About Us

est. 2015


Eli "The Eliminator" Williams 12.03.04 - 08.05.17

Eli, “The Eliminator,” fought medulloblastoma, including three relapses, for almost six years, starting when he turned seven years old in 2011. There is no cure or standard treatment for relapse. During his journey, he had had six brain surgeries, two rounds of blanket radiation, survived two-plus years of two different protocols of high-dose chemotherapy, two years of participating in four experimental trials. He battled back from sickness and debilitating symptoms from those treatments and surgeries. He endured countless blood draws, weeks of hospital stays, hundreds of scans, countless transfusions, countless doctors appointments, traveled thousands of miles to and from hospitals, was sent home for hospice care three times, until the fourth and final time. Eli passed away at 12-years-old on August 5, 2017. Even with this horrific history, Eli’s road was relatively easy compared to most cancer kids in the same situation. As a pioneer in pediatric cancer research, Eli donated tumor tissue, fluid samples, plus vital data was collected through his participation that will change the landscape of treatment for other kids. For this reason, the family feels blessed and is honored to have an opportunity to pick up Eli's flag and continue to support research. 

About Us

With only energy, and the desire to do good, Eli’s Block Party Childhood Cancer Foundation was formed with the mission of supporting innovative research. Family and friends in the community responded generously to the Foundation and joined in. The organization intends to raise funds for childhood cancer, mostly seeking out doctors and labs that research innovative treatment for childhood brain cancer.

To raise funds, it gives back to its community by hosting family fun events that focus on childhood cancer and raising awareness. These events encourage others to join in the fight by participating in the event or by hosting their own Eli’s Block Party car show or cruise-in. Friends in Flat Rock, Michigan, host a cruise-in to raise money and the Limestone County Mustang Club hosts a charity show to benefit the foundation.


We also host family-fun events in our community to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research, specifically pediatric brain cancer. In memory of Eli, we host car shows, and in honor of all childhood cancer fighters, we host Superhero Fun Day as an awareness event for September, childhood cancer month. Throughout the year, we are involved with other fundraising events and activities as the opportunity arises.


Thirdly, we support and encourage cancer families, starting with local families, and then reaching out to families enduring treatment. The organization engages the charitable hearts of community clubs, schools, church groups, and individuals by offering various levels of opportunities to participate, and be a part of its mission.

Our Mission

Our mission is three-fold: Funding, Focus, and Family. We, first, intend to raise funds for childhood cancer, mostly seeking out doctors and labs that research innovative treatment for childhood brain cancer. To raise funds, we give back to our community by hosting family fun events that focus on raising awareness. These events encourage others to join us in the fight by volunteering, or by hosting their own Eli’s Block Party. Thirdly, we support and encourage cancer families, starting with our local families, and then reaching out to families enduring treatment, or who have lost a child to cancer.


Our Board includes: Kristie Williams, Jennifer Fortenberry, Wendy Yeager, Naomi Flanagan, Sharma Hamm, Jerry Bryant

Encouragement Effort

Eli’s Block Party Foundation is excited to shape an effort to directly encourage and support our local childhood cancer families. When funds are available, we help with funeral expenses of children lost to cancer locally and host specific events for the bereaved families if needed for those expenses. We hope to be able to help pay utility bills of families in the Athens Utilities service area that are in treatment when funds are available. We also hope to assist with “No Mo Chemo” parties and send birthday, and holiday cards to our local cancer kids. We always find a way to highlight a local kid at our events and invite their families as guests. 

Why We Raise Money

We raise money simply because four percent is not enough to fight the leading cause of death by disease in children, killing 6 every day. We do it simply because doctors in the richest country in the world should never say no to treating a child. Childhood Cancer cases have increased 24% since 1970, according to a 2014 report by the American Cancer Society, with many treatment regimens for some childhood cancers remaining the same. The average survival rate as a whole is 80%, but for specific cancers it can range from 0% to 90%, according to AMS. The National Cancer Institute, a government-funded organization, gave four percent of it's $4.9 billion budget to be spread out among all childhood cancers. With diagnoses on the rise, four percent is not enough to fight the number one killer of children by disease.

What We Support

The cure is in research. If we want to help find a cure, that's where it will be found. Raising awareness leads to funding and funding leads to research. The cure is in research, so that is why our mission is first to raise money for research. We put money directly in the hand that holds the microscope so that more of the money raise goes to the root of research. Eli’s Block Party Childhood Cancer Foundation is excited to support the cutting-edge research being done by Dr. Gregory Friedman, Director of Developmental Therapeutics, at Children's of Alabama.


Dr. Friedman's overarching goal is to improve outcomes for children with malignant brain tumors by developing and improving novel, targeted therapies in the lab and then translating these therapies to clinical trials.


Currently, Dr. Friedman is the principal investigator for the first-ever pediatric trial of HSV G207 in children with recurrent or progressive brain cancers (Clinical Trial: HSV G207). For this trial, the Herpes virus (HSV), which typically causes cold sores, has been engineered to be safe for normal cells but can infect and kill cancer cells and stimulate the patient’s own immune system to attack the tumor providing a one-two punch at killing tumor cells. To maximize the benefit of this therapy, his lab focuses on determining mechanisms of therapeutic resistance by exploring the role of tumor genotype, phenotype, and microenvironment; and cellular defense mechanisms so that newer viruses, novel combinations, and unique routes of virus delivery may be developed to circumvent resistance mechanisms. Please, take a minute to watch this short video about Dr. Friedman's work.

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"May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands." - Psalm 90:17

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