Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation
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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

03/16/20


The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s first and foremost priority is the health and well-being of the families we serve. Therefore, all decisions we make throughout this process reflect our commitment to serving patient families, staying focused on our mission, and keeping in mind the well-being of staff and supporters. We are monitoring COVID-19 (coronavirus) closely and following the guidance of local and national government leaders and public health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

On this page you’ll find support for pediatric brain tumor families, information for supporters and event participants, and a list of currently postponed or canceled events and programs. As you know, everything is happening and changing very rapidly, but we’ll do our best to keep you informed in a timely manner and regularly update this page.


Support for Pediatric Brain Tumor Families

If you are a pediatric brain tumor family in need of support, please reach out to your regional contact or our national family support team at 800-253-6530, x306 and familysupport@curethekids.org.

We are aware that the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak is causing significant concern, particularly for populations with underlying health conditions like pediatric brain tumors. The following questions and answers are intended to address key concerns, including information from public health experts such as the risk to people with health conditions and steps you can take to protect yourself and loved ones with a pediatric brain tumor. We encourage you to refer to the CDC for the most up-to-date information and more answers to commonly asked questions.

Are children with brain tumors at increased risk for COVID-19 infection?

Evidence has shown that people with underlying health conditions seem to be at greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19. While current information suggests children in general are not at risk, some children are more vulnerable, including:

  • Children receiving chemotherapy, or who have received chemotherapy in the last three months
  • Children receiving immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • Children receiving other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors
  • Children who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months
  • Children who’re taking immunosuppression drugs

What can I do if my child is at an increased risk for COVID-19 infection?

The CDC has issued guidelines for people who are at higher risk -- including avoiding large gatherings and staying home as much as possible. The CDC recommends getting ready for COVID-19 now, and to protect yourself by doing the following:

  • Stay at home as much as possible.
  • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time. While it might be difficult due to insurance restrictions, try to get a 3-month supply or at the very least, renew your child’s prescriptions as soon as you are able.
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact, and wash your hands often. Avoid large gatherings that last for an extended period, such as weddings and funerals.
  • Avoid crowds.
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel. (Stay up to date on CDC Travel Health Notices.)
  • Lastly, we recommend you speak with your care team directly with specific questions about your personal health and risk factors, and continue to check the CDC website for complete guidelines and the most up-to-date information. The COVID-19 outbreak is still new, so doctors do not have a lot of specific information on this coronavirus for cancer patients. But they do have information regarding the risk of infections in general for cancer patients.

What should I do if I think my child may have the COVID-19 coronavirus

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommends that cancer patients who think they may have been infected with the new coronavirus contact their doctor if they have a fever and other symptoms of a respiratory illness, such as a cough or shortness of breath, particularly if either of the following two conditions apply:

  • You have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19.
  • You live in or have recently traveled to an area known to have an outbreak of the disease.

Call ahead before visiting your health care professional or the emergency department and let them know that you think you may have COVID-19. Your health care professional will work with state health departments and local health authorities to find out if you should be tested.

Staying home when you are sick is the best way to prevent transmitting the novel coronavirus and other respiratory viruses, such as the flu, to other people.

If you are receiving cancer treatment that suppresses the immune system and you develop a fever and respiratory symptoms, call your oncologist as you usually would if you develop a fever while on treatment. Be sure to follow their guidance on when to come into the office or hospital and when it’s safer to stay home.

And again, be sure to wash your hands often.


Information for Supporters and Event Participants

Based on the latest CDC recommendation that organizers postpone in-person events consisting of 50 people or more throughout the U.S., all *PBTF-hosted* events and programs through Friday, May 8 will be postponed. We will continue to reevaluate regularly as this situation is continually evolving and we want to make thoughtful decisions for our community and mission.

We are so grateful for the dedication of our volunteers and participants and appreciate your understanding as we work through this time. Stay tuned for more information about how you can continue to support our mission – we may be physically social distancing, but we will stay connected.

If you have already registered for a postponed or canceled event, you will receive more information through email. If you’d like to speak to someone about an event, please contact your event or regional contact, or email info@curethekids.org.


Currently Postponed or Canceled Events (updated March 20, 2020)

Ride for Kids

  • SoCal Dual Sport and Adventure Ride for Kids – April 18, postponed indefinitely
  • N.C. Triangle Ride for Kids – May 3, postponed, new date September 13
  • Houston Ride for Kids – May 17, postponed, new date September 13

PBTF Central Region

  • Hospital visits: Clinic visits and Vs. Cancer team visits at regional hospitals are paused. They are limiting the number of visitors in the hospital for the well-being of patients and visitors.
  • Vs. Cancer games: The majority of the region’s Vs. Cancer games through May 8 are currently postponed.

PBTF Northeast Region

  • Syracuse Stadium Cross – March 21-22, canceled
  • Volunteer Expo at the Prudential Center – April 16, PBTF staff and volunteers no longer attending
  • Rally and Star Family Fun Night for Hudson Valley Ride for Kids – April, postponed, new date TBD
  • Hospital Visits: Clinic visits and Vs. Cancer team visits at regional hospitals are paused. They are limiting the number of visitors in the hospital for the well-being of patients and visitors.
  • Vs. Cancer Games: The majority of the region’s Vs. Cancer games through May 8 are currently postponed.

PBTF Southeast Region

  • N.C. Triangle Ride for Kids – May 3, postponed, new date September 13 
  • Safety Drive for a Cure – March 21, postponed, new date TBD
  • Par for the Kids – March 21, postponed, new date TBD
  • Ella’s Race – March 21, changed from in-person to virtual event. Virtual information here.
  • Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Charity Classic hosted by Marsh & McLennan Southeast – May 4-5, postponed, new date September 8-9
  • Hospital visits: Clinic visits and Vs. Cancer team visits at regional hospitals are paused. They are limiting the number of visitors in the hospital for the well-being of patients and visitors.
  • Vs. Cancer games: The majority of the region’s Vs. Cancer games through May 8 are currently postponed.

PBTF West Region

  • SoCal Dual Sport and Adventure Ride for Kids – April 18, postponed indefinitely
  • Houston Ride for Kids – May 17, postponed, new date September 13
  • Spanish Support Group – March 14, postponed, new date TBD
  • Teen and Young Adult Bowling Party – March 21, postponed, new date TBD
  • Spanish Support Group – April 11, postponed, new date TBD
  • Fashion Show Prep – April 25, postponed, new date TBD
  • We Can Have Hope Bereavement Camp – April 17, postponed, new date TBD
  • Hospital Visits: Clinic visits and Vs. Cancer team visits at regional hospitals are paused. They are limiting the number of visitors in the hospital for the well-being of patients and visitors.
  • Vs. Cancer Games: All of the region’s Vs. Cancer games through May 8 are currently postponed.

International Events

  • International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology / ISPNO – June, postponed, new dates December 13-16


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