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Gold Ribbon Hero: Savannah

Gold Ribbon Hero: Savannah

Meet Savannah, a brave cancer warrior that was taken too soon. Savannah fought a long, hard and very painful battle with Osteosarcoma. Her cancer was found in her left pelvic bone with metastasis occurring in lung nodules, her sacrum, and L5 vertebrae. The aggressive cancer spread to her right femur during traditional therapy and research studies. Unfortunately, Savannah was not a candidate for surgery. 

During her fight she was able to embrace her hair loss and enjoyed using makeup. Savannah was a sassy and strong 14-year-old who turned to her faith to find comfort. An animal lover who rescued over 100 dogs, 7 ducks, and a horse; she even volunteered at the local humane society and various ranches in Arkansas. Her final words were “Love each other, don’t commit suicide, and look towards the Lord.” Savannah passed away on July 20, 2018.

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More than 17,000 Chemotherapy drugs donated to Ethiopian Children


• Multistakeholder partnership seeks to enhance care for children with cancer in Africa
• Provides life-saving cancer medicines to children in Ethiopia in collaboration with Teva
• Funds critical research on childhood cancer medicine needs and access barriers in East Africa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 13, 2019 – Washington, D.C. Access to Childhood Cancer Essentials (ACCESS) today announced two initiatives with partners across sectors to improve the lives of children with cancer in Africa. The first, in collaboration with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. provides essential, life-saving cancer medicines to children in Ethiopia, and the second funds critical research on childhood cancer medicine needs and access barriers in East Africa with the aim of improving future procurement.

Cancer is the highest non-communicable disease-related cause of death among children globally. While in high-income countries, more than 80 percent of children with cancer are cured, the same percentage of those in low- and middle-income countries die.

Childhood cancer has no borders; yet, sadly, childhood cancer medicines do,” said Ruth Hoffman, CEO of the American Childhood Cancer Organization, and co-founder of ACCESS. “A major barrier to treating and curing children with cancer in low- and middle-income countries is lack of access to essential medicines.”

webgraphic_borders copyIn partnership with Teva Pharmaceuticals, Direct Relief and the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Fund Supply Agency, ACCESS is providing an emergency provision of 13 cancer medicines from the World Health Organization’s Essential Medicine List—more than 17,000 vials—to children with cancer in Ethiopia.

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This comes as a response to an urgent plea from parents and medical providers of children with cancer, as well as health system leaders. Bitew Tesfaye, a farm laborer, father to seven children, including his six-year old daughter diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma who is awaiting treatment in Addis Ababa shared, “We come from far away, hoping for our children to get well. We start treatment and begin to see light, but, when we are told medicine is not available or only available in a private pharmacy, our hope fades. Now, with access to these medicines, we have hope again.”

“Direct Relief is deeply appreciative to Teva and ACCESS for their leadership and initiative in providing critical treatments to underserved patients in Ethiopia and globally,” said Tom Roane, Strategic Initiatives Director at Direct Relief. “Thanks to this collaboration, patients who would otherwise be unable to access cancer therapies will be able to receive the treatments they need to recover.”
ACCESS is also launching an innovative research program to study the many critical barriers to childhood cancer drug access in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.Dakar girl_2

“A significant limitation to providing critical medicines to children with cancer in Africa is the lack of knowledge about the scope of the problem,” said Dr. Avram Denburg, Pediatric Oncologist and Principal Investigator, Centre for Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Canada and co-founder of ACCESS. “The ACCESS East Africa Program is forecasting childhood cancer medicine needs in the region. This will help inform national government procurement efforts and generate evidence of specific barriers to childhood cancer medicine access in each of these countries.” This program is made possible through the generous support of Friends of Cancer Patient’s Ameera Fund and in collaboration with the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health, American Childhood Cancer Organization, Clinton Health Access Initiative and World Bank.

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Addressing both immediate and long-term needs, these initiatives represent the power and promise of innovative collaborations between non-profit organizations, the pharmaceutical industry, academia and global health institutions to help save lives of thousands of children with cancer.

For further information or to support these important initiatives, please visit


About Access to Childhood Cancer Essentialsaccess logo

The Access to Childhood Cancer Essentials (ACCESS) Initiative is a multi-stakeholder collaboration focused on improving access to essential medicines for children with cancer globally. Its vision is of a world where the cure of childhood cancer is bounded by the limits of our knowledge, not the limits of our reach. Its mission is to create and implement innovative solutions to childhood cancer drug and radiotherapy access in low and middle income countries so that all children in the world, regardless of where they live, have access to hope for a cure. Visit

About Tevateva logo
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE and TASE: TEVA) is a global leader in generic medicines, with innovative treatments in select areas, including CNS, pain and respiratory. We deliver high-quality generic products and medicines in nearly every therapeutic area to address unmet patient needs. We have an established presence in generics, specialty, OTC and API, building on more than a century-old legacy, with a fully integrated R&D function, strong operational base and global infrastructure and scale. We strive to act in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Headquartered in Israel, with production and research facilities around the globe, we employ 45,000 professionals, committed to improving the lives of millions of patients. Learn more at

About American Childhood Cancer Organization

acco logoThe American Childhood Cancer Organization was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1970 by parents of children diagnosed with cancer to advocate for their needs and support research. The nation’s largest grassroots organization at the forefront of the crucial battle against childhood cancer and sole U.S. member of Childhood Cancer International, the ACCO is dedicated to shaping policy, supporting research, raising awareness, and providing educational resources and innovative programs to children with cancer, survivors, and their families. Since its inception, the ACCO has helped support more than half a million families affected by childhood cancer in the U.S. and expended to provide grant funding to support childhood cancer programs in Ethiopia. Visit

About Centre for Global Child Health

Sick Kids Center for Global Health logoThe Centre for Global Child Health is the dedicated hub for global child health-focused activities at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). With a rich history of innovation in global paediatric health and a reputable network of global partners, the Centre for Global Child Health is well poised to effectively address global child health issues. The Centre supports the global health agenda through collaborative research grounded in scholarship, sustainable capacity building through education, advocacy for improved maternal and child health and the active communication of results to local, national and inter-national stakeholders. For more information, please visit and follow on Twitter @SickKidsGlobal.

