The Foundation was created in 1994 as a loving memorial to three year-old Emily, who lost a courageous 11 month battle against an inoperable brainstem tumor. The Foundation has enjoyed a consistent, heart-warming response in financial and volunteer support, and over the years we have received many thousands of contributions from generous individuals and corporations.
Each year more children die of cancer than any other illness, and “in the 1980s, pediatric brain tumors surpassed childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia as the primary cause of cancer-related deaths among children.” (Smith, M.A., et al. [1998, March]. Clinical Trials. Oncology, p. 393). For certain types of brain tumors, like the one Emily had, the mortality rate is virtually 100%.
Among those who do survive a brain tumor, the disease often has a devastating impact on day-to day life functions, because the brain is the human body’s main control center. Thus, brain tumor survivors commonly suffer permanent, debilitating effects on their cognition, movement, speech, and management of emotions.
The Foundation pays no salaries, office rent, or fundraising commissions. Except for routine operating expenses like postage, all of the funds we raise are used exclusively for pediatric medical research and supportive services projects that we believe can ameliorate or help find cures for serious childhood diseases. The Foundation places a special emphasis on providing funds for pediatric brain tumor research and supportive services, and we are one of a very few American organizations raising money for that purpose. Through 2003 the Foundation has made more than $825,000 in grants.
The Foundation is a way to honor Emily, and other children who fight bravely against tremendous odds, by a concerted effort to raise funds to support those who will find cures and provide needed supportive services for seriously ill children.