SOURCE: St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

September 10, 2014 10:08 ET

Help St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® Find Cures, Save Children

MEMPHIS, TN--(Marketwired - Sep 10, 2014) -  In 2014, parents of nearly 16,000 children in the United States will hear the words, "Your child has cancer." These words mean heartbreak and despair for families who become unwilling participants in a battle with the nation's leading cause of death from disease of children.

But they are not alone in their battle. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® leads the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer. Throughout September -- National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month -- people can join the fight by supporting St. Jude and sharing information at stjude.org/september.

"We're engaged in a war against pediatric cancer," said James R. Downing, M.D., president and chief executive officer of St. Jude. "With a strong foundation of pioneering research and treatment, we will continue to identify scientific advances that will improve cancer survival rates for children around the world. Our mission is critical, and our timeframe is urgent."

Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent, and St. Jude is working to increase survival rates to 90 percent in the next decade. But that's not enough.

Survival rates for some of the most difficult-to-treat childhood cancers remain unacceptably low. For those who survive childhood cancer, victory often comes at a cost -- a higher risk of unique long-term health effects later in life.

Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from individual contributors, St. Jude doctors and scientists have the freedom to pursue all available avenues in investigating these diseases. The continued generosity of individual contributors is critical given that pediatric cancer research is woefully underfunded, and St. Jude is a leading institution in investment into pediatric cancer research.

"The generosity of our supporters allows St. Jude to offer some of the world's sickest children the best treatment, an environment for families to focus solely on their child, and the peace of mind that no family will ever receive a bill from St. Jude," said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude.

The generosity of individual contributors also allows St. Jude to pursue industry-leading efforts like the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project, the first proton therapy center in the world dedicated solely to children and the St. Jude LIFE & After Completion of Therapy Clinic, whose mission is to help patients stay healthy as they continue their journey as a survivor after active treatment ends.

About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital leads the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. St. Jude has the world's best survival rates for the most aggressive childhood cancers, and treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since we opened more than 50 years ago. For information, visit stjude.org.

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