SAN FRANCISCO (Ivanhoe Newswire/WTVM) – Billions of dollars are pumped into research to try and find a cure for pediatric cancer.
But for the 14,000 children who are told they have it, much fewer resources are available. In fact, mere pennies on the dollar are slated to find a cure. One family is trying to change that, and is determined to save the lives of as many kids as they can.
"The day you find out your child has cancer is the day you find out your child will die," Libby says. "It's got a zero percent survival rate."
Three and a half months after diagnosis, Libby and Tony Kranz lost their oldest child, six-year-old Jennifer, to a brain tumor. Since then, they have been dedicated to finding a cure for pediatric cancer. "For me, I need her to have a purpose," says Libby.
They started Unravel Pediatric Cancer. "The idea is knowledge is like glitter, it sticks with you," she explains. "So you get a little bit of glitter on you, and you can't get it off."
Some of the facts they want you to know: seven children a day die from cancer, yet the U.S. government gives less than four percent of its cancer funding to pediatrics. And the Kranz's say the American Cancer Society gives only one cent of every donated dollar to children. The Kranz's are using their foundation to raise funds that go directly to research for kids with cancer.
"We fund the basic research, the basic science," Libby says. "So our idea is to fund more ideas to get people out there thinking, researching and trying different ways of attacking the same problem."
In seven months, Unravel has raised $300,000 for labs like Stanford bioengineer Jennifer Cochran, PhD. She says money from the foundation is critical to her success.
"With that money we've been able to make a tremendous amount of progress on a molecule that can actually target pediatric brain tumors," Cochran says.
The Kranz's are determined to continue to make a difference.
You can find out more about pediatric cancer and how you can help, including becoming part of the fluttering campaign at www.unravelpediatriccancer.org.