Goals & Awareness For Childhood Cancer
The Triumph Over Kid Cancer foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children with cancer by raising their spirits, raising the public’s awareness, and funding research to improve the treatment and survivability of pediatric cancers.
Children with cancer often suffer not just from the physical effects of their disease, but from the isolation which comes from being apart and disconnected – from friends, from siblings, and from normalcy in their lives.
One thing James learned during his fight was that spending time with other cancer patients was an incredible way to build strength and spirit to help maintain the courage to continue fighting through the grueling cancer treatments. Because of this, TOKC provides activities and opportunities for pediatric cancer patients to socialize, enjoy events, and bond with those who know what being a kid with cancer is like.
TOKC continues to bring the dreams of kids with cancer to life. Sometimes just having the chance to be a kid again, even for a few days, is enough to give you the strength and hope to survive.
Early detection greatly improves the survivability of pediatric cancers, but because they are uncommon, and because their symptoms are often similar to other symptoms children have like athletic pains, growing pains etc., it is easy for pediatric cancers to go undiagnosed for quite some time. Therefore, TOKC provides education about the signs, symptoms and diagnosis of various pediatric cancers.
We believe that by promoting early detection, we can make a meaningful and immediate impact on survivability rates while growing the community of people who take an interest in the cause of curing pediatric cancers.
To date, TOKC has funded over $3 million dollars of research into pediatric cancers through our partnership with M.D Anderson in the Children’s Sarcoma Project. Every dollar we raised was matched dollar for dollar by M.D. Anderson. Research project are selected by a governing committee which includes three doctors from M.D. Anderson and a board member of TOKC.
In 2013, we launched our second major initiative with M.D. Anderson, the of The Childhood Genomic Research And Sequencing Project (GRASP). GRASP is providing funds for whole genome sequencing for pediatric cancers.
As with other types of research, little work has been done in whole genome sequencing for pediatric orphan cancers due to the cost, yet genome sequencing is one of the most promising steps to providing key underlying knowledge and understanding into potential pathways to cures. Thus, TOKC has partnered with M.D. Anderson to launch GRASP which will provide longitudinal whole genome sequencing for childhood cancers. This is an ambitious project which holds great promise for the future. As with the Children’s Sarcoma Initiative, which we will still fund, M.D. Anderson has agreed to match the first $1.5 million dollars for this project dollar for dollar.
Finally, one of the things James learned while going through cancer was that the physical and emotional toll that cancer takes on children can be devastating, and anything that brings some joy and laughter to them and their families is an invaluable resource. It helps to build strength and spirit to maintain the courage to continue fighting through the grueling cancer treatments. Therefore, we also support organizations that bring joy and improve the lives of children with cancer, as well as local children’s hospitals who care for cancer kids and their families daily.
For several years, due to hard work by many volunteers, 100% of funds raised went directly to the activities listed above without administrative expenses. Due to the growth and complexity of our work though, we have begun to incur some administrative costs. It is our goal to always keep those costs below 10% so that more than 90 cents on every dollar does to meet the goals listed above.
Thank you for the overwhelming support you have shown for James in the past. James (and all of us as well) always wanted pediatric cancer to stop with him. While tragically that did not happen, the endless love and support shown for him and TOKC over the past few years has made a tremendous impact on pediatric cancer. While it didn’t stop with James, we know that his work through this foundation will eventually Triumph Over Kid Cancer.