According to Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer CEO Kris Cumnock,
“The best part of my job is hearing a parent say how much Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer has helped their family – and particularly their child with cancer. Since 1980, WOKC has offered 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. The holistic approach we take to pediatric cancer allows our organization to fight the disease, while assisting these brave kids and their families throughout their journey. Our approach features three primary initiatives.
“WOKC funds novel pediatric cancer innovations that lead to advancements in treatment outcomes. Furthermore, our Science and Medical Research Committee carefully analyzes, scores, and selects cutting-edge research projects that might not initially receive traditional funding. WOKC has significantly impacted the pediatric cancer space by funding over $8 million in pioneering research. This seed money has yielded more than $22 million in grant money from large cancer organizations like the National Cancer Institute. While we are relentlessly searching for a cure, the significance of increased survival rates, less invasive treatments, and prevention of harmful side effects are also reasons why research is critical.
“At WOKC, we refer to pediatric cancer patients as ‘Warriors’ and the WOKC Warrior Family Programs are designed to allow Warriors and their families an opportunity to connect and share information, challenges, and victories with other families who are facing the same pediatric cancer challenges. These opportunities allow important emotional support bonds to be formed. The Warrior Family Programs also foster re-connections within each family by providing fun and unique opportunities that serve as a brief respite from their battle with cancer. Between hospital visits, families enjoy amusement venues, sporting events, concerts, parent nights out, a holiday party, and other social engagement activities.
“Our Buddy Bag Program has been a WOKC hallmark for decades. A Child Life Specialist at Cook Children’s recently stated, ‘Giving a Buddy Bag is the best part of my job.’ Many times, a cancer diagnosis is suspected at a doctor’s office or in the ER. The parent(s) and child are immediately sent to a children’s hospital to begin tests – which can take several days. There is no time to return home to pack a bag, so there you are – in a hospital room with your child, a pediatric cancer diagnosis, and not much else. If a child is sent to a WOKC partnering hospital, that changes the moment the Child Life staff member rolls a Buddy Bag (a sturdy canvas rolling suitcase) into the room. The bag is strategically filled with hygienic, comfort, and entertainment items designed to ease the transition from home to hospital. While parents are thankful for the toiletry items, blanket, and pillow, the kids are ecstatic when they pull out the new iPad and wireless ear buds. The iPad allows for the patients to Facetime friends and family, download school assignments, and download entertainment to watch during cancer treatments.
“We hope you will choose to assist us in this fight against pediatric cancer and in our efforts to provide hope and comfort to these sweet children and their families. We need you on our team – these kids and their families need you on our team. Visit www.wokc.org and see how you can make a difference in a child’s life.”