The American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest, affiliate of the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO), began in 1977 as the Inland Northwest Candlelighters as part of Washington Candlelighters, a statewide group. The first Candlelighters began in 1970 by a group of parents of children with cancer to advocate for the needs of the youngest cancer patients. In our nation’s capitol, the ACCO (formerly Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation) was instrumental in having sedation and pain medication instituted for children undergoing painful medical procedures and also for establishing nutritional guidelines for children undergoing chemotherapy. The initial Washington Candlelighters helped to create many programs that are still in place today and were also instrumental in bringing the Ronald McDonald House to Spokane and Western Washington.
In 1998, in order to better serve our geographic areas, Washington Candlelighters split into Western Washington Candlelighters and Inland Northwest Candlelighters. Our affiliate incorporated and created an independent 501(c)3. This change better reflected the area of families we serve. Many families come to Spokane for treatment not only from throughout Eastern Washington but also from North Idaho and Western Montana.
We remain a parent driven organization and have expanded to include caring community members who wish to make a difference in the lives of kids with cancer and their families …”because kids can’t fight cancer alone!” In 2008, we changed our name from the Inland Northwest Candlelighters to Candlelighters of the Inland Northwest. In 2010 we became the American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest, a proud affiliate of the American Childhood Cancer Organization.