EJF's Mission and Purpose
The Ethan Jostad Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit charity, was established in 2011 in the memory of our son who was taken from us by childhood cancer on August 8th of the same year. Ethan had a huge smile and the ability to make friends with everyone, no matter what age. He brought people together and made a difference in their lives. He continues to do so through his foundation. We will encourage and empower everyone to get involved and make a difference in childhood cancer.
We will keep Ethan’s spirit and smile alive by raising awareness and providing support to the children and families affected by childhood cancer. Our foundation is supported by an active Board of Directors operating solely on a volunteer basis. Our activities and events are made possible by volunteers and donations from businesses and the public at large.
Our goal is to provide emotional and financial support to children and families affected by childhood cancer. Our foundation is very involved in the lives and progress of the children and the families we support. Our goal is to bring smiles to the faces of kids battling cancer, along with love, hope, and support to the entire family.
Childhood cancer is the most destructive disease affecting children, adolescents, and their families in the United States. It is the leading cause of death of children under the age of 15 and is responsible for more deaths than many other diseases combined. Childhood cancer is not rare. Every year 1 in 300 boys and 1 in 333 girls will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20. On average, 36 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every single day.
Despite these facts, scientific and medical research into childhood cancer remains significantly underfunded. We know the key to change starts with awareness, advocacy, and action and we intend to be a part of that change on all fronts. To fight this disease a combination of emotional, financial, and medical support is needed. At the Ethan Jostad Foundation our mission is to provide that support at every level.
RESEARCH FOR CURES
Scientific and medical research for childhood cancer lags far behind significantly compared with adult cancers. Adult cancer research has virtually no benefit to pediatric patients because the disease manifests and behaves much differently in kids as compared to adults. The budget of the National Institute of Health, the largest provider of funding for cancer research, allocates just 3.8% of its annual budget to pediatric cancer research.
At the Ethan Jostad Foundation we believe children are our future and we know they are worth far more than 3.8%.We support cutting edge research that focuses on pediatric and adolescent cancers. To date we have contributed more then $25,000 to The Keller Laboratory at Oregon Health Science University. The funds raised by our foundation have led to peer-reviewed medical studies and opinions for the journal Oncogene that have been accepted and published. In August of 2013 funding provided by our foundation, along with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, contributed to a study published in Molecular Cancer Research that focuses on the behavior of growth factor receptors in a rare form of sarcoma cancer found in children called alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. This is the type of cancer that took our son Ethan from us and has historically received little in research funding.
Our primary focus for research funding is to increase the attention given to childhood cancers that have very high mortality rates, but that also receive little in research dollars, or that have made little to no progress in treatment advances. Many of these childhood cancers are considered terminal upon diagnosis. We need your help to change that!
One way we can make an impact and bring smiles is by sending toy packages to children who are in active treatment. We also include siblings who are fighting along side the diagnosed child by providing them with toys as well because we know this disease has an impact on the entire family. Our toy packages are made possible because of our on-going toy drive and through public donations. It brings us comfort to know that Ethan continues to bring a smile to the faces of so many kids who are fighting this disease.
Our foundation provides financial aid and support to Oregon families who have children impacted by childhood cancer. We know first hand what cancer can do to a family’s financial stability. In many cases one or both parents may need to stop working to care for their child who is in treatment. We know how quickly the medical bills add up and that insurance does not cover every expense. Many families do not have insurance at all and we know how this presents an even greater challenge. Our foundation provides financial support to local families who have children in active treatment. We also partner with Sparrow Clubs USA to sponsor children and help fundraise for those in need.