Second Annual Gala raises more than $130,000 for Pediatric Cancer Research
- September 27, 2017
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ST. LOUIS – The Kids Shouldn’t Have Cancer Foundation in Memory of Jonny Wade raised more than $130,000 for pediatric cancer research at its second annual gala to support the foundation’s mission to conquer pediatric cancer through research and advocacy.
The Kids Shouldn’t Have Cancer Foundation is a nonprofit organization created in memory of eight-year-old Jonny Wade who passed away on Dec. 24, 2015 after a year-long battle with cancer. Despite his circumstances, Jonny believed he could – and should – make a difference for other children affected by cancer. His wish that no kid should have cancer inspired his parents Kimberly and Jon Wade to establish the foundation.
“We are beyond humbled and thankful for this amazing show of support to honor Jonny’s wish that no other kid should have cancer,” said Kimberly Wade, Jonny’s mother and foundation founder and president. “We will put these funds directly into the hands of those working hard to make a difference for those impacted by pediatric cancer.”
Tim Ezell, co-host of “The Thread” on KTVI, hosted the event, which was held during the nationally designated Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Guest speakers for the gala were Kimberly Wade and Washington University School of Medicine, Pediatric Oncologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital Dr. Todd Druely. Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis also attended.
Every year, the foundation honors a family impacted by cancer at the gala. This year the foundation honored four families: Colten Skinner, survivor of childhood cancer and diagnosed at 17 years old; Sam Biggs, who passed away from childhood cancer at six years old on Jan. 28, 2015; Leo Fleming, who passed away from childhood cancer at three years old on Aug. 4, 2017; and Jonny Wade, who passed away at eight years old on Dec. 24, 2015.
September is designated as National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to educate Americans that although cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death for children younger than 15 years of age in the U.S., pediatric cancer research is drastically underfunded. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) allots only four percent of its budget for childhood cancers, and pediatric cancer treatments aren’t a focus for pharmaceutical research.
The Kids Shouldn’t Have Cancer Foundation works to raise public awareness of these funding issues, influence organizations that allocate federal cancer research funding, improve access to and awareness of clinical trials for families facing pediatric cancer, and fund pediatric cancer research for treatments and cures.