Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation's Collaborative Approach to Eliminating Cancer as a Threat to Our Children
04:13

Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation's Collaborative Approach to Eliminating Cancer as a Threat to Our Children

Imagine a world without childhood cancer…At Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation we are laser-focused on turning this dream into reality. Our strategy is bold and unique and is based on community-wide teamwork and collaboration with emphasis on Advocacy, Awareness, Research and Family Support. Our founders, Dena and Billy Sherwood, recognized the importance of collaboration and the impact it would have, so they made the decision early on to join forces with dozens of the world’s leading pediatric oncologists, hundreds of like-minded foundations and thousands of dedicated childhood cancer families and advocates. Working together, we are accelerating the timeline to bring safer and less-toxic treatments to our children sooner rather than later. Over the last ten years we have made progress toward this goal and we are determined to do even more in the current decade. Rather than focusing solely on our foundation and raising funds, we have chosen a different strategy, which focuses on individuals, families, unity, collaboration, and advancing the community as a whole. We are a small and nimble foundation that actively seeks out ways to have the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time. We have discovered ways to leverage the funds we do raise to get the biggest return on investment. Many of our initiatives can’t be measured by a dollar amount, so they don’t show up on our balance sheet, but they are vitally important to the cause. We make a difference 365 days a year by: -Advocating for new federal funding for research -Supporting the nation’s leading pediatric oncologists -Coming alongside other foundations to help them accomplish their goals and initiatives -Helping unify the childhood cancer community -Spreading Awareness and educating the general public through social media and events -Giving children with cancer a voice through our Truth 365 campaign -Supporting families from diagnosis all the way through survivorship and sadly bereavement. Federal Funding for Research When the federal government shut down in the Fall of 2013, we produced a targeted video to get the attention of our elected leaders on Capitol Hill and in the White House. Our plan worked and our interview with cancer fighter Gabriella Miller was the spark that led directly to $126 million in pediatric research over 10 years. Funding Clinical Trials From Wall Street to Main St., Arms Wide Open has also raised millions of dollars for pediatric cancer research. To date, we have funded 75 cutting edge clinical trials at the nation’s top children’s hospitals and medical centers. In addition, we regularly collaborate with other foundations and families to maximize the overall impact. Unifying the Childhood Cancer Community To help unify the childhood cancer community, Arms Wide Open and several sponsoring foundations host CureFest each September on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Representatives from over 250 foundations and groups from over 45 states participate each year. Spreading Awareness though Social Media Arms Wide Open’s Emmy award-winning Truth 365 social media campaign gives a voice to children fighting cancer and their families. The Truth 365’s documentaries, short films and Public Service Announcements have been viewed over 600 million times in over 125 countries. Over 1,000 social media outlets and several major networks have covered our campaign including The Ellen Show, the New York Times, and dozens of national and local news stations. To reach younger generations of advocates, we launched Dance Hope Cure. It is now a thriving campaign with over 1,500 youth advocates from all 50 states and 11 countries. Supporting Families Arms Wide Open supports families emotionally and financially during every phase of their childhood cancer battle. We provide monthly family grants and host Helping Hands fundraisers for families suffering financial hardship. We also host retreats and provide workshops and counseling for our bereaved families. Working Together Although fighting childhood cancer is a marathon and not a sprint, we work with a sense of urgency 365 days of the year. We refuse to sit back and wait for change when children are dying every day. We can imagine a world without childhood cancer. Can you? If so, we would love to join forces with you to help make this dream a reality. Please contact us at www.awoccf.org.