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Curing Kids Cancer Provides More Than $1.2 Million for Childhood Cancer Research in 2015


Curing Kids Cancer Has Raised More Than $10 Million Since 2005

 Atlanta, GA – Jan. 19, 2016 - Curing Kids Cancer announced the 2015 recipients of nearly $1.2 million in grants for innovative new treatments and groundbreaking pediatric cancer research in an effort to save or extend the lives of affected children. The nonprofit has raised more than $10 million since its inception in 2005.

“We are a different type of childhood cancer charity from most others because we focus entirely on finding the most advanced and promising new research and drugs for pediatric cancer, and we provide the funding which enables them to become treatments which reach the children,” said Grainne Owen, founder of Curing Kids Cancer. “We take the time to actually get to know the doctors whose work we fund so that we can understand what they need most in order to provide the best treatments.”

The organization tapped into its “Dream Team” Medical Advisory Board to help find three of the most promising projects. Owen has been pleased at the progress being made and at the quality of this year’s recipients.

“We began raising money in 2005, after we lost our son Killian to leukemia; and since then we have raised more than $10 million,” added Owen. “Now we can actually see that the medical understanding, the advanced technology and the genetic knowledge are finally coming together at exactly the right time so that our goal to turn childhood cancers into curable diseases is achievable in our lifetime!”


Three Hospitals Each Received $200,000 for Research


  • The Dana Farber Cancer Institute received $200,000 to fund Kimberly Stegmaier, M.D.’s work with epigenetics, which is the study of how genes are affected by external and environmental factors. Dr. Stegmaier’s laboratory focuses on two common pediatric tumors: Ewing sarcoma and neuroblastoma.
  • Another $200,000 was committed to research being done by Stephen Gottschalk, M.D. at Texas Children’s Cancer Center at Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr. Gottschalk focuses on Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell therapy, which enables the body’s own T Cells to be genetically re-engineered to kill specific cancer cells with minimal side effects.
  • A third $200,000 grant was awarded to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to fund the truly groundbreaking work of James T. Rutka, M.D.’s research on Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). This is a fatal type of brain tumor which has been untreatable until now.

Other Beneficiaries of Curing Kids Cancer Include These Organizations in the East Coast Region


  • A $50,000 research grant was given to the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
  • A $50,000 grant was presented for CAR (Chimeric Antigen Receptors) T cell research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
  • A $50,000 grant was provided to Palmetto Health Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

 Grants were also given to support the children’s cancer centers in hospitals in the states where the Curing Kids Cancer “Blow the Whistle on Kids Cancer!” awareness program with seven major SEC college football teams takes place. This awareness program, known as “First and Gold!” in 2016, will be expanding to include ACC College Football teams and teams in the Big12.

As part of the 2015 Curing Kids Cancer “Blow the Whistle on Kids Cancer” awareness program with major college football teams - including the University of Alabama, Mississippi State University, Vanderbilt University, University of South Carolina, Louisiana State University, University of Tennessee and the University of Georgia – the following grants were disbursed:

  • The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt received $30,000.
  • The Children’s Hospital of Alabama was granted $20,000.
  • Batson Children’s Hospital at The University of Mississippi Medical Center received $20,000.
  • The Louisiana State University HSC School of Medicine in New Orleans received $15,000.
  • This effort also included donations to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia, SC.


About Curing Kids Cancer

Nine-year-old Killian Owen, who lost his hard-fought battle with leukemia in July 2003, inspired Curing Kids Cancer. His parents, Clay and Grainne Owen, founded Curing Kids Cancer in Killian’s memory to raise money for cutting-edge pediatric cancer research and to create the newest, most innovative treatments available to children who need them.

Working to make childhood cancer curable in our lifetime, Curing Kids Cancer targets advanced treatments with fewer side effects. Curing Kids Cancer raises money through partnerships with sports teams at local and national levels; corporate sponsorships such as AT&T and CFO4Life; partnerships with national sports figures including Lee Corso and Craig Kimbrel; support from the world leader of collector car, motorcycle and road art sales Mecum Auction Company; grassroots community initiatives; and donations from individuals.