following:
For patients with recurrent cancer, prognosis and treatment depend on the following:
-via Mayo Clinic Rhabdomyosarcoma Definition
 -via St. Baldrick’s Foundation
 -via http://www.cancer.gov/
Currently, our research funds will be allocated to the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute (http://www.cc-tdi.org). For many forms of childhood cancer, we’ve seen little to no advancement in treatment options for over thirty years. To overcome this stalemate, cc-TDI is embarking upon a bold scientific course of discovery to create more effective clinical trials for those childhood cancers that are most in need of treatments to save kids’ lives. Other funds will be distributed based on need and to help raise awareness for rare pediatric cancers.
Every year 350 children are diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. The funding for this type of cancer and other rare cancers is extremely low due to the rarity of cases. In general, the funding for pediatric cancer is less than 4% from the U.S. government’s cancer fund. Without a voice, nothing will change. Shane’s voice will be heard.
Help make sure that Shane’s voice is heard.