Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cookies for Kids' Cancer Announces $700,000 in Grants to Five Leading Pediatric Cancer Research Centers

For those of you who were interested in keeping tabs on Cookies for Kids' Cancer, the charity we supported with our May Bake Sale, here's the latest update from them:

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer announced $700,000 in grants to support the development of new treatments in the fight against pediatric cancer. The funds will go to five institutions across the country for clinical research to accelerate new therapies to the clinic in the form trials that show great promise in the treatment of pediatric cancers.

The current grant cycle released awards in four areas – Acute Lymphatic Leukemia, Langerhans Cell Histiocytis, brain tumors, and soft tissue tumors including Neuroblastoma, one of the deadliest forms of pediatric cancer which accounts for 15 percent of all pediatric cancer deaths. Awards go to five research centers: Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Today pediatric cancer is the number one disease killer of children under the age of 18 in the U.S. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s grants are awarded through the foundation’s Medical Advisory Board which is comprised of top researchers in the field of pediatric cancer from the nation’s leading pediatric cancer research institutions.

“Philanthropy plays a critical and essential role in the ongoing battle against childhood cancer,”
commented Dr. John Maris of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of the Cookies for Kids’
Cancer Medical Advisory Board. “Philanthropic investment in key pediatric cancer research programs
will provide the essential catalyst to make more discoveries and move them to improving cure rates as
quickly as possible, and a partnership between researchers and ‘investors’ in this mission will be critical
to expand in order to make a difference now.”

"Our focus is on funding the most promising clinical trials," Cookies for Kids' Cancer Founder Gretchen Witt said. "We have always believed that if people learn about the need for funding, they will support the cause. These grants represent the support of thousands of people who have held bake sales, bought cookies and believed, like we do, that we can and will make a difference in the lives of children battling cancer. We are very excited about the possibilities these therapies hold and look forward to seeing them move from the lab to the clinic as quickly as possible."

These grants represent the first of two grant cycles for 2011. The foundation plans to award additional grants in September in recognition of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was founded in 2008 by Gretchen and Larry Witt who were inspired by their son Liam’s courageous battle against pediatric cancer. After learning about the lack of effective therapies, the Witts pledged to support the development of new and less toxic treatments by giving people a simple way to get involved. Through Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, individuals, communities and businesses are inspired to join the fight by hosting bake sales and other events to get involved in pediatric cancer research. Tragically, the Witts’ son Liam came to the end of his four year battle with cancer earlier this year.