Co-Chairs Candice Romo & Hollie Siglin Join Honorary Chairs Roger Staubach & Troy Aikman and cancer patients, survivors, and celebrities for a fashion show, dinner, and dancing, with Special Guest DJ Tony Romo
Braylon Clark, 11, and Mason McGaughey, 5, both of Longview, Nory Mae, 8, of White Oak, and Jayla Glenn, 15, of Sulphur Springs are featured models at the Children’s Cancer Fund Gala “Sweet 30th Anniversary,” celebrating 30 years of sweet smiles, sweet styles, and sweet stories of survival in a candy-themed wonderland. The Gala will take place on Friday, April 27, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Dallas (new location this year) beginning at 6 p.m. with a silent auction and VIP reception and 7 p.m. for the dinner and program. Co-Chairs Candice Romo and Hollie Siglin join longtime Honorary Co-Chairs Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman to kick off the evening. The event is expected to raise more than $1 million to support pediatric cancer research and treatment programs at Children's Health and UT Southwestern. Staubach, who has been involved all 30 years, and Aikman, now in his 21st year, join other celebrities and sponsors as runway escorts for 22 featured pediatric cancer patients, ages 5 – 15, who model fashions by Dillard’s for the annual fashion show, produced by RSC Productions and coordinated by Katy Sky Group. The evening features the Ray Johnston Band and concludes with dancing and music provided by the Jordan Kahn Orchestra and special Guest DJ Tony Romo, CBS NFL Commentator and former Dallas Cowboy.
Diagnosed with stage 4 Wilms tumor in January of 2017, Braylon Clark, 11, is fearless, always reassuring others who ask him how he is doing.
“When people would ask me about my feelings, I tell them I’m okay. I’m not worried because I know God got me!” said Braylon Clark.
Clark would like to be a game designer or chef when he grows up. He enjoys playing video games, watching YouTube and spending time with his family. His hero is his dad because “he’s a good person.” If he could go anywhere in the world, he would like to go to New York to visit the Nintendo store.
“I’m so excited to participate in the Gala and meet new people,” added Braylon Clark.
“We are so proud of Braylon,” said his mom Jennifer Singleton. “On March 12, Braylon will have his final treatment. We plan to continue supporting childhood cancer awareness. One thing we want to do is start a program to deliver food boxes to families in the hospital that will include snacks and things kids like such as microwave macaroni and cheese. While in the hospital many of the kids don’t have a good appetite, and the last thing they want to eat is hospital food. Ordering in can be expensive so we hope to include gifts cards to nearby restaurants that deliver in our food boxes. While these plans are in the very early stages, be on the lookout for Braylon’s Food Closet!”
Mason McGaughey, 5, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia the day after his third Christmas. He has a year of treatment remaining.
“Mason is doing pretty well but still has some mobility issues with his legs and hands,” said his mom Patricia McGaughey. “This makes it hard for him to color or write, and his legs are often weak causing him to fall. Because of his foot drop, he currently wears AFO braces which help stabilize him when he plays. We are hopeful that when treatment is over that he will regain all these abilities.”
McGaughey enjoys making people laugh and loves to tell the same jokes over and over again.
“Because he laughs so hard each time he tells them you can’t help but laugh with him,” added Patricia McGaughey. “His smile is contagious! He’s been through so much and is my hero.”
McGaughey enjoys playing outside, watching his iPad, and going to church. His hero is his mom because “she loves me so much!” He is the happiest when he is eating bacon. If he could go anywhere it would be to Disney World to see all of the Disney characters.
“I am excited to be in the fashion show because I get to see some Cowboys and show off,” said Mason McGaughey.
Nory Mae, 8, was diagnosed with an advanced stage of chronic myeloid leukemia in February of 2012 after several months of mysterious illnesses and days of testing in the hospital. Doctors recommended a bone marrow transplant, but because she was too ill to undergo immediately, she received an oral chemotherapy drug to help make her well for the procedure.
“Nory Mae was a giggly, dancing, playing girl whose world stopped,” said her mom Jennifer. “Her life became lots of visits to the cancer clinic and loads of medicine that made her feel awful. But after several months’ treatment, something happened that shocked us all. Nory’s little body responded so well, she went into remission!”
Six years later, Nory Mae continues an oral chemotherapy drug daily. She still experiences headaches and bone pain, and she tires easily but is able to go to school and loves singing in the choir. She wants to be a chef when she is older and enjoys swimming. She loves expressing her artistic flair by producing short stop-motion films with her toys. If she could go anywhere in the world, it would be to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower and the pigeons.
“I’m so excited to be a part of the Gala because I love making new friends and dressing up,” said Nory Mae.
On Valentine’s Day, her family celebrated another year of her life with cancer by delivering bags full of goodies and well-wishes to children who will be spending the day in the hospital.
“There is truly no sweeter way to celebrate the gift of healing than by giving,” added her mom Jennifer.
When two large masses were found in her thyroid in August of 2015, Jayla Glenn, 15, who at that time was 12 years old, received a diagnosis of medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), a very rare type of cancer for which the only treatment is removal of the cancer where operable. After a thyroidectomy and total neck dissection in November of 2015, she was diagnosed with MEN2b Syndrome (multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B), which is a genetic disease that causes multiple tumors on the mouth, eyes, and endocrine glands.
