MILWAUKEE, Sept. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Flashing a cancer survivor tattoo on a bare chest and throwing crutches off of the side of a building, kids protest cancer in a new campaign launching today by Northwestern Mutual to raise awareness and support for the heroes -- families, kids and researchers -- who are bravely battling childhood cancer.
Each week during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (September), Northwestern Mutual will unveil video content on its Facebook page about families going through childhood cancer and a new blog post each week on LinkedIn, written by researchers who are dedicated to finding cures and treatments for childhood cancer.
Northwestern Mutual is kicking off these activities with a $50,000 contribution to its nonprofit partner, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). The nonprofit works directly with doctors, researchers and nurses to address the specific challenges they face in bringing new treatments to and caring for children with cancer. The company is asking people to spread awareness for the cause by sharing its editorial content on Facebook and LinkedIn through social media actions (i.e., re-tweet, share, like).
"Childhood cancer is merciless and we remain committed to helping families in our communities and within our company who are severely impacted by devastating diagnoses," said John Kordsmeier, president, Northwestern Mutual Foundation. "The best way to beat this disease is to fund innovative research that will accelerate breakthrough treatments and cures for kids, and support families through the emotional and financial issues they are facing."
A total of 15,780 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in children and adolescents in 2014, according to the American Cancer Society; that's about 43 kids per day who will be robbed of their health, innocence and happy childhoods. Unfortunately, less than five percent of the National Institutes of Health total funding for cancer research supports childhood cancer research.
To raise awareness of this issue, four Northwestern Mutual financial representatives and their families provide candid, firsthand experiences about the heartbreaking diagnoses that changed their lives within the new video. The full seven-minute video begins with kids in remission proclaiming brave statements such as: "I dare you to say you can't do that because you are too weak. Because in my head, I will never be too weak – I will never be too weak again, ever."
Childhood cancer heroes tell their stories
The campaign's blog series, Heroes for a Cure, also launches today with a post by Dr. Marcio Malogolowkin, who serves as medical director, MACC Fund Center, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin; and chief, professor, Department of Pediatrics, Hematology/Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin.
Within his post, Dr. Malogolowkin explores how families deal with the prognosis of childhood cancer and how research had led to better treatments, as well as the importance of corporate giving and fundraising propelling new therapies and treatments.
Dr. Charalambos Kaittanis, research fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, will also author a post on his personal journeys on why he got involved in childhood cancer research and what the future of childhood cancer research holds. Kaittanis is an ALSF Young Investigator grant recipient sponsored by Northwestern Mutual.
Kordsmeier will also author a guest blog post on LinkedIn at the end of September about the importance of corporate social responsibility and focusing on childhood cancer as a cause.
In October Northwestern Mutual sponsors the 2014 ALSF Young Investigators' Summit, October 21-22, at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The two-day event will foster collaboration to advance scientific research for the next generation of childhood cancer researchers, offering opportunities for professional development and forging new relationships among the leading researchers in the pediatric oncology field. The upcoming summit is discussed in a story on Forbes BrandVoice as told by Jay Scott, co-executive director of ALSF and Kordsmeier.
Northwestern Mutual launched its Childhood Cancer Program in July 2012 to accelerate the search for cures to childhood cancers by providing research funds and support to families facing the daily struggles of this disease. The company has launched several social media campaigns and activities, and contributed more than $6 million to the cause in just over two years, giving support to more than 3,000 families and funding 35,000 hours of vital childhood cancer research.
To learn more about the childhood cancer program, please visit www.nmfoundation.com.
About Northwestern Mutual Foundation
The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is to improve the lives of children and families in need. The Foundation has given nearly $270 million since its inception in 1992 and is designed to create lasting impact in the communities where the company's employees and financial representatives live and work. We accomplish this by combining financial support, volunteerism, thought leadership and convening community partners to deliver the best outcomes. Our efforts are focused nationally on curing childhood cancer, and locally on education, neighborhoods and making our hometown of Milwaukee a great destination.
About Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual has been helping families and businesses achieve financial security for nearly 160 years. Our financial representatives build relationships with clients through a distinctive planning approach that integrates risk management with wealth accumulation, preservation and distribution. With more than $217 billion in assets, $26 billion in revenues and more than $1.5 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to more than 4.2 million people who rely on us for insurance and investment solutions, including life, disability and long-term care insurance; annuities; trust services; mutual funds; and investment advisory products and services.
Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI, and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a comprehensive approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.
About Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised more than $80 million toward fulfilling Alex's dream of finding a cure, funding over 450 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit AlexsLemonade.org.
SOURCE Northwestern Mutual