The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity, is observing Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month this September. The V Foundation has awarded more than $40 million in pediatric cancer research grants. The newly established Vitale Pediatric Cancer Fund will honor long-time Board member Dick Vitale and his wife Lorraine for their enthusiasm and fundraising for pediatric cancer research. All future V Foundation pediatric grants will be awarded through this fund.
Just four percent of federal cancer research funding is dedicated to pediatric cancer, and more than 15,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed among U.S. children in 2018. Private funding is a critical component of advancing research for childhood cancers. The V Foundation is bridging the gap in order to prevent and treat cancer in children.
“Dollars are desperately needed to help eliminate the cancers that create a nightmare for so many beautiful young people and their families,” said Vitale. “Today, and every day, approximately 40 moms and dads are hearing, ‘Your child has cancer.’ We must all unite in our efforts to see that our pediatric oncologists have the necessary tools to help our children battling this dreaded disease.”
Vitale hosts an annual Gala every May, and this year’s event raised a record $4.3 million. In addition to Vitale, many V Foundation partners focus their fundraising efforts on pediatrics.
The V Foundation and WWE are in the fourth year of their partnership to raise money for pediatric cancer research through Connor’s Cure. Founded by WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon and WWE Executive Vice President Talent, Live Events & Creative Paul “Triple H” Levesque, Connor’s Cure was established in honor of an 8-year-old WWE fan, Connor Michalek, who battled medulloblastoma, a rare tumor that affects the brain and spinal cord. To date, Connor’s Cure has raised nearly $3 million. WWE also sells Connor’s Cure merchandise through their online WWE Shop, to benefit pediatric cancer research funded through the V Foundation. For more information on Connor’s Cure, please visit v.org/connor.
“Pediatric cancer is devastating,” said Susan Braun, CEO of the V Foundation. “The V Foundation is intent upon propelling the science to find cures for kids with cancer. The remarkable partners and donors who have stepped up and leaned in are the inspiration and the fuel for this important progress.”
Working with Major League Baseball players on both coasts, the V Foundation has teamed up with Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants and Trea Turner of the Washington Nationals to raise funds for pediatric cancer research. Posey and his wife Kristen have partnered with the V Foundation since 2016, raising more than $1 million for pediatric cancer research. Turner and his wife Kristen, both former athletes at NC State University, learned about Jim Valvano and the V Foundation and wanted to continue the legacy of the former Wolfpack coach. Fans can join the players’ campaigns through Pledge It to help raise funds for pediatric cancer research. Posey is donating $1,500 for every RBI he has this season, and Turner is donating $500 for every stolen base.
In addition to these initiatives, Applebee’s Restaurants Mid-Atlantic has donated more than $1.6 million since 2006 for pediatric cancer through its March Hoops Fundraiser. Each March, guests at Applebee’s restaurants across North Carolina are invited to participate in the annual March Hoops Fundraiser. For each $1 donation, fans receive a paper basketball to decorate in the spirit of their favorite school. Just last month, an $80,000 donation to pediatric cancer research was presented from Applebee’s Restaurants Mid-Atlantic, the local group operating Applebee’s restaurants in North and South Carolina.