I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and appreciated its true meaning, regardless of your faith.
My hope for 2012 is that we make significant strides this year in understanding the scientific components of the causes and treatments of childhood cancer. In spite of the passion and dedication of childhood cancer researchers, much more needs to be done. But, I’m encouraged.
In 2011, I feel that we made very good progress in increasing awareness of our terrible, little secret — that 46 kids are diagnosed with cancer each school day. Furthermore, the fact that the US government allocates less than 4% to childhood cancer research and big groups like American Cancer Society and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society give less than 2%, needs to be well-known.
Having said that, the childhood cancer community of many non-profits is actively working to harness our collective strength to give a voice to the voiceless. I am privileged to be a member of a small working group that is trying to maximize our effectiveness while still respecting the ‘sovereignty’ of each group. There are about 6 or so of us on the Working Team and we are representing groups big and small from around the country. Some of the larger ones that some of you may be familiar with are St. Baldrick’s, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, PAC2, CureSearch, the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), and many others. To give you an update, CureSearch, which was a partnership of NCCF and COG (oncologists), has ended their partnership as COG wants to partner with the whole community and not just one group. (In response to a B+ supporter’s question, CureSearch is not the Susan G. Komen of childhood cancer. They are a very good group, though.)
What does this all mean to you? Well, I just want to keep you abreast of developments and let you know that, through The B+ Foundation, you have a “seat at the table” in changing the paradigm to cure childhood cancers and help families across our country.
Regarding helping families currently in the battle, we finished 2011 by giving out about $510,000 to families of kids with cancer. Thank you SO much. None of this would have been possible without your generosity. While two of our local hospitals (A.I. duPont Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) had families assisted by ourFoundation, they did not make the Top 3 this year. Our Top 3 hospitals, based upon money given to their families, were:
- Seattle Children’s Hospital (one of the preeminent hospitals in the country and a pioneer of bone marrow transplants)
- St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (great institution, but no, in response to a recent question, they don’t accept any child that wants to go there. That’s a myth. Let me know if you have any other questions about hospitals, childhood cancer groups, etc.)
- Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – another fine institution
While we go out of our way to help kids and families in our local community, the approach that we take is that kids should not be suffering with cancer, regardless of where they live. A Mississippi Mom’s tears are no different than a Delaware Dad’s tears.
Finally, while The B+ Foundation is clearly a foundation that
fights childhood cancer through our support of research and our Family Assistance Program, we are also a lifestyle foundation. In addition to our two objectives above, our third objective is to spread the “B+ Message” and encourage people to “Live Like Andrew”. To me, this is a relevant message for everyone…regardless of whether your child has cancer or not, your age, gender, race, income, etc. Andrew was a special young man in his short time on earth and we can continue to let him touch us and learn from him. Unlike many things in life, this is one thing we CAN control. I’ll share some thoughts on this in my next post.
Thanks for staying with us. It’s nice to know that we’re not alone in this battle against childhood cancers and to know that my boy continues to touch your life. May God bless you.
Ali & Andrew’s Dad