10 Non-Profits You Can Support on World Cancer Day
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide. In the 1970s, just 25% of people survived — today, that figure has dropped by half.
February 4 is World Cancer Day, an annual event that is vital to raising awareness and strengthening community morale in the wake of such a devastating illness. And thanks to donations raised in its name, funding bodies are able to detect earlier, diagnose faster and ultimately prevent people from suffering.
On World Cancer Day, we’d like to take some time to spotlight ten incredible non-profits who are using Charitable to raise awareness of cancer, fund research and support cancer survivors.
What is World Cancer Day?
Led by the UICC (the Union for International Cancer Control), World Cancer Day is an initiative globally supported across 162 countries, raising awareness of all kinds of cancer. Donations raised go directly to their research initiatives – from understanding more about brain tumors to stopping skin cancer in its tracks.
This is the UICC’s powerful statement behind World Cancer Day.
No single person, organization or country is going to beat cancer on its own. We must all work together to make faster progress on our goal of 3 in 4 people surviving cancer by 2034.
Over the past 40 years survival has doubled, thanks to the great progress research has made.
Cancer is undoubtedly one of the biggest global threats to human health – but today, we know more about it than ever before. Thanks to these developments and innovations, there’s been extraordinary breakthroughs in scientific knowledge, medicine, causes and diagnostics.
We’re always humbled to see the ways in which organizations use Charitable to raise money for important work. The non-profits below are no exception, working hard to raise awareness, fund research and help cancer survivors recover and thrive.
Cancer Ninjas was started by Mike, who after beating the illness himself, tragically lost his wife to breast cancer. His non-profit raises funds for all types of cancers, hence his lavender theme, and 100% of donations go to Cancer Research UK, which performs research and prevention both at a national and regional level.
World Cancer Day is a chance to unite in the fight against cancer: every Unity Band worn, every pound or dollar donated, and every gesture of support plays an important part in beating cancer sooner.Mike, founder of Cancer Ninjas.
Cancer Ninjas offer wonderful fundraising initiatives, encouraging supporters to run their own events and spread the word – whether that’s through a charity ball or a winter run.
“So many people out there resonate with loss and suffering from cancer – and it’s wonderful that we can come together and make a difference,” adds Mike. “World Cancer Day is a chance to unite in the fight against cancer: every Unity Band worn, every pound or dollar donated, and every gesture of support plays an important part in beating cancer sooner.”
Cheryl Kay Stawovy and her sister Kathi Kay Lenhart ran a successful business, but then together changed course and became franchise owners of a local senior home-care company. Soon after this transition, they were concerned by what they saw there: seniors having a low quality of life and lack of independence because assisted living was too expensive, and they didn’t qualify for state benefits. In response, they started dedicating their time to help people in these home care facilities.
Too many people who needed help couldn’t afford it. We wanted to do something to help those in need and honor Cheryl.Lynne Kay, Director of Development at Cheryl Kay Foundation
Then, tragically, Cheryl Kay Stawovy was diagnosed with cancer and lost her battle in 2013. With such a legacy left behind, a foundation was created in her name to ensure her life’s passion lived on.
“It wasn’t Cheryl’s battle with cancer that inspired this foundation,” says Lynne Kay, Cheryl Kay Foundation’s Director of Development and Cheryl’s sister-in-law. “We wanted to honor her life and keep her memory alive … Too many people who needed help couldn’t afford it. We wanted to do something to help those in need and honor Cheryl.”
Cure Our Ovarian Cancer is New Zealand-operated and works with other charities to raise funds for low-grade serous ovarian cancer research: a particular type of ovarian cancer affecting around 100,000 women world-wide.
Approximately half of all cancer deaths are due to rare cancers – but they receive just 13.5% of all research funding.Jane Ludemann, founder of Cure Ovarian Cancer
When founder Jane was diagnosed in 2017 at 32 years old, there was very little research funding to help. But in the year and a half, Cure Our Ovarian Cancer has raised over $120,000 USD (equivalent) for research world-wide.
“There was a huge unmet need — the women with this cancer are really grateful to have an organization advocating on their behalf for change. And the public have been really receptive to the injustice of the situation and generous in their support to make a difference through research.
On World Cancer Day I really want to draw attention to the fact that approximately half of all cancer deaths are due to rare cancers – but they receive just 13.5% of all research funding. So actually, rare cancers are everyone’s problem. If you haven’t this year, please give your support to research a rare cancer — dollar for dollar, the impact is huge.”
All money raised for Cure Our Ovarian Cancer works to support some of the best low-grade serous researchers in the world to find a cure.
Did you know that over 300,000 children will be diagnosed with pediatric cancer worldwide every year? Despite the fact that this illness is the leading cause of death by disease for children, only 4% of NCI funding goes towards pediatric cancer research.
The Kids Shouldn’t Have Cancer Foundation began because of seven-year-old Johnny Wade.
Here is his story.
