News

The V Foundation and Festival of Children Foundation Announce Joint Grant for Neuroblastoma Research

The V Foundation to Match Carousel of Possible Dreams’ Donation in Memory of Lacey Holsworth

The V Foundation for Cancer Research, one of the nation’s leading funding organizations, is pleased to announce a new funding collaboration with Festival of Children Foundation’s Carousel of Possible Dreams benefiting the Friends of Cathryn Foundation (FRoC).  The joint effort will support a grant titled New Approaches in Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT) Consortium (www.nant.org) for neuroblastoma research.  Throughout September, The Carousel of Possible Dreams will raise funds toward the grant, which The V Foundation will match up to $250,000.  The matched funds were raised earlier this year at the Ninth Annual Dick Vitale Gala in memory of Lacey Holsworth, a young girl with neuroblastoma whose story touched the Michigan State and national community this spring.

“No child should have to suffer from cancer,” said Dick Vitale, V Foundation Board member and ESPN Sportscaster.  “The loss of Lacey’s life is tragic.  I will never forget Lacey’s beautiful smile and the impact that she had on the lives of so many.   It is urgent for us to come together to fund pediatric cancer research and make a difference in the lives of those children who are battling this dreaded disease.”

NANT, a network of 14 universities and children’s hospitals nationwide, tests promising new therapies for high-risk relapsed/refractory neuroblastoma, the third most common pediatric cancer.  Donations made to The Carousel of Possible Dreams and The V Foundation’s matched funds will back a NANT proposal for research efforts overseen by Dr. Judith G. Villablanca at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Dr. Katherine Matthay at the University of California San Francisco.

Donations can be made online at www.festivalofchildren.org/FRoC from September 1, 2014, to September 30, 2014.  The V Foundation will match all direct donations, irrevocable documented pledges, and sponsorships for which 100% of the funds given will be provided for the research project.

“Despite aggressive therapy, children with high risk neuroblastoma have less than a 50 percent chance of survival,” said Dr. Judith G. Villablanca.  “NANT’s vision is to develop new therapies based on understanding the biology of the tumor.  Our goal is to improve outcomes and bring new hope to families coping with neuroblastoma.  NANT brings together the expertise of all our sites so that children across North America can have access to the latest therapies.”

“Matching funds with The Carousel of Possible Dreams allows both organizations to leverage up funding to create a grant of half of a million dollars to NANT.  And NANT’s research is a collaborative approach at leading pediatric cancer research centers across the country,” said Susan Braun, CEO of The V Foundation.  “This way we are helping more children and encouraging substantial progress in pediatric neuroblastoma research.”

“Festival of Children Foundation is about fostering collaboration in the nonprofit community,” said Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, Founder & Executive Director of Festival of Children Foundation.  “We’re very proud that our Carousel of Possible Dreams program has brought about this national effort during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and National Child Awareness Month to fund Neuroblastoma research and education.”

Since the event’s inception in 2006, the Dick Vitale Gala has raised more than $10 million for pediatric cancer research through The V Foundation.  Funding from this year’s Gala, which took place on May 16, 2014, in Sarasota, FL, will support The Foundation’s grants in memory of Lacey Holsworth and Eddie Livingston, along with other major pediatric research grants.  The V Foundation distributes research grants to the most promising scientists nationwide through a competitive process vetted by a Scientific Advisory Committee.

For more information about The Carousel of Possible Dreams and to make a donation, please visit www.festivalofchildren.org/FRoC.  For more information about The V Foundation for Cancer Research, please visit www.jimmyv.org.

About Festival of Children Foundation
Festival of Children Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves to bring together and coordinate the efforts of charities, companies and individuals who actively work to improve the lives of children.  Festival of Children Foundation gives a voice, guidance and support.  100% of the administrative costs are covered by designated funding, allowing donations to go further in direct support of programs and services that improve the lives of children.  For more information, please visit www.festivalofchildren.org.   

About the Friends of Cathryn Fund (FRoC Fund)
Established in 2010, FRoC’s mission is to raise funds necessary to support research that will increase the survival rate of children with Neuroblastoma – an aggressive and often terminal pediatric cancer.  100% of the funds raised by the FRoC Fund go directly to New Approaches Neuroblastoma Treatment (NANT).  NANT is a consortium of 14 research facilities/children’s hospitals dedicated to developing and testing new therapes for Neuroblastoma.

About NANT
NANT is a collaboration of lab and clinical physicians at 14 children’s cancer centers across North America.  NANT’s vision is to develop and test new therapies that target tumor cells and the normal cells that support tumor cell growth to improve the outcome for neuroblastoma based on understanding tumor biology.  NANT is focused on early patient trials for children with recurrent or resistant high risk neuroblastoma, to obtain information that can lead to subsequent larger trials in newly diagnosed neuroblastoma if the early results are promising.  From its inception in 2000 to 2013, NANT enrolled 612 patients on its clinical trials. For more information, please visit www.nant.org.