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
Jackson Saden, 7, of Flower Mound, is a featured model at theChildren’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.
Jackson Saden was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) when he was 10 weeks old. Affecting 1.2 people per million, HLH is an autoimmune dysregulatory syndrome resulting in severe inflammation and multi-organ failure. The only way to cure HLH is with a stem cell transplant.
“Once you go into remission, you go straight to transplant once a donor is found,” said Jackie Pull, Saden’s mom. “Jackson will celebrate seven years post-transplant on April 15.”
Saden is in the first grade at Brent Elementary School in Little Elm ISD, where he enjoys math and playtime. He is an only child but has five dogs. When he grows up he wants to be a YouTube star. His hero is his Papa because “he swims and goes bike riding with me.” His favorite musician is Bruno Mars, and he loves listening to “Uptown Funk.” If he could go anywhere in the world, it would be Disney World.
“I am so excited about being a fashion model because I think it’s awesome to give back, have fun and meet new people,” said Jackson Saden.
“Jackson has an infectious personality and loves everyone and never meets a stranger,” added Pull. “In school, he is a friend to everybody no matter what their differences may be.”
Presently, Saden is dealing with residual issues from harsh chemotherapy treatments. He suffered damage to many of his baby teeth, and this same issue is affecting his permanent teeth as well.
“He is struggling some with reading and writing, and we are having him tested at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children to see if he is dyslexic or if he has some learning issues due to chemo,” added Pull. “But overall he is amazing, in great health, and he is still at 100 percent donor cells! All of the other issues are minor in the grand scheme of things. Overall he is our hero and always has such a positive attitude about everything.”
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 Jackson’s personal fundraising page: www.childrenscancerfund.com/jacksonsaden