Letter to the Editor
We are fortunate to live in an affluent area abound with opportunity to support many worthy local philanthropies. Just as we start folding up our beach chairs, we are bombarded with invitations to attend entertaining fundraisers that could fill our calendars every Friday through Sunday throughout the season. It can be difficult to decide to which of these events to commit and what type of criteria to use. Loyalty to friends on committees, personal experiences with illnesses or afflictions, or sometimes, admittedly, just a great party all need to be considered.
As Childhood Cancer Awareness month wraps up, I’d urge people to seek out charities and events that benefit children afflicted with cancer. One quarter of the nearly 16,000 children diagnosed with cancer yearly will not survive the disease. A diagnosis turns the lives of families upside down, yet only 4% of federal funding is solely dedicated to childhood cancer research. This is unfortunate as a leading oncologist from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has stated, “Curing childhood cancer is the equivalent of curing breast cancer in terms of productive life years saved.”
I serve on the Board of the Kortney Rose Foundation (KRF), an Oceanport-based charity. We have donated over a million dollars to pediatric brain tumor research being conducted at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the name of Kortney Rose Gillette. Kortney lost her life to this disease at age nine only a few months after diagnosis. My involvement does not stem from grief from a personal loss to pediatric brain cancer, but rather from the inspiring individuals involved, and upon learning that pediatric brain tumors are the number one cancer cause of death in children 20 and under.
Please keep pediatric cancer in mind when choosing charities to support, and look into which cancer foundations allocate money to children’s cancer—some don’t at all! Make sure your donations are allocated as advertised. Charity Navigator provides a quick assessment of overhead administrative costs including salaries, which may surprise you.
Rumson, New Jersey