Join the Emily Whitehead Foundation during its inaugural Believe Ball from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at Valley Forge Casino Resort

PHILIPSBURG, Pa. (Oct. 13, 2017)The Emily Whitehead Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness and funds for childhood cancer research, will host its inaugural Believe Ball from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, Pa. The event’s theme, “Write a Better Story,” shares the Foundation mission to inspire hope for an improved narrative in the fight against pediatric cancer – one with more targeted and less toxic treatment options for children with cancer.

Sponsored in part by Novartis and the Parker Foundation, the presenting sponsors, Aldevron, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Cancer Immunotherapy Program, Penn Medicine and TerumoBCT, the Believe Ball will include a cocktail reception, seated dinner, silent auction, raffle, entertainment and compelling stories from childhood cancer patients and their families. The inspirational evening open to the public will draw attendees from the medical community, the philanthropic community and families affected by pediatric cancer.

“We hope the Believe Ball will inspire everyone working on less toxic cancer treatments and help fund their efforts to succeed,” says Tom Whitehead, co-founder, Emily Whitehead Foundation. “I most look forward to seeing these childhood cancer patients having fun at our event and showing the people working to save them that they are impacting entire families’ futures for the better.”

Emily Whitehead was the first pediatric patient to be treated with CAR-T cell therapy in May 2012. The immunotherapy treatment works by using the body’s own immune cells to specifically target cancer cells. Emily is now more than five years cancer free. In August 2017, the same treatment that Emily was the first to receive became the first gene therapy approved in the United States by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“The Believe Ball is taking place during a truly exciting time for the future of immunotherapy,” says Tom Whitehead. “We’re honored to have these patients, their families and doctors join us as we raise money to further immunotherapy research.”

Among the doctors and researchers attending are Carl H. June, M.D. and Bruce L. Levine, Ph.D., leading developers of the treatment at the University of Pennsylvania, and Stephan A. Grupp, M.D., Ph.D., director of the CHOP Cancer Immunotherapy program. For Dr. June, this will be his first time meeting many of the pediatric patients who received the treatment. The Believe Ball will also be the first gathering of its kind with the children who have been treated with CAR-T and their families.

To learn more about the Believe Ball, visit


About the Emily Whitehead Foundation

The Emily Whitehead Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that raises awareness and funds for childhood cancer research. Emily Whitehead is a three-time cancer survivor and was the first child in the world to receive CAR-T cell therapy, a form of immunotherapy. Emily is now five years cancer-free. Since 2015, the Emily Whitehead Foundation has supported research funding to develop innovative and less toxic treatments, such as immunotherapy, for pediatric cancer patients. For more information, visit

Press Contact:

Amanda Hunt
Emily Whitehead Foundation