When Maddi was diagnosed at 3 years old with a rare “intrinsic pontine glioma”, the doctors were not able to tell us what could have caused the brain tumor. Parents naturally tend to look for a ‘reason’ – Why? What could have caused such a devastating illness in such a beautiful and seemingly healthy child, that would deprive her living out a full, happy, and productive life. Was it something they might have done – or something they didn’t do. To this day there is no specific answer to this question.
Knowing that the best gift we can give these children is a cure – first and foremost, we support funding innovative pediatric cancer research.
Childhood cancer is not the same as adult cancer. Many adult cancers can be eliminated by relatively simple changes in lifestyles. Children, and especially infants, have not established lifestyle patterns. The cause of many childhood cancers remain an elusive mystery – beyond our current understanding.
Our organization is invested in the well being of children – physically and emotionally – our children, your children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and the children that follow. Simply put, we want to help ensure that future generations of children can hope to be healthy, free of the effects of this disease.
Childhood cancer is not a rarity. Each year, approximately 13,500 parents will be told “your child has cancer.” Across all ages, ethnic groups and socio-economics, this disease remains the number one cause of death by disease in children. More children die of cancer than any other disease, including asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies, and AIDS combined.
Despite major advances – from an overall survival rate of 10 percent just forty years ago to nearly 80 percent today, for many rare cancers, the survival rate is much lower. Tragically, the number of diagnosed cases annually has not declined in nearly 20 years.
Because we have been there, we know exactly how devastating hearing that your child has cancer can be. Within minutes, lives are forever changed.
Facts about Cancer in Children and Adolescents
- Every day, 36 children are diagnosed with cancer.
- One child out of five who is diagnosed with cancer dies.
- Children’s cancer affects all ethnic, gender and socio-economic groups.
- The average age of children diagnosed is six.
- More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year.
- Three out of five who survive children’s cancer suffer late-effects, such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers.
- There are approximately 350,000 adult survivors of children’s cancer in the United States. That equates to 1 in 640 adults ages 18 to 45.
Even when there is treatment available, it is intense, sometimes lasting several years. While more of our children are surviving their cancers, they emerge from their hard-fought battles to be faced with the after effects of their treatment. These effects can range from mild learning disabilities to severe multiple disabilities, both physical and cognitive. Our children often pay a high price for their survival.
We share a dream of a world where children can live a life full of laughter, free of pain and in anticipation of the great things they will live to do. We work to do this through funding research, patient outreach, and encouraging public involvement and greater awareness of the issues involved in childhood cancer.