Every day, across America, people are talking about the progress being made in medical research, or the support provided to patients and families affected by a devastating disease or illness. One thing that often gets lost in these conversations is the issue of money. Research can only move forward if there's funding to support it. Nonprofit organizations and other support groups operate primarily from donations; and even fundraising activities require a budget of some sort. None of these can happen without money.
And, somewhere out there, right now, a group of parents is having that very conversation about the deadliest of all childhood cancers-pediatric brain tumors and brain cancer. What's the latest in research? What kind of support is out there for the kids and families? Why is not more being done, and faster? It is the mission of the nonprofit organizations that support this worthy cause to provide answers to these questions, and they understand that the answers come through proper funding.
Research on the causes and cures of pediatric brain tumors and brain cancer is ongoing, but often progresses at a slower rate than desired. There have, however, been some recent successes in this area of research, including the creation of a tissue consortium, and the publication of a major study of medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumor typically found in children. ("The Genetic Landscape of the Childhood Cancer Medulloblastoma"; Science, published online December 16, 2010.)
Through a variety of programs and services, most nonprofit organizations work to meet the needs of these young patients and their families. Services such as support groups and various family events, as well as assistance with a variety of issues relating to care, treatment, and financial aid give these families the sense that they are not alone on this difficult journey.
Awareness and Education
Anyone who owns or operates a business understands the necessity of marketing. Awareness of the product or services offered is critical to the success of that business. Of course, successful marketing requires a sufficient source of funds to "get the word out."
In that sense, nonprofit organizations are no different than any other business. In order to promote awareness of pediatric brain tumors and brain cancer, there must be a solid marketing plan in place. How else will the average person learn that every day, across this country …
• Nine families will learn their child has a brain or spinal cord tumor;
• Three families will mourn the loss of their child to a brain or spinal cord tumor; and
• Six families will transition to survivorship.
Funding for the ongoing research and essential services provided by the nonprofit groups comes primarily from a mix of events, direct response, online fundraising, and major and planned gift solicitation. For the most part, events institute the predominant source of funds to back these activities.
With adequate funding, progress can continue that will improve the treatment, quality of life and long-term opportunities for children with brain and spinal cord tumors.
How does the old saying go? "No gift is too small; no kind gesture goes unnoticed." Contact a nonprofit organization today to find out how you can help in the fight against pediatric brain tumors and brain cancers.