I’ll never forget when I covered my first story about a new cancer treatment being developed at Seattle Children’s Hospital that seemed at the time like science fiction — T-cell immunotherapy.

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AS an anchor at KING 5 for more than 40 years, I covered an incredible range of stories, from the most tragic to the awe-inspiring. But there was one topic that was always most near and dear to my heart: health. And more specifically, the health of children in our community.

Health affects each and every person in a profound way, and when it comes to kids, parents never want to think that their child may be anything but thriving. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. About 10,380 children in the U.S. under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 14, and about 1,250 children are expected to die from cancer before the year ends.

Because of incredible advances in treatment over the past few decades, more than 80 percent of children with cancer now survive five years or more. However, as any parent would likely agree, just one child who loses his or her life is too many. Imagine if that was your child. That reality would be earth-shattering. This is why we need to do more. We need to move the needle ever further to find a cure for all kids with cancer.

Luckily, I am not alone in this belief. In our bustling health and biotech hub that embodies Seattle, there are several doctors, researchers, biotech firms and donors that are working toward a future without pediatric cancer.

I’ll never forget when I covered my first story about a new cancer treatment being developed at Seattle Children’s Hospital that seemed at the time like science fiction — T-cell immunotherapy. Dr. Mike Jensen and his team of researchers at Seattle Children’s Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research were reprogramming a child’s own immune cells to seek and destroy cancer, reducing the need for toxic therapies and minimizing the length of treatment from months or years to only weeks. Yes, weeks.

Today, the trial is progressing and science fiction has turned into a promising reality. In the current trial for children with relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia who have failed all other treatment and are otherwise unlikely to survive, 93 percent of patients treated have achieved complete remission, showing no signs of leukemia. Some are now two years out from treatment. Their story is one of survival, of finding hope after facing a death sentence that makes this number profound. If it works in the sickest children, can you imagine what it could do for kids who are first diagnosed or for other cancers?

How can we progress this treatment quicker so that it can be available to all kids?”

As a journalist, I couldn’t help but also wonder: How can we progress this treatment more quickly so that it can be available to all kids? I soon learned one of the largest challenges in moving this work along is not only awareness of what is often considered an orphan disease, but also the need for funding. Shockingly, pediatric cancers receive less than 3 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget.

For that reason, it’s national funding initiatives like Strong Against Cancer and individual donors who keep the trials running, who help Seattle Children’s in its pursuit to apply immunotherapy to other forms of pediatric cancers, which is already under way with solid tumor cancers like neuroblastoma. Now in phase two of the trial, researchers are focusing their efforts on ensuring the new and improved T cells remain a long-term defense against cancer for all children receiving the therapy so relapses would be a thing of the past.

A potential future without pediatric cancer where those who get it can be cured in weeks and have a built-in, cancer-fighting defense for life — now that’s something I stand strongly behind. And I am asking the community to stand with me and the team at Seattle Children’s in this lifesaving effort. With your help, we can save even more of our children by accelerating this promising research.

If you’re interested in joining me, there are variety of ways to get involved. You can donate directly to Strong Against Cancer, host your own fundraiser or just pick up a cuddly T-Bear during your next grocery stop at Albertsons or Safeway. From the smallest donation to even just spreading the word and telling your neighbor about this promising therapy, every act of support matters for any child who is facing or may someday face a shattering cancer diagnosis.

Someday, cancer will be yesterday’s news. Someday, not one more child will be robbed of life because of this terrible disease.