Realizing Futures

PCRF Survivors Scholarship

Powering Cures, Realizing Futures

By: Christine Farwell, Chief Development Officer

Survivorship Matters:

Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation invests in leading-edge research to have the best hope for a cure for children facing cancer. PCRF exists to improve the number of survivors and the quality of life after treatment.

Young adults who have survived childhood cancer are four to five times more likely to struggle with long-term employment than their non-cancer fighting peers. In addition, survivors are subject to multiple academic and developmental delays due to lengthy and intense treatment regimens that can literally keep them out of school for years. There is also the financial impact of having cancer. These facts, coupled with medical issues and side effects, make a level playing field with non-cancer fighting peers tenuous at best. In 2017, PCRF started a PCRF Survivor’s Scholarship fund to help these warriors through a period of academic, social, physical, and financial challenge – College! 

The PCRF Survivor’s Scholarship eases the struggle survivors face as they transition into what should be “normal” adulthood. Scholarships help with the financial strain, but beyond that, it gives a vote of confidence that their future is reachable and they can accomplish their dreams. 

The earning impact of a college degree vs. a high school diploma is about $32,000 annually. The PCRF Survivors Scholarship is truly a step toward leveling the playing field for a person who has faced great strife at the beginning of their life. PCRF offers scholarships ranging from $500 for community college students to $2500 for students attending accredited universities. 

Since 2017, the indications show student retention and graduation rates for recipients of the PCRF Survivors Scholarship align with national standards. Anecdotally, the students report deep gratitude for not only the financial support but the vote of confidence that they can reach for their dreams.

Preston Kilzer was diagnosed at age five with stage three Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Immediate treatment resulted in the most favorable outcome for Preston and the opportunity to get started paying it forward by fiercely advocating for pediatric cancer research and patients. 

  • Preston received a PCRF Survivors Scholarship last year to attend Purdue University and pursue a degree in Engineering. Preston closed his essay with this: 

“I am excited to see the person I can become if I never stop working toward success and growth. I fully expect to leave college an emotionally stronger and academically smarter person than when I arrived.”

The PCRF Survivor’s Scholarship is not a handout; it is a hand up. It fulfills the promise of improved quality of life for survivors.

Your Role:

The PCRF Survivors Scholarship is a special fund at the foundation supported by donor-designated gifts. The need for funding is very apparent as we see an increase in applications each year. You make this program possible. If you are interested in supporting this program by joining the Reviewer Committee or making a financial contribution, please email scholarships@pcrf-kids.org or call the PCRF Office (949)859-6312.

Make a Difference Today !

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