The Need

Your generosity is crucial

The Truths About Childhood Cancer

Worldwide, 400,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. In the U.S., more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease.

The facts speak for themselves:
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 19 in the U.S. One in 285 American children will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they are 20 years old. Whether it’s your child, a neighbor, or the relative of a colleague, the chances are strong that someone you know will have their lives shattered by pediatric cancer. We are working to mitigate your despair the only way we know how: by advancing science.
  • Thanks to ongoing investment in research, overall survival rates have grown by 70 percent in the past 40 years. In fact, the death rate from pediatric cancer has dropped more significantly than for any other group. While that progress is impressive — and we are proud that approximately 84 percent of pediatric cancer patients today are cured — we are not satisfied. It remains true that too many children with cancer still do not survive today for two primary reasons: there is a lot more to understand about the unique challenges of pediatric cancer and/ or because their little bodies have been ravaged by therapies that are simply too potent for them.
  • Pediatric cancers do not behave the same way as adult cancers. Because of a scarcity of research funding for pediatric cancer, children with cancer must rely on adult oncolcogy treatments – treatments that lack the needed precision and / or are just too toxic for developing bodies. As a result, two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors are twice as likely to suffer chronic health chronic health conditions and one quarter of childhood cancer survivors face a severe or life-threatening later life effect from their treatment.
  • Childhood cancer isn’t just one disease—there are over a dozen types of childhood cancer and countless subtypes. It is going to take pinpointed research, and lots of it, to develop the best treatment for every child.
  • In the last 20 years, only four new drugs have been approved that were specifically developed to treat children with cancer. That is a good start, but to achieve more breakthroughs we need to increase the research momentum, and that is contingent on investing more money in research.

Despite these facts, childhood cancer research is consistently underfunded. That’s where the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation comes in.  We raise monies to drive the research and innovation that will make it possible for childhood cancer patients to spread their wings and realize healthy, happy, productive futures.

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Filling a Gaping Funding Void

Flat or declining donor budgets, increased research costs, and unmet need make it crucial to find new funding for research.

Funding for childhood cancer research occurs in almost the exact inverse to funding for adult oncology research:

  • The largest single source of US pediatric cancer research funding is the federal government, which allocates just 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget to understanding childhood cancer. 
  • Pharmaceutical companies focus on the more lucrative adult market, leaving pediatric patients as an afterthought.
  • Private philanthropy is responsible for at least half of the funding for all childhood cancer research. That means people and businesses like you giving to not-for profit organizations like us.

The bottom line: to gain more traction, build more momentum, and meaningfully advance the science, more money must be invested in pediatric cancer research now. There’s a gaping void to fill, making our work – and your generosity –crucial.

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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