For thousands of children nationwide, what is supposed to be the best time of their lives comes to a screeching halt when they hear these three devastating words, “You have cancer.” Thankfully, the nonprofit Children’s Cancer Network is at the helm of an effort to help Arizona families battling the disease during their time of greatest need. Arizona Gives Day 2021 gives the community the opportunity to learn about the families battling childhood cancer and support the Children’s Cancer Network programs and services designed to fill the gaps and provide vital support during this journey.
Children’s Cancer Network is at the helm of a monumental effort to help Arizona families facing the unthinkable: childhood cancer.
The 501(c)(3) organization supports children and families throughout their cancer journeys – from the initial diagnosis well into the future – filling in the gaps where hospitals, insurance companies and other resources leave off.
The organization’s programs offer financial assistance, promote education, provide emotional and psychosocial support, encourage healthy lifestyles and create awareness of the issues they may encounter as childhood cancer survivors.
This includes grocery and gas cards to ease the financial burden of childhood cancer, wellness programs and access to two CCN fully-funded family therapists at Phoenix Children’s Hospital to address the emotional strain of the disease. CCN also distributes back-to-school backpacks and other supplies to financially distressed cancer families, share the joy of the season through its Holiday Surprises events, supply beds and other basic needs as part of our Beds and Adopt-a-Family programs, and award scholarships to heroic cancer survivors and their siblings.
CCN’s support has never been more important. That’s because every year in the United States, cancer kills more children than AIDS, asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and congenital anomalies combined.
On top of that, there are now an astounding 600,000 childhood cancer survivors in the United States who are living a new normal as a result of toxic cancer treatments.
CCN was founded in 2004 after Luttrell’s son Jeff underwent a bone marrow transplant at University Medical Center in Tucson following his battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. In the next room was a cancer family who had just lost their daughter but couldn’t afford gas to make the trek home to Phoenix. Knowing there are many families facing similar challenges, the Luttrell family wanted to turn a tragic situation into a force for good. In 2005, with proceeds from a garage sale, CCN got started in earnest. Today, the organization raises more than $1 million per year, more than 80 percent of which goes directly to Arizona cancer families.
CCN is delighted to help families during the most devastating time of their lives. But more help is needed. As such, the organization is participating in AZ Gives Day on April 6, and thanks to generous donors, donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000. The donations also will qualify for the AZ Tax Credit program.
CHILDHOOD CANCER STATS
- One in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer by their 20th
- Cancer is the No. 1 cause of death by disease among children. Nearly 16,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year.
- The good news is that the survival rate is improving (it hovers around 83 percent); there are now approximately 600,000 childhood cancer survivors nationwide. However, two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors face chronic or life-threatening secondary effects from toxic treatments.
- What’s more, the American Childhood Cancer Organization reports that 60 percent of U.S. families battling pediatric cancer spend as much as $10,000 annually on non-medical expenses, including parking, meals away from home and childcare, during their child’s treatment.
- Half of all families battling childhood pediatric children experience considerable to severe financial distress as a result of the medical and non-medical costs of fighting the disease.
Click here for more information on the Children’s Cancer Network.