Today We Fight....'as one voice united against childhood cancer"

July 20, 2009


Diane Balma
Executive Director
Stand Up To Cancer

Dear Diane:


Thank you very much for Stand Up To Cancer’s (SU2C) kind offer to collaborate with the childhood cancer community to raise awareness of childhood cancers and highlight September as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  We also appreciate you sharing our concern about the lack of pediatric cancer research funding.    A key objective of People Against Childhood Cancer’s (PAC2) is to coordinate with childhood cancer groups and to speak as “One Voice United Against Childhood Cancer”.   Currently, we have nearly 75 childhood cancer organizations as members.   The following organizations have jointly developed this initial response to your offer:


  • CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation/Children’s Oncology Group
  • Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
  • St. Baldricks Foundation
  • Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research
  • Hope Street Kids
  • People Against Childhood Cancer

These organizations are each focused on one thing:  finding a cure for childhood cancers.  As you know, childhood cancer is the leading disease killer of children in America and two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors suffer long-term side effects.    What you may not know is childhood cancer formed the first “dream team” in cancer research over 50 years ago.   At that time, cure rates were virtually non-existent, so doctors and institutions teamed up to form the very first cooperative research groups.   The resulting improvements in childhood cancer survival rates represent one of modern medicine’s greatest success stories.  In addition, chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation are now standards not only of childhood cancer care, but also of adult cancer care. 


Even with the great contributions made by childhood cancer research, cancer remains the number leading cause of death by disease for children.  Many people believe that cancer research being done automatically benefits children, causing pediatric cancer research to be largely overlooked in our society.   Children lack the voice, the wallet and the vote to draw attention to the ravages of the disease on young patients in particular.


We hope that through continued collaboration with SU2C we can change this, and we look forward to standing up to childhood cancer with you. 
Our organizations have developed three primary focus areas for discussion and, hopefully, collaboration with SU2C, which we present for your consideration:


#1 - September - National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

  • Submittals for publication on the SU2C website
    • Statistics and basic information on childhood cancer.
    • A “Childhood Cancer Resource” directory.
    • Public Service Announcement videos.
    • A September calendar with links to childhood cancer events.
    • Highlighting/interviews with children, families and leaders from childhood cancer organizations during September.
    • Establish a “Kid’s Story” section on the website where visitors can post their child’s story.  We know that this would be a very powerful section, generating many responses and donations.  
  • Work jointly with the SU2C supporters in the entertainment and sports industries to highlight pediatric cancer during September.
  • Timing the announcement of the newly awarded Innovative Research Grants for Pediatric Cancer Research for National Childhood Cancer Awareness Day, September 12. 

#2 - The Dream Teams and Grant Process

  • Coordinate and notify childhood cancer organizations about upcoming Grant Applications and Letters of Intent to ensure high quality responses from members of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology (ASPHO) and well as the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). The COG represents over 5,000 members at more than 200 hospitals nationwide who treat over 90% of children with cancer.
  • Work with SU2C to ensure representation of childhood cancer organizations, advocates and researchers on the Advocate Advisory Council and Scientific Advisory Committee.
  • Work with SU2C to organize a Pediatric Cancer Dream Team. 

#3 - The Future

  • Maintain a separate tab on the SU2C page for childhood cancer resources/links, and work with your blogger throughout the year to submit childhood cancer stories.
  • A meeting this fall to discuss the best ways for the childhood cancer community to work with you throughout the year.

We stand ready to do the ‘legwork’ and collaborate with SU2C to help raise awareness and funding for our children.  We believe that this collaboration can help all our organizations advance this important cause.   Thank you again for your offer of assistance. 


Sincerely,

Bob Piniewski – Co-Founder, People Against Childhood Cancer
Kate Shafer – Director of Advocacy, CureSearch
Jay Scott – Executive Director, Alex’s Dad, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Kathleen Ruddy – Executive Director, St. Baldrick’s Foundation
Dean Crowe – Founder and CEO, Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research
Cynthia Duncan - Executive Director, Hope Street Kids


Thank you Kate, Jay, Kathleen, Dean, Cynthia, Jane and Gillian for participating in this collaborative effort, it is my honor. Thank you to PAC2 and Care Page readers for taking the action, writing the letters, that ultimately resulted in this opportunity. And, thank you to the dreamer who thought 'One Voice United Against Childhood Cancer' was not only a good idea, but believed..... AJs Dad

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AWESOME!
This is wonderful!
AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME
Great letter! Thank you for taking the lead on this. Progress is being made!
I admit, I got a little misty eyed when I read this (and the earlier response from SU2C).. All those freaking blog posts,well our persistence is paying off. This is effing HUGE!
You are all an inspiration. I can't wait to see what's next and how to help spread the word even more!
I am still amazed daily at the accomplishments here....and just to see all of those names TOGETHER at the bottom of that email....AWESOME!

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