Cure to the Kids – Helping Raise Awareness About Pediatric Cancer
This week’s Cause of the week is Cure to the Kids.
They are raising awareness about pediatric cancer as well as raise much needed funding for the NMTRC through the sale of holiday photo cards. The artwork featured on Cure to the Kids holiday photo cards has been created by a nationwide group of pediatric cancer patients, by artists, and by siblings of pediatric cancer patients who are greatly impacted by the disease. One hundred percent of proceeds directly benefit the NMTRC.
A Cure to the Kids seeks to fill some of the large gaps in pediatric cancer research funding. Our goal is to raise money to support relevant research and clinical trials with physicians and researchers who can help make a difference in survival today. We believe the NMTRC, a national consortium of 10 nationwide hospitals and universities with researchers collaborating for a cure for pediatric cancers with abysmal survival rates, is leading the way to make this aspiration a reality.
This consortium shares our belief that while these children have been incurable historically, they do not have to be incurable forever.
ONE HUNDRED percent of proceeds benefit pediatric cancer research.
A very cool cause! Look out for their tweets coming from our twitter account this week! ( a perk of being the cause of the week) and make sure to follow them on Twitter
How did the whole idea come about?
Four years ago, I learned that a classmate from high school had a son who was diagnosed with cancer(read about it in a local newspaper story). I began following his story through a blog, www.willlacey.com, and from there also began reading the blogs of numerous other children who were also diagnosed with the same cancer, Neuroblastoma. Each one has made a lasting impact on my life. Tragically, only one of the children whose lives I began following 4 years ago is still alive. Their families’ lives and hearts are forever shattered.
I attended fundraisers through Friends of Will/Beat NB.org aimed at collecting money to help fund pediatric cancer research and clinical trials, but I wanted to do more. However, I did not know what to do….until this past summer.
For the past few years, Pat Lacey, the founder of Friends of Will has expressed the desire (via his blog) to have a holiday card line. In late August, I contacted him and volunteered to look into creating holiday cards to raise much needed funds for kids with cancer. The idea further evolved, and in a very short time, after I did much research, sent countless emails and made phone calls, it all came together. I have never worked harder on anything, and I have never enjoyed any “job” more than I have this.
Through Face Book, email, and Will’s blog, we requested pediatric cancer patients nationwide to send me winter or holiday themed art. Artwork was emailed and mailed to me, and from there, the art was sent to a graphic design artist who volunteered to format the cards. I was also fortunate to partner with an online printing company (www.iprintfromhome.com) that has been in business since 1979 to process all orders and shipping of the cards.
Why is this cause close to your heart? Why should other support it?
This cause is near and dear to my heart because I am a parent, and I know that there is nothing more important than our own children. I am fortunate to have two healthy children, but I have watched numerous families torn apart by cancer. I do not understand why, in this day and age, children are dying due to the lack of funding. Together, we as a society need to come together to help change the outcome for these kids. There are many diseases today that were once thought incurable. It just takes the right people and enough money to make it happen. Every child deserves a lifetime.
Do you have any other events or fundraisers that you would like others to know about?
Friends of Will is also hosting Cure me I’m, Irish on March 5th: http://www.willlacey.com/2010/03/70000.html
Last year, this event raised $ 70,000 locally and also inspired other towns/communities to do the same, bringing the grand total up to around 115,000 that was sent to the NMTRC.org
What advice would you give to others that might like to take on such an amazing endeavor?
Advice to others: take the risk and jump in with both feet! I have been amazed at the ways this project has helped me to grow. I am learning new things each day and coming in contact with other amazing people who are willing to donate their time and talents for this important cause. You do not have to have all the answer or be able to do it all yourself. When you are doing a good thing for others, somehow the right doors open to make it all possible. As a volunteer, you get back so much more than you give, and I am so grateful to be a part of the search for a cure.
How has social media helped your organization?
Social media has helped me to connect with people to make this project possible. It helped me to network to find kids to donate art as well as find graphic designers to do the layout and design of the cards. The social media is also key in working on the promotion phase, which is CRITICAL to our success. My goal is to make connections with others who have the same goal: to save kids lives. Rather than compete with each other, we can work together, support each other’s projects, share information and ideas, and make a much bigger difference in the long run.
What do you have planned for the future of Cure to The Kids?
For the future of Cure to the Kids, we are looking to expand the current product line to include other celebrations of life. We are also investigating other types as cards as well as other product lines. I am also hoping to increase our corporate sponsorship.