Recognizing the low priority and current lack of support, the Summer's way Foundation has as its mission to find a cure for every patient diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma and ultimately other rare childhood cancers, promote early detection, and serve as a support to patients and families impacted by childhood cancer.
The Summer's Way Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization created in memory of Summer Hammond, a remarkable young woman who exuded joy, positivity, and determination. Diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma at the age of 16, she refused to allow the cancer to define her. She remained forever positive, incredibly strong and strove constantly to be a better person. Her story and how she embraced life proved to be inspirational for those facing adversity, and has had a lasting impact on those who knew her.
The Summer's Way Foundation has started the process of breaking down silos between scientific and clinical researchers. Through its hosting of the Rhabdomyosarcoma workshop 2018, it has had a significant impact nationally and internationally and is proving to be a leader on the topic of Rhabdomyosarcoma. Several major initiatives towards finding a cure for Rhabdo developed during this workshop which the Foundation is actively pursuing. The Foundation has likewise focused on building a coalition of support for research with other foundations and families impacted by Rhabdo. it is hoped that through these efforts, Rhabdo will one day prove survivable. Most recently, it granted the first Young Investigator Award for 2019-2020 to Katie Hebron PhD from NCI/NIH for $50,000
It has likewise initiated support groups among bereaved mothers who have lost a child to cancer or serious medical illness, supported families impacted by child hood cancer, sponsored a healing grief through horses program, initiated a "Wigs for Teens " program, and awarded 4 scholarships to graduating seniors who have faced adversity.
Our Foundation continues to strive to represent the values of Summer Hammond in making this world and one another "better people".
The Summer's Way Foundation Workshop from my perspective was a meeting that served its purpose well. I came away even more energized to do more for the Rhabdo (RMS) patients in years to come and it started a collaboration between myself and other researchers to advance new therapies in RMS.(CV Cold Spring Harbor Lab)
The Summer's Way Foundation presented a powerful program that left us leaving there feeling a renewed sense of our mission. I have been to several similar ones, but I think the most exciting thing to come from this one was seeing how research groups and the foundations are aligning. I truly believe we have critical mass to make some things happen, (JS National Cancer Institute.)
Am so honored to be the first recipient of the "Summer's Way/Friends of TJ Young Investigator Grant for 2019/20. (Katie Hebron PhD NCI/NIH)
Our daughter was a recent recipient of a wig by the SWF, " I cant believe the difference it makes in her whole emotional state. It brings back a precious glimpse of normal life"