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Meet Thomas Curren: the chef turned philanthropist who is walking across the country to raise money for childhood cancer research.

"I've seen plenty of mountain lions and coyotes, but this is actually the first bear I've encountered on my trip!" Thomas joked to Kathy Sakamoto, MD, PhD, and Agnieszka Czechowicz, MD, PhD upon meeting our Mama Bear statue at Packard Children's. Thomas began his amazing trek in February, from Holden Beach, North Carolina to Stanford, California, raising nearly $12,000 for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF). Since 2014, PCRF has given more than $610,000 to support groundbreaking childhood cancer research at our hospital.

 “What you’re doing is so important to our work,” Dr. Sakamoto thanked Thomas during his visit to our hospital. “We need donors like you to support research so we can create new therapies and cure childhood cancer.”

His walk is inspired by his ex-wife, a childhood cancer survivor and former Packard Children’s patient.

“The highlight of the day was probably getting to meet Dr. Michael Link, who treated my ex-wife. He is one of the leading experts on Hodgkin’s Disease, and just the nicest guy,” Thomas said. “I wanted to thank Dr. Link, Dr. Sakamoto, Dr. Czechowicz, and the entire team for all the incredible work they are doing to help more families. I just walk.”

We're so thrilled to cheer on Thomas as he heads into the final 500 mile home stretch to Newport Beach, CA. Follow along at:

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