SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 31, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Every day, 43 children in America are diagnosed with cancer. Salt Lake City-based Kneaders Bakery & Café is proud to partner with the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) during the month of September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, on a campaign to fight childhood cancer.
Dr. Joshua Schiffman, M.D., with HCI and the University of Utah, is conducting groundbreaking research into elephant DNA that may unlock the cure to childhood cancer. Elephants almost never get cancer because they have 40 copies of a gene that prevents tumors. Humans only have two.
Throughout the month of September, all 52 Kneaders locations throughout the Western region will be selling elephant-shaped sugar cookies. One-hundred percent of the sales will go toward Schiffman's research. This funding is important because the National Cancer Institute spends 96 percent of its research on adult cancers.
"Our grandson was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma at the age of 13. Raising awareness to the increased need for pediatric cancer funding hits extremely close to home," said Colleen Worthington, co-founder of Kneaders. "We believe it's important to kick-start a conversation around this gap and are proud to do so with the support of HCI and Dr. Schiffman."
According to Schiffman, elephants have 100 times as many cells as people. Therefore, they should be 100 times more likely to have a cell slip into a cancerous state and trigger the disease over their long life span of 50 to 70 years. He has found that the secret may lie in the number of the tumor suppressor gene – TP53 – found in elephant DNA. Elephants have 40 copies of this gene; humans only have two. Through this research, Schiffman and his team are working to transfer what they've discovered with elephants, to humans, eventually preventing childhood cancers.
"I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma as a child," said Dr. Schiffman. "I know not only what it's like to be a child facing something that doesn't seem fair or right, but also the worry and angst of a parent given my current role as a doctor. This campaign may seem like a small gesture, but it's a step forward to the thousands of families each year who are informed their child may have cancer."
Members of the public can show their support for this campaign in three ways. The elephant-shaped sugar cookie will be available at all Kneaders locations for in-store purchases. Customers will also be invited to make donations by rounding up their total purchase to the nearest dollar amount or adding a specified dollar amount to their purchase. Lastly, customers may donate online at www.kneaders.com/fightcancer.
The Huntsman Institute and Kneaders hope to raise more than $50,000 throughout the month of September. Join the conversation at #KneadersFightsCancer.
About Kneaders Bakery & Café
Founded by Gary and Colleen Worthington in 1997, Kneaders Bakery & Café is headquartered in Orem, Utah. The award-winning, fast-casual restaurant uses only the highest quality ingredients to create fresh European hearth breads, delicious sandwiches, mouthwatering pastries, hearty soups and refreshing salads, all made in-house each day. All restaurants have a retail section and also offer a variety of custom-made and themed gift baskets in addition to providing catering services. Kneaders Bakery & Café currently operates corporate-owned and franchised locations in six western states.
For more information, visit kneaders.com.
About Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah
Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is one of the world's top academic research and cancer treatment centers. HCI manages the Utah Population Database − the largest genetic database in the world, with more than 16 million records linked to genealogies, health records and vital statistics. Using this data, HCI researchers have identified cancer-causing genes, including the genes responsible for melanoma, colon and breast cancer, and paraganglioma. HCI is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (a 26-member alliance of the world's leading cancer centers) and is a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. HCI treats patients with all forms of cancer and operates several high-risk clinics that focus on melanoma and breast, colon and pancreas cancers. The HCI Cancer Learning Center for patient and public education contains one of the nation's largest collections of cancer-related publications. The institute is named after Jon M. Huntsman, Sr., a Utah philanthropist, industrialist and cancer survivor.
SOURCE Kneaders Bakery & Cafe