This post isn’t about marketing or digital asset management. No lists, no how-tos, no tips.
Nope, instead let’s talk about National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. It wraps up today. But, obviously, the fight goes on from October through August as well. And a couple of our customers, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and St. Baldrick’s Foundation, are at the forefront of that fight.
Full disclosure: I didn’t know anything about childhood cancer when I started to write this story. Our CEO Jody Vandergriff actually broached the subject. She started her career as a research assistant at St. Jude, and the cause is near and dear to her heart. This was her explanation for why we should do the story: “It’s rare to find an organization or cause that we can all get behind, regardless of religious or political beliefs. But beating childhood cancer – that qualifies. St. Jude and St. Baldrick’s aren’t just supporting a great cause, they’re spearheading it. We should be proud that we can call them customers.”
Did you know that childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease for children in the U.S. – that’s more than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies and diabetes combined, according to St. Baldrick’s. More than 175,000 kids are diagnosed with cancer per year worldwide, yet only 4% of federal funding for cancer research is dedicated to childhood cancers.
That’s a lot of scary news to take in all at once. But take a deep breath, because there is good news.
St. Baldrick’s is fully dedicated to filling the gap in childhood cancer research. All they do is raise funds for childhood cancer research, and they do it well: with provocative fundraising efforts like Brave the Shave and the upcoming Battle of the Bald college head-shaving tournament, they’ve raised over $175 million since 2005. That’s huge!
That money goes to organizations like St. Jude, a cornerstone of childhood cancer research. Since it opened in 1962, childhood cancer survival rates have risen from 20% to 80% – no coincidence.
The hospital is the first to overcome several hurdles in childhood cancer research, including curing a patient with sickle cell disease using a bone marrow transplant and identifying important subtypes of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Super-cool thing beyond all the ground-breaking research and treatments: Families never receive a bill from St. Jude. That includes treatment, travel, housing and food.
But all that work, hospitality and heroism costs a lot of money. We’re talking $2 million a day here. And St. Jude gets 75% of its operating budget from public funds – that’s where you, National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and year-round need for funds all come together.
Are you ready to step up and help a worthy cause?