Realizing Futures



Twenty years ago, John and Kim Weiner faced every parent’s worst nightmare. Samantha, their 15-month-old baby girl, was diagnosed with leukemia. At the time, the Weiner’s could never have imagined that the very therapy used to save their little girl’s life would leave her with debilitating long-term side effects. As a result of the aggressive therapy used to treat her cancer, Samantha now lives with significant mental and physical disabilities.

Understanding firsthand the importance of finding better ways to treat pediatric cancer, John and Kim became involved with PCRF. For the past 20 years, they have been committed to helping PCRF fund research so that other children won’t have to face the same challenges as Samantha. “When treating a child with cancer you are working to save a lifetime of potential,” says John. Currently, the Weiner’s both serve on the PCRF Board of Directors and Kim works on many of PCRF’s annual fundraisers.

The Weiner’s are passionately engaged with PCRF’s ongoing work to fund the research that guarantees that doctors have the tools and treatments they need to save young lives. Over the past 30 years, PCRF-funded research has contributed to significant advancements in more tolerable therapies for young cancer patients, but there is always more work needed. “Every child is different, and even though a treatment may help eight out of ten children, we still need to find a treatment for those other two, says Kim.

Samantha herself is a champion for PCRF. Her courageous life has inspired many friends of the Weiner family to join in contributing to pediatric cancer research. Though Samantha cannot speak in words, her impact has been far-reaching. After hearing her story, athletes and volunteers from Mission Viejo High School vowed their commitment to the fight against pediatric cancer. In 2007, the school’s football team began a campaign called “On a Mission to Find a Cure,” which continues today. As part of the campaign, the team volunteers time and resources to PCRF fundraising events throughout the year.

Samantha Weiner and her family are an inspiration to many. Through their courage, steadfastness, and contributions, many young lives have been impacted and changed.

To learn how you can join the Weiner’s and PCRF in funding research, treatments, and cures for young cancer patients, please contact us today.

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When you are young and healthy, it never occurs to you that in a single second your whole life could change. – Annette Funicello