Since 2012, September has been recognized as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Not only does Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer (WOKC) celebrate advances in treatment, survival rates, and compassionate care, but the pediatric cancer nonprofit organization also raises significant funds and awareness for those affected by this disease. Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer offers comfort and hope to kids with cancer through support programs serving the entire family and funds innovative research leading to new discoveries and treatments in the fight against pediatric cancer.
Warrior Family Program: The Warrior Family Program is a unique program which provides fun and free events throughout the year giving hope and support to these mighty Warriors (children fighting cancer) and their families. All family members enjoy amusement venues, sporting events, holiday parties, and other social engagement activities … “medicine for the soul,” as parents describe. The Warrior program also offers many opportunities for families to spend time with other families facing similar challenges.
Buddy Bags: One of WOKC’s most popular programs is the Buddy Bags, which equips families with essential items for hospital stays, many of which are unexpected. Each year thousands of families receive the devastating news that their child has cancer. A Buddy Bag is a sturdy rolling suitcase given to pediatric cancer patients admitted for an overnight stay in a WOKC partnering hospital. Filled with carefully selected toiletries, electronics, comfort items, and entertainment activities, they are designed to ease the transition from home or pediatrician’s office to the hospital. As part of WOKC’s strategic plan, the Buddy Bag program has launched in other Texas cities and in the U.S.
Kris Cumnock, CEO, says, “My favorite Buddy Bag item is the iPad because of the myriad of uses for the kids while in the hospital. It provides entertainment options, the ability to communicate with friends and family, and it allows them to keep up with schoolwork.”
As of August 2023, Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer Buddy Bags are in the following hospitals:
North Texas: Medical City Children’s Hospital (Dallas), Children’s Medical Center Dallas, Children’s Medical Center Plano, and Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.
San Antonio: Christus Children’s, Methodist Children’s Hospital, and University Children’s Health. New Jersey: Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.
Research Funding: WOKC has been funding novel pediatric cancer research projects for over four decades. WOKC’s Scientific Medical Research Committee carefully analyzes, scores, selects, and processes research grants that might not receive traditional funding but will advance treatments with fewer side effects and will lead to increased survival rates. To date, WOKC has funded over $8 million in promising innovative research that has yielded over $22 million in additional grant money from the National Cancer Institute and other significant cancer-funding organizations. Since its humble beginnings, WOKC has funded a wide range of national research projects in almost every pediatric cancer category as well as critical programs in supportive cancer care for children.Visit the website for detailed Research Funding Projects: https://www.wokc.org/research
Matching Grant: North Texas Giving Day: WOKC has a $25,000 matching grant to incentivize people to donate on North Texas Giving Day. WOKC is also spearheading a few new programs, including the Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer Fundraising Challenge, Kids Helping Kids. The student council of participating schools will decide which fundraising activities they would like to host and how they would like to be involved. As of July 2023, participating high schools are Denton Braswell, Highland Park, Pottsboro, Rockwall Heath, and Southlake. More may be added as the school year progresses.
Cindy Brinker Simmons, WOKC founder, said, “My life was touched by the loss of my mother to cancer when I was 12, so I made it my mission to do whatever I could to serve others and to provide hope for those facing this disease. WOKC is focused on helping unlock the mysteries of pediatric cancer and encouraging our valiant young heroes and their amazing families every step of the journey. Onward we go!”
Learn more about Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer’s ongoing research, programs and activities, and how your involvement can help at www.wokc.org
*Photo by Rob Wythe/Wythe Portrait Studio
(Sharon Adams, Adams Communications Public Relations, is honored to represent Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer and post this Philanthropy Lifestyles eBuzz.)