A contingent of caring people are spending four days on a Sherwood Park baseball diamond to help cancer patients with their battle against the deadly disease.
Fifty-five people are attempting to set a Guinness World Record by playing a baseball game for 85 hours while raising money for the Cure Cancer Foundation in support of a new drug and therapeutic development at the University of Alberta.
The goal is to set the record and raise $250,000 towards the University of Alberta-based cancer drug.
“Understanding how important this is for the Cure Cancer Foundation and U of A to get this money where it needs to be so there are kids who don’t have to deal with this stuff,” event founder and organizer Brent Saik said.
WATCH BELOW: World’s longest baseball game about to get underway in Edmonton
The drug, named PCLX-001, shuts down the abnormal chemical signalling in many common cancers and triggers those cells to die while sparing the healthy cells.
“It turns out this molecule is available as a pill. We have enough of it being put together and all of the pre-clinical work is being done to bring it into people for the very first time,” said Jon Mackey, University of Alberta oncology professor and Cross Cancer Institute clinical trials director.
“This will be a first-in-human new cancer trial that’s run at the University of Alberta and Cross Cancer Institute,” he added.
The drug has the potential of treating cancers such as non-Hodgkin Lymphomas and Leukemias.
“It’s heartwarming to see so many volunteer their time and energy to support this University of Alberta project,” Mackey said. “Our hope is that we’ll be helping many cancer patients with this new treatment but it can’t happen without dollars.”
The Dianne and Irving Kipnes foundation has agreed to match all donations up to $250,000.
“Very shortly this little pill will be in humans,” Saik said.
“Thank you to Diane and Irving Kipnes. They’re going to top it up to another $250,000, and they need $500,000 in order to get the first pill in essence.”
The game started Thursday morning and will continue until Sunday at Centennial Park.
The game is free to view for the public.