SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- September marks Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and all 58 Kneaders Bakery & Café locations throughout the nation will sell elephant-shaped sugar cookies and "Hope Fights Childhood Cancer" campaign-themed retail items to benefit the groundbreaking work of Dr. Joshua Schiffman, world-renowned oncologist, hematologist, teen cancer survivor and respected cancer researcher. Schiffman's team has been exploring a cancer-fighting elephant protein called p53, which helps protect elephants from developing cancer. Humans only have two copies of p53, and some children that get cancer only have one copy of p53 in their DNA. Since announcing the discovery of the elephant p53 protein, Dr. Schiffman and his research team have been working around the clock to bring the discovery to human trial.
One-hundred percent of the Kneaders' elephant-shaped sugar-cookie sales, and a portion of the retail items sold both online and in-store, will be donated to Dr. Schiffman and his team at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), helping to further exploration into what role the elephant gene might play in the fight to end childhood cancer. Every day, 43 kids are diagnosed with cancer in the United States, and more than 40,000 children are in active cancer treatment each year. In the last 20 years, only three cancer medications have been specifically approved for children. Sadly, 1 out of 8 children will not survive their cancer diagnosis.
Inspired by Kneaders founder's grandson, Tanner Smith, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma as a teenager, Kneaders raised approximately $145,000 for Dr. Schiffman's research through sales of their elephant-shaped sugar cookie in 2016. Kneaders' initial donation helped researchers at the Schiffman lab, located at HCI, start exploring how to synthesize the elephant gene and give it to cancer cells, which could lead to an even greater understanding of how it might impact the fight to end cancer for people of all ages.
"We know that cancer is something that many of our customers and employees face every day, and we appreciate their involvement in supporting this very special campaign. A little hope can make a big difference," says James Worthington, CEO, Kneaders Bakery & Café.
"This campaign does more than just sell delicious cookies," said Dr. Schiffman. "I am one of many researchers at HCI working fervently to find an end to cancer. With the incredible support of Kneaders and their customers, my team and I have been able to take a huge step forward for the thousands of families each year that are informed that their child has cancer."
About "Hope Fights Childhood Cancer" Campaign In addition to the elephant cookies and the campaign-themed retail items, Kneaders customers will also have the option to make a cash donation of their choice to the campaign and/or round-up their purchase at the register and/or online at kneaders.com/hope. Throughout September, customers are encouraged to tag pictures with campaign retail items and cookies using #HopeFightsChildhoodCancer or #SockItToCancerWithHope. They are also encouraged to share their personal experiences with cancer and/or memories of loved ones who have passed away from cancer via email at [email protected]; stories may be featured on the Kneaders website. Kneaders and Huntsman Cancer Foundation (HCF) hope to raise $300,000 throughout September, which is national Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The campaign will run from September 1, 2017, through September 30, 2017. To find the nearest Kneaders location and hours, visit kneaders.com/Locations.
About Kneaders Bakery & Café Founded by Gary and Colleen Worthington in 1997, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the company's first Kneaders location 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 Kneaders restaurants have a retail section and 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 seven western states. For more information, visit kneaders.com.
About Huntsman Cancer Foundation Huntsman Cancer Foundation's sole purpose is to raise funds to support the mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute: to understand cancer from its beginnings; to use that knowledge in the creation and improvement of cancer treatments; to relieve the suffering of cancer patients; and to provide education about cancer risk, prevention and care. Huntsman Cancer Foundation is dedicated to ensuring excellence in these endeavors through the development and prudent stewardship of private resources. All HCI fundraising initiatives happen through Huntsman Cancer Foundation, which is a public, fully integrated, Type 3 501 (c)(3).
About Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute 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.
Editor's Note: Interview opportunities with founders Gary and Colleen Worthington, CEO James Worthington and Dr. Schiffman are available; email [email protected] if interested.