The Ethan Jostad Foundation for Childhood Cancer (EJF), a 501c3 non-profit charity dedicated to providing support to children and families affected by childhood cancer, announced today its fundraising initiatives for 2016 as well as a new technology platform to engage those who would like to help the foundation improve the lives of children diagnosed with cancer.
The foundation has three primary fundraising initiatives to help improve the lives of children struggling with cancer:
Funding Research For Difficult To Treat Pediatric Cancers
Pediatric cancer is the number one disease killer of children in the United States, yet it currently receives very little in government and private sector research funding when compared with adult cancers. There is a smaller group of pediatric cancers which have poor prognosis or that have seen very little in funding or progress in scientific research. The primary focus for EJF is to close the funding gap for these particular childhood cancers. EJF will identify and provide grants to scientific researchers whose focus is centered on the following cancer types:
- Childhood Sarcomas such as:
- Ewing's Sarcoma
- Clear Cell Sarcoma
- Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor (DSRCT)
- Brain Tumors such as:
- Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG)
- Primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNET)
- Germ Cell tumors, and others.
- Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Providing Financial Assistance
Childhood cancer impacts the entire family, not just the child who has been diagnosed. Parents and siblings of the diagnosed child also experience financial hardship. The foundation will continue to provide financial assistance to families in Oregon who are facing childhood cancer. EJF works with the child’s physician and hospital social worker to understand the financial needs of the family and then provides financial assistance where it is needed. The goal is to lessen the financial burden on families who are struggling as their children undergo treatment.
Care Packages and Outreach Programs For Diagnosed Children
In our mission to improve the lives of children facing cancer, one of our goals is to provide emotional support. One way we accomplish this is by sending toy and care packages to children who are in active treatment. Because childhood cancer affects the entire family, we also include siblings in our toy and care packages.
“In 2016 our focus is to continue to provide funding for childhood cancers that receive little in research dollars or that have made little progress in their treatment and prognosis,” said Kimberly Jostad, Co-President and Founder of the Ethan Jostad Foundation. “Many of these cancers, such as Astrocytomas and DIPG brain tumors, are actually considered terminal upon diagnosis. Others, like Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, Neuroblastoma, and Acute Myeloid Leukemia, are considered incurable if the cancer relapses or comes back. We want to change those statistics by funding much needed research for these cancer types.”
To help fund these initiatives, the Ethan Jostad Foundation is also launching a new fundraising platform on their website that allows its supporters to get involved and raise funds on their behalf.
“We’re really excited about the new fundraising and donation platform on our website,” said Chris Jostad, Co-President and Founder of EJF. “It allows anyone who wants to donate or fundraise on our behalf to do so.” He added, “We’ve had so many people offer to run fundraisers for us in the past – everything from running marathons, to bake sales, to penny drives – but we’ve never had an effective tool or platform to help them raise those funds. This new platform is amazing and integrates with social media to allow for what is known as peer-2-peer and team fundraising. It also supports employer matching to allow for corporate donor matching. We’re really looking forward to seeing what everyone can do with it so we can raise more funds and help more kids and families fighting this disease.”
ABOUT THE ETHAN JOSTAD FOUNDATION FOR CHILDHOOD CANCER
The Ethan Jostad Foundation was established by Kim and Chris Jostad in October of 2011 in the memory of their son Ethan, who passed away at the young age of 9 from Stage IV Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive form of soft tissue sarcoma cancer. During his two year battle with cancer, Ethan's story became an inspiration to hundreds of thousands of people and opened the eyes of many to the plight of children and families who are impacted by pediatric cancer.
The mission of the Ethan Jostad Foundation for Childhood Cancer is to continue Ethan's legacy by providing love, hope, and support to the children and families who continue to fight every day. In addition to funding cutting-edge pediatric cancer research, the foundation brings smiles to the faces of children fighting cancer by providing toy and care packages to children who are in active treatment, and by providing much needed financial assistance to those families in Oregon.
The Ethan Jostad Foundation was voted a Top Charity in 2012 by Chase Community Giving and actively supports and partners with other childhood cancer charities and organizations with the singular goal of finding cures.