Funding the Fight Against Childhood Cancer (Part II)

with Nichole Ornelas and Stephanie Dillon, ALSAC-St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Indiana National

Childhood cancer is an ongoing battle, but the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities or ALSAC is the largest healthcare related charity in the United States and is funding the fight against childhood cancer for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Despite the fact that ALSAC has been raising more than $1 billion annually for the hospital through more than 30,000 fund-raising activities, guests Nichole Ornelas and Stephanie Dillon from ALSAC highlight the challenges that are still posed to funding research and fighting childhood disease.  In case you missed it, please watch the first part in this segment with Ornelas and Dillon from ALSAC Funding the Fight Against Childhood Cancer (Part I).

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. To give to ALSAC and help St. Jude Children’s Hospital fund the fight, please visit ALSAC – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Interview recorded on August 23, 2017. Hosted by Taylor Bennett. Part I of II.

Partial transcript of the interview is here:

Bennett: Now, 75% of funding comes from public donation…is that enough?

Dillon: No, when you look at the survival rate right now…we are at an 80% survival rate for pediatric cancer. When your family is in the other 20%, no it’s not enough.

Bennett: Do you have a goal in mind when you go out?

Ornelas: We definitely have a goal for our regional location. Really, as much as humanly possible. It is our responsibility to get out there and spread awareness.

Bennett: Are the events a big part of it?

Dillon: It’s the biggest part of it. We have a walk in September that brings in a little over $100,000 dollars.

Bennett: The amount of new pediatric cancer cases each year pales in comparison to the new adult cases? Obviously both are very important but how do you go about differing them and focusing on the pediatric cases?

Ornelas: The amazing thing about research is that you don’t know where that discovery is going to come. St. Jude was actually first to come up with a flu vaccine. Not only is St. Jude a research facility but the biggest thing is how we are looking at the whole patient, the quality of their life and the conditions they are being treated under.

Bennett: What gives you the most hope?

Dillon: What gives me the most hope is the kids.

Bennett: Do you get questions when you ask for money, people want to know where the money is going?

Ornelas: Absolutely. No patient ever receives a bill for treatment, travel or food. Research is a big part of it.