About Direct Relief

Direct Relief logoDirect Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states and more than 90 countries worldwide, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. Direct Relief works to equip healthcare providers who care for vulnerable people on an ongoing basis and during emergencies. To achieve this goal, Direct Relief partners with local health providers, leading healthcare companies, and business leaders, to deliver medicines, medical supplies and equipment through transparent, reliable, and cost-effective channels. Direct Relief seeks to support existing health providers over the long term, delivering aid without regard to race, ethnicity, political or religious affiliations, or ability to pay.

Direct Relief partners with leading cancer treatment manufacturers to provide access to life-saving cancer treatment drugs to more than 50 public cancer hospitals around the world. Direct Relief is a member of the globally prominent Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), as well as the specialized cervical cancer association Global Coalition Against Cervical Cancer. In addition, Direct Relief is an Implementing Partner in the UICC’s City Cancer Challenge (C/Can 2025) initiative. More information on Direct Relief’s work on expanding access to cancer treatment can be found at:

• Dr. Avram Denburg, Staff Oncologist, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada: email Hillete Warner at
• Ruth Hoffman, Chief Executive Officer, American Childhood Cancer Organization: email 202-262-9949

Gold Ribbon Hero: Colton

47178821_2380946775267504_5378196745706536960_nMeet courageous Colton Whisler, a four-year-old warrior currently battling Perimeningeal Rhabdomyosarcoma, otherwise known as RMS. We were pleased to connect with Colton’s family through The Mark White Show, a popular radio program in Alabama. Jamie Bloyd, ACCO Director of Government Relations and External Affairs,  joined Mark on the air as a featured guest two weeks ago.

In October 2018, Colton had experienced a facial droop that was originally diagnosed as Bell’s Palsy. Stephanie Whisler, Colton’s mom said “ we were told it was harmless and it would go away. He began crying and saying his ear was hurting. He then told us the floor was spinning.” At this point, Stephanie knew something was wrong with Colton. She decided to take him to his pediatrician at least once a week for the next three weeks where they treated him for a bad ear infection. Colton was then referred to an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT) for tubes but when the pediatrician called him, the ENT thought it was something more. The ENT ended up meeting the Whisler family on his day off and found out that it wasn’t just an ear infection, it was a tumor. “We were in a state of shock, it was so hard to believe that our sweet perfect baby would be beginning the fight for his life,” said Stephanie.

Colton will be receiving approximately 15 months of chemo and radiation treatment and 30 treatments of proton therapy.  According to his mom, “his age is both a blessing and a curse. He is young enough that he doesn’t really understand the severity of his situation, but he also can’t verbalize what he is feeling. Being away from his big brother, Ty, has been one of the hardest parts of this for both of them.” Since Colton’s tumor is in the middle of the ear, it is considered inoperable. The Whisler’s have discussed end of treatment surgeries consisting of a cochlear implant and surgery to correct his facial droop.

Chemotherapy hasn’t been easy for Colton either. His mom told ACCO, “his journey started off really rough. The first round was incredibly hard on him. The amazing doctors and nurses have since come up with a strategy that helps to keep his nausea at bay.”

Colton is currently in the hospital receiving treatment. He is experiencing neuropathy of his feet due to a weekly drug he takes. He is in physical therapy twice a week and will be receiving braces for his legs soon. According to Colton, “courageous people never give up and nothing is going to steal my joy.’’

For more about Courageous Colton Whisler:

For more information about Permeningeal Rhabdomyosarcoma please visit:

We can help! For free resources please visit:

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Gold Ribbon Hero: Damon

Meet Damon, a 16-year-old warrior with a love of sports. During November 2017, Damon took a hit to his left knee. His knee was swollen but he continued to play through the season despite the pain. Two days before Thanksgiving, the Sooter family was told that Damon needed an MRI to assess a benign tumor that they found. They found that the tumor was taking up 55% of his distal femur and they removed it in December of 2017. 7EDBDDC3-1BD8-46C3-A4F3-7302858EE68C
13E13CFB-9DC4-49D0-BA18-64A53F35318CBaseball season started in March of 2018 and Damon came home one day after practice saying that his right knee felt like his left one previously. They didn’t really think anything of it – so Damon finished out the baseball season the best he could.  Damon’s mother, Tiffiney said, “for a minute the world stopped and went dark. It was Damon’s 16th birthday. It was something that we were somewhat prepared for thanks in part to our spor

ts doctor. On May 2, 2018, everything went downhill from there. We live in a small town, everyone knows everyone and the radiologist calls the doctor panicking.”

“It was my sweet 16th. I had played a baseball game that day. I talked to my parents, then went to eat with my teammates. When I got home my parents took me in the garage and sat me down to tell me I had Osteosarcoma. It is rough but I knew I had to start working through it.” Damon’s tumor matched his left knee almost perfectly. The tumor was considered small, at just the size of a lemon when first detected. An aggressive treatment plan was scheduled almost immediately with 29 weeks of chemo at a high dose. 2CCEA2C2-CF87-4C6C-8A73-B34802A81A03

Damon knew that the beginning of treatment meant that he would lose his hair. He told his friends and family that he would be shaving his