WATSONVILLE, Calif., Sept. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Almost two decades after ensuring a month was set aside in California to recognize the unique struggles faced by children with cancer, the founder of Jacob's Heart Children's Cancer Support Services is continuing to advocate for changes that will improve the quality of life for these children and their families.
The group is holding a special fundraiser during September to meet one of the most basic needs of these families - gas cards so they can make sure their children get to a hospital or cancer center for treatment.
"We typically have about 200 families who need this type of support on an annual basis," said Lori Butterworth, the founder and executive director of Jacob's Heart. "If we raise $50,000, each of these families struggling to make ends meet during cancer treatment for their child will receive at least $250 in gas cards to get to and from treatment."
Butterworth and Jacob's Heart were key to the establishment of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in California. Shortly after starting the nonprofit, the organization gathered petition signatures to start a month of observance. Bruce McPherson, then a state senator, rallied support for the cause in the state capitol, and an executive order making September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in California was signed by Governor Gray Davis on August 25, 1999.
Jacob Heart's services include addressing basic needs, such as financial assistance or grocery and meal delivery. It gives families emotional support through counseling, therapies, and a strong sense of community. The nonprofit also offers extensive information about pediatric cancer to the public and advocates the #morethan4 movement, a reference to the fact that only 4 percent of the National Institute of Cancer's research budget is dedicated to pediatric cancer.
"Our job is to make sure children with cancer aren't forgotten at any stage in their fight against this disease," she said. "In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, it's important that we come together to address one of the most fundamental needs of families: getting their child to treatment."
Contributions to the special $50,000 drive to provide gas cards for families of children with cancer can be made here.
For more information about Jacob's Heart, visit jacobsheart.org or call 831-724-9100.
SOURCE Jacob's Heart