Weekend dig to benefit children’s medical center

Published 6:38 pm Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Area parents and children looking to participate in a public dig for fossils this weekend will end up helping assist the work of the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders.

The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with a meeting at the Frank Rogers Country Store, 11700 U.S. Highway 80 W. in Marion Junction, and the dig will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Harrell Station just west of Selma.

The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s of Alabama pediatric medical center is the state’s only comprehensive center for pediatric cancer and other blood disorders, treating 90 percent of all such patients diagnosed in Alabama.

The ACCCBD is home to the only pediatric programs in blood and marrow transplantation, childhood cancer survivorship, developmental cancer therapeutics, pediatric neuro-oncology, pediatric hemophilia and sickle cell disease in the state.

The cancer program is ranked among the best in the nation by US News & World Report.

Participants in this weekend’s dig are encouraged to bring their own lunch, water, bug spray, sunscreen, hat and wear fully-enclosed shoes. Children younger than age 10 must be accompanied by an adult, and there are a limited number of spots for participants.

C.C. Thompson, Outreach Coordinator with Children’s of Alabama said this won’t be the first time the event is held at the site.

“This event has been held there before,” Thompson said. “Only 25 or 30 people will be able to participate, but while it is not a big event it is a unique opportunity for all the participants and it helps bring attention to the work being done by the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders and Children’s of Alabama.”

Harrell Station is the site where the first fossil amniote egg was found in the southeastern portion of the United States.

The prehistoric egg was discovered by Prescott Atkinson in 1970. Amniotes are four-limbed animals with backbones or spinal cords.

Registration for Saturday’s event free and available online at childrensal.kintera.org/huntforacure.

Anyone who would like to support the fight against childhood cancer but cannot participate in this weekend’s Hunt for a Cure event can make a donation to Children’s of Alabama on the registration page.

For more information about the event, contact Thompson at 205-887-0447.