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Julia Brown, 9, of Frisco Julia Brown will participate in the 27th Annual Children's Cancer Fund Luncheon - photo by David Quisenberry


Beloved Event Features Cancer Patients, Survivors, Celebrities and Sponsors in a Fashion Show

As They Take the Runway for Pediatric Cancer Research


When Julia Brown, 9, of Frisco, first learned she was selected to participate in the in the 27th Annual Children’s Cancer Fund Luncheon on Friday, April 17, at the Hilton Anatole, she told her family, “ I am very excited to be on stage at the fashion show!  It will be so much fun!”

Brown will participate as a runway model and artist at the 27th Annual Luncheon.  Diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 8, Brown is in the fourth grade at Spears Elementary School. She has an older brother, Kyle, as well as a hamster, two fish, and a dog named Bruegger. Her favorite school subject is reading, and she wants to be an interior or fashion designer when she grows up.  

“My hero is my doctor, Dr. Tamra Slone, because she cured my cancer,” added Julia.

The 27th Annual Children’s Cancer Fund Luncheon and fashion show not only raises awareness and funds for children’s cancer research and programs at Children’s Medical Center, it also serves as a positive social-psychological experience for children undergoing cancer treatment.   For children such as Brown, who have been through so much, it’s a fun day with local celebrities, media personalities, and sponsors who walk the runway with them for pediatric cancer research. 

Brown says she is always so happy when she gets to go home after a long day at the hospital. This annual luncheon provides a break for these kids – a day away from hospitals and treatments.  The children are there all day with back stage entertainment, lunch, and a fun time meeting local celebrities who serve as their escorts for the fashion show.

Longtime Event Chairmen Troy Aikman (chaired for 18 years) and Roger Staubach (chaired for 27 years) join Luncheon Committee Co-Chairs Cara Serber and Kathleen Strand, along with celebrities and local media, to take the runway with 21 young cancer patients and pediatric cancer survivors in a fashion show, sponsored by Dillard’s and produced by RSC Show Productions.  KDFW FOX 4 News Anchors and supporters Steve Eagar and Clarice Tinsley serve as Master and Mistress of Ceremonies at the event.  The luncheon is slated to raise over $450,000 for pediatric cancer research and treatment programs at Children’s Medical Center, benefiting children worldwide. 

“With over $7 million in funds raised, since 1982, for pediatric cancer research, Children’s Cancer Fund continues to fund critical research while improving treatments for hundreds of children throughout the greater North Texas community,” said Luncheon Committee Co-Chair Cara Serber. “A significant amount of these funds are raised through this annual luncheon.  This day brings children living with cancer together for an unforgettable, embracing, and heartwarming experience.”

Brown enjoys playing volleyball, acting, being in the All-City Choir, and being a Girl Scout. Her favorite singer is Taylor Swift because she is talented and a good role model.  If she could visit anywhere in the world, she would go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower.

This year’s luncheon has a western theme.  Organizers asked Brown what her favorite part about being a cowgirl would be, and she replied, “getting to ride a pretty horse on a beautiful ranch.”

In addition to being a runway model, she is also an artist for the event.  Her artwork will be featured in the 2015 Children’s Cancer Fund Inspiration Book for sale at the luncheon.

Tickets are $150 each or $1,500 per table of 10.   Contact Children’s Cancer Fund at 972-664-1450 or visit for reservations and more information.  This year raffle tickets for $100 (or 6 for $500) will be sold in advance of and at the event for a chance to receive a 2015 NISSAN Altima, 2015 NISSAN Rogue or $20,000 cash prize donated by Clay Cooley Automotive Group.

The finale of the show each year is a special time for all the children, both those currently battling cancer and the survivors, to join together on stage.  Amber Carrington and Justin Rivers, both from NBC’s “The Voice,” will sing for the finale of the show. 

Children’s Cancer Fund was founded 33 years ago by a coalition of parents whose children were receiving cancer therapy at Children’s Medical Center.  The organizers have since been joined by community leaders, dedicated volunteers, and health professionals in their fundraising efforts.  CCF is one of the nation’s leading fundraising groups in supporting local research toward treatment and prevention of childhood cancers.  Among the programs supported by Children’s Cancer Fund are the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program at Children's Medical Center and the Children's Cancer Fund Comprehensive Center for Research in Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, which is gaining a national reputation for its work in eradicating childhood cancer.  In 2002, Children’s Cancer Fund initiated funding for a full-time Child Life Assistant at Children’s Medical Center’s Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders to assist the outpatient team.  The primary goal of the Child Life Assistant is to make each of the 80-90 daily outpatients’ visits a more positive experience.  This position is funded annually by CCF, helping to ease the emotional strain of ongoing treatments, some lasting several years.

“The enthusiasm, support, and generosity in the ballroom the day of the fashion show is nothing short of inspiring,” said Luncheon Co-Chair Kathleen Strand. “It’s very humbling to see everyone come together with their time, treasures, and talents for the children. This level of commitment enables Children’s Cancer Fund to pursue strategic investments in research, ensuring CCF is truly a movement for a pediatric cancer-free tomorrow.”  

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