Killian in 1999, weeks before diagnosis.
Put Me In Coach Killian (right) with his twin brother Garrett
The Inspiration - Killian Owen
Killian Owen was only five years old when he was diagnosed with leukemia. Despite the punishing effects of chemotherapy, Killian kept his love of sports. Throughout his treatment, he continued to swim and play baseball and basketball. It was Killian's positive attitude that inspired a local coach to donate his end-of-season gift to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta in Killian's honor. And the idea of Coaches Curing Kids Cancer was born.
With Slammin' Sammy
Killian and his brother Finn (left) meet Killian's hero, Sammy Sosa
At John Smoltz Baseball Camp Killian with Braves ace John Smoltz, enjoying John's summer baseball camp
But Killian's joy of life and even the latest medical treatments could not win the battle against leukemia. He died in July 2003 when he was only nine. Please join us in raising much-needed funds for the doctors and researchers who are finding new targeted treatments to fight cancer. Help us reach the day - in our lifetime -- when we can find a cure for childhood cancer.
Killian’s biggest dream was to be a normal healthy child. Please join our fight against childhood cancer so that dream can become a reality for today’s pediatric cancer patients.
A Message from Killian's Parents
During Killian’s three-and-a-half year battle against leukemia, he was given the best medical care available.
The wonderful doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta started his treatment with a standard chemotherapy protocol — a treatment that cures about 80 percent of all children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
But Killian was among the unfortunate 20 percent — and he relapsed.
We moved to the next course of treatment—a bone marrow transplant. Through the grace of God, Killian’s twin brother Garrett was a perfect match. But again, despite a good start, he relapsed 90 days post-transplant.
Once again, we refused to give up. After much research and many phone calls, Killian was allowed to receive an experimental treatment at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. Killian became the first child in the world to try this drug, called BL22, which targets only the “bad” cells.
And while that treatment also failed to cure Killian, the doctors and researchers now look back at that process as a breakthrough. That’s because they had tried — and failed —to get BL22 into a pediatric trial for more than three years. Killian broke the logjam. Today, more than a dozen children have used BL22 —and the drug is showing more and more potential.
When we realized how close the doctors and researchers are to a breakthrough, we knew we could not turn our back on the cancer community. And that’s why we formed Coaches Curing Kids’ Cancer. We want to raise the money needed to fund these innovative, targeted therapies for cancer.
These therapies will mean better, more effective treatment for children with cancer — without many of the harsh side effects we now associate with chemotherapy.
Help us find a cure for childhood cancer — in our lifetime.