In 2012, President Barack Obama named September National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness of pediatric cancer. Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children. Each day, 43 kids in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with cancer. Approximately 1 in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer before their 20th birthday.
The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF) works tirelessly to change that. In honor of their life-changing work, we’re highlighting their mission and impact as a way to help raise awareness.
Background and Mission
The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation was formed in 1991 by Melissa Helms and Risa Tremel, two mothers who met at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital while their daughters were undergoing cancer treatments. Happily, both of their daughters survived and are thriving. To help more children and families, Melissa and Risa teamed up to found NPCF. Their mission is to collaborate with leading hospitals across the nation and fund clinical trials to find a faster cure for pediatric cancer.
Not only does NPCF focus on ultimately eliminating pediatric cancer, they’re dedicated to research and clinical trials to find less toxic, more effective treatments for childhood cancer. They also focus on reducing the side effects of current treatments and improving survival rates.
Projects and Impact
In 2005, NPCF formed the Sunshine Project. Their goal is to bring together the nation’s top doctors and researchers to find a faster cure for pediatric cancer. Through the Sunshine Project, NPCF takes advantage of the strengths of researchers from all different fields of science to streamline and accelerate development of new treatments. The project is made up of a consortium of 30 hospitals and addresses all types of pediatric cancers.
Their model worked. Since 2005, NPCF has funded four Phase 1 Clinical Trials. The results and continued testing hold great promise for children who haven’t experienced positive results with standard treatments.
The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation offers a number of ways for supporters to get involved. Their ongoing Fashion Funds the Cure events have been taking place for two decades. The events delight audiences and give children battling cancer the experience of a lifetime on the runway while raising critical funds and awareness for pediatric cancer research. The nationwide runway tour shares stories of local children battling cancer and weaves their dreams for the future into a high-fashion, upscale event.
The NPCF Ambassador Program offers a way for supporters to take awareness-building and fundraising into their own hands through storytelling and DIY fundraising.
Looking for more ways to offer your support and help spread the word about NPCF’s great work during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month? Head to their website for more information or to make a donation.