“In December of 2014, Jonny was looking forward to Christmas with the anticipation and excitement you would expect from a 7-year-old. He lived in Illinois, with his parents, twin brother Jacky and the family dog, Lucy.
A week before Christmas, Jonny got a headache at school. It went away, but it was bad enough that he mentioned it at home. His headaches continued, then got worse, and in the span of just eight days, he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Just days after Christmas, Jonny underwent a five-hour brain surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible.
Over the next year, Jonny endured four more brain surgeries, as well as eye surgeries, surgical port accesses, feeding tube insertions, radiation therapy.”
Despite all their families’ prayers and hopes, Johnny tragically lost his life on Christmas Eve 2014. Before he passed away, he said: “I don’t want any other kid to have cancer.” And thus, his foundation was born.
Live For Lily was also founded upon the tragic death of a child — 8 year old Lily, who was diagnosed with an extremely rare type of liver cancer in 2013. Her parents, not wanting any other families to go through the pain of losing their child to cancer, set up the charity to honor her name and treasure her memory.
Every dollar raised through their charity goes directly to the Children’s Cancer Institute in support of their Zero Childhood Cancer program, a unique personalized medicine program for children with cancer. You can get involved in supporting them by doing a sponsored run, a bike ride, or another type of event like a Butterfly Ball. This extraordinary charity has so far raised over $1 million.
Established in 2000, this non-profit provides free professional emotional support, practical help and information to cancer patients, their carers and loved ones. Their annual event fundraiser brings together local and international communities with their “Dragon Boat Festival”, showing the benefits of exercise while raising money for a good cause.
The boat race dates back to 1996, where Dr. Donald McKenzie originally organized a dragon boat team made up of breast cancer survivors. His aim was to prevent lymphedema, which is when limbs swell due to removal of or damage to lymph nodes during surgery. His studies showed that this non-weight bearing exercise was beneficial to post-treatment health – a theory that went against beliefs at the time – and dragon boating in particular was ideal for his breast cancer patients whose active treatment had ended.
Today, the invitation to take part is extended — but the tribute to breast cancer victims remains the same.
Florida-based Pensacola Breast Cancer Association has raised approximately $650,000 USD to local healthcare organizations that align with their mission: to raise money for education, screening and diagnosis of breast cancer for the local under-insured patient population.
Some of the funds raised are donated straight to hospitals, which provide free mammograms to women (and some men) who aren’t insured or whose insurance doesn’t cover the cost. So far, it’s given 1,450 free diagnostic mammography screenings.
This non-profit is passionate about fundraising through events like their Ribbons of Hope Breast Cancer Awareness ball – which this year, celebrates its tenth anniversary.
So Brave, Australia’s Young Women’s Breast Cancer Charity, is on a mission to empower young breast cancer survivors and educate the next generation of young women to change their futures — encouraging more women to be #BreastAware. By buying their extraordinary calendars, modeled by brave women baring all in unique, stunning body paint, you’re helping to support this mission.
All the models that appear in the annual So Brave Breast Cancer Calendar are real volunteers, all diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 40. Their courage in bearing all and beating cancer serves as a real inspiration.
Kat Thompson, who took part in last year’s So Brave calendar, picked up the calendar during her first chemotherapy appointment and found solace in seeing the smiling women on the pages who had survived a similar journey to her own.
“I was feeling very down, but looking at these women gave me hope and showed that there was life after breast cancer.”
Those going through thyroid, head or neck cancer may experience a change in voice, speech, swallow function, as well as a hindered quality of life if undergoing treatment. Thanks to the THANC (Thyroid, Head and Neck Cancer) Foundation, research and support for those undergoing treatment is more readily available.
Apart from being a major fundraiser for research in this area, funding treatment, therapies and diagnosis, it also focuses on community awareness and education as well as patient outreach and support initiatives. THANC has partnered up with two initiatives to develop research and support patients in every part of their journey — one being the Thyroid Care Collaborative (TCC), and the other, The Head and Neck Cancer Guide.
Their Faces of Courage project also shines a light on individuals who have shown remarkable courage in their journeys, sharing their stories to comfort and inspire others going through the same thing.
Founder Pam Whitehead says that when she was diagnosed 20 years ago, the support landscape was vastly different, which is partly why she began Triumph Found.
Witnessing the effects of the various cancer treatments my family experienced opened my eyes to the special challenges we as survivors face ‘post-cancer’. Cancer treatment, whether it be radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery has a tremendous impact on a person’s physical well-being. Regaining strength and stamina lost during treatment is essential to resume life and have a sense of control again.Pam Whitehead, founder of Triumph Cancer Foundation
She poured her efforts into creating a peer support group, encouraging people to get out and exercise together — be it for a fundraiser, or for just grouping together and getting active. They even plan summit trips for hiker beginners and train for 5K runs!
We’re in the fight against cancer — together.
Many of these foundations were started by people who lost loved ones to cancer, or experienced the illness themselves. By supporting any one of these causes, you’re directly benefiting people who’ve had their lives stricken by cancer. It’s vital that we’re all in it together in the fight against cancer.
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