“Throughout her journey, Jayla has kept a positive attitude and has the biggest heart, always thinking of others,” said her mom Joy Glenn. “She has experienced many miracles. With the location of the masses in the thyroid and all of the lymph nodes that had to be removed during the 9 ½ hour-surgery, there were many risks involved including loss of the ability to speak, chew food, smile, and control muscles. She did not suffer from any of those risks and did very well in her recovery. She goes in for labs every three months and has MRIs, CT scans, and pet scans.”
Recently the family became aware of a clinical research program specifically for those who have MTC and MEN2b Syndrome.
“Jayla will be traveling to Bethesda, Maryland, soon to get started in this program in hopes of being able to find out more about this disease and develop a long term plan to help give her the best quality of life,” added Joy Glenn.
Glenn enjoys science at school and would like to pursue a career in the medical field. She loves spending time with her family and playing with her rabbit, dogs and donkeys. Jesus is her hero because “He is always with me through everything I go through.” If she could go anywhere in the world, she would like to return to the Bahamas, where she visited on her Make-A-Wish trip.
“I am so excited to be a part of the fashion show because I have never been before, and I can get dressed up, meet famous people, and be a model,” said Jayla Glenn.
Children’s Cancer Fund brings together local celebrities, dignitaries, philanthropists, sponsors, and media personalities to serve as runway escorts for these young patients modeling in the fashion show. In addition to Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, escorts include Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys players and cheerleaders and Rowdy, the Cowboys mascot, as well as Victoria Arlen; Garry Brown, television producer/director; Melissa Brown, actress; Mike Crum; Juanika & Monta Ellis (of the Indiana Pacers, NBA); Kiss FM Crew (Kellie Rasberry, Big Al, JC and Jenna); Miss Texas Margana Wood; Scott Murray; Eric Norris; Amy Vanderoef; Medieval Red Knight; Pink Heals Firefighters; Batman; Belle of Beauty and the Beast; Dallas SWAT; Dallas Fire Station #19; and Children’s Cancer fund alum Russell McKeown.
The gala, which is the organization’s largest annual fundraiser for pediatric cancer, is sponsored by CBS 11 and features Karen Borta as mistress of ceremonies. Since 1982, Children’s Cancer Fund has donated over $8 million to the childhood cancer cause. Individual tickets are $300 or $2,750 for a table of 10. Contact Children’s Cancer Fund at 972-664-1450 or visit www.ChildrensCancerFund.com/gala for reservations and more information.
Co-Chairs Romo and Siglin are also moms and best friends who are passionate about championing children. The mission of Children’s Cancer Fund and the importance of this fundraiser led them both to say yes when asked to be this year’s co-chairs of the gala.
“With a passion for children and a love of fashion, my heart is happy to be part of the Children’s Cancer Fund 30th Anniversary Fashion Show,” said Candice Romo.
A native Texan and Dallas resident, Romo has three sons with Tony Romo. She is co-owner with Siglin of Hawk + Sloane, a line of children’s sprays they created. Siglin and her husband, Chris, reside in West Plano and also have three children.
“I am so honored to be a part of this event, which has such a significant impact on improving the future for those affected by pediatric cancer,” added Siglin.
“This night is all about the kids,” said Jennifer Arthur, CCF Executive Director of Development. “They spend the day getting runway ready and reuniting with their friends backstage, and when the spotlight comes on, you will see some of the sweetest smiles. This is a night they have looked forward to all year. The grand finale, which features CCF models from the past 30 years, is one of the most incredible moments of the evening. These sweet stories of survival are a testimony to the impact CCF is making in our community.”
Children’s Cancer Fund was founded in 1982 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 Health 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 Specialist at the Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Children’s Medical Center to assist the outpatient team. The primary goal of the Child Life Specialist 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.
Sponsors include: $50,000: Anne Davidson; Texas de Brazil; $25,000: Children’s Health, Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation; Tiffany and Mark Cuban; Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders; Marianne and Roger Staubach; $20,000: Anonymous; $10,000: Troy Aikman; Albertsons-Tom Thumb; Andy Beal; Lisa and Clay Cooley; Headington Companies; Jennifer Stroud Foundation; Barbara Lipshy; Sewell Automotive; $5,000: Lindy and Brad Berkley; Kenneth Cooper; Dirk Nowitzki Foundation; Stacey and Kenny Doré; Fee, Smith, Sharp & Vitullo, LLP; Hawk+Sloane; The McCullough Foundation; Pacific Union Financial LLC; Holly and Barry Pennett; The Prather Family; and Simple Automotive.
In-Kind Sponsors: American Airlines; Dillard’s; Gro Event Design; Hyatt Regency Dallas; Katy Sky Group; Kendra Scott; National Fantasy Football Convention; NorthPark Center; OBOY! Production; Outfront Media; Patty Foppen Photography; Primera Companies; Reunion Tower; RSC Show Productions; Rsoul Royal Studios; Sugarfina; and Matthew Trent.
The media sponsors are CBS11/TXA21, CultureMap Dallas, and Good Life Family Magazine.
Visit Braylon’s personal fundraising page: www.childrenscancerfund.com/braylonclark
Visit Mason’s personal fundraising page: www.childrenscancerfund.com/masonmcgaughey
Visit Nory Mae’s personal fundraising page: www.childrenscancerfund.com/norymae
Visit Jayla Glenn's personal fundraising page: www.childrenscancerfund.com/jaylaglenn