Cancer

Funding Hope — The Work of the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation | by Shawn Tillitt | Sep, 2021

Shawn Tillitt

While dealing with disease and life-threatening illnesses can be challenging for people of all ages, children can be particularly affected. Pediatric cancer is one of the most heartbreaking diagnoses that any family can face, but groups like the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) have made it their mission to uncover effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure for this growing problem. The following statistics provide information about pediatric cancer, what PCRF is doing to fight it, and how you can assist the organization in its work.

Quick Facts about Childhood Cancer

Each year, an estimated 300,000 young people under the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer. This means that, worldwide, a pediatric cancer diagnosis is made every 2 minutes. In the United States, 1 in 285 young people face a cancer diagnosis before they turn 20. In addition, pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in those under the age of 19.

While discussing pediatric cancer, it’s important to note that it’s not just one disease. In fact, childhood cancer involves 12 major types and more than 100 subtypes. Among these, leukemia, brain cancer, and other central nervous system cancers are the most prevalent. Other common pediatric cancers include lymphoma and bone cancer.

The PCRF Leads the Way in Research

Although these statistics can seem overwhelming, the PCRF has worked hard to eliminate childhood cancer through research since 1982. Along the way, the organization has significantly advanced childhood cancer treatment, care, and prevention.

To date, the PCRF has raised more than $51 million for pediatric cancer research and provided funding for over 30 research institutions. Since the foundation’s establishment, the survival rates for pediatric cancer have skyrocketed from 10 percent to nearly 85 percent. These improvements are due in part to PCRF-funded research in areas such as bone marrow transplantation.

As it heads toward its fifth decade, the PCRF has not slowed down in its efforts. Each year, the foundation awards four types of grants to extraordinary researchers. These grants range from $50,000 to $250,000 per year and provide funding for research in molecular and cellular genetics, stem cell biology, stem cell transplantation, and molecular oncology. The PCRF also hosts an annual symposium that presents the latest scientific and clinical advances in childhood and young adult cancer research.

Ways to Get Involved

As a nonprofit organization, the PCRF relies on the ongoing support of donors and volunteers in order to continue its work. If you would like to become part of the PCRF community, there are many ways you can get involved. One of the easiest ways to lend your support is by making a one-time or recurring donation through the foundation’s online giving portal.

You can also contribute through vehicle donations, planned gifts, and DIY fundraising. In addition, the PCRF maintains an online shop that raises funds and awareness via the sale of branded merchandise such as clothing, totes, and mugs. Another way to help the foundation is by volunteering at one of its annual events.

Each year, the PCRF holds several events and activities. These include the Reaching for the Cure Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, and Kids Run, which is held in communities across the country. The foundation also hosts the annual Western Roundup, Dream.Discover.Cure. Golf Tournament, and Rod Carew Children’s Golf Classic.

More information about these events, the PCRF’s work, and the ways you can help is available at www.pcrf-kids.org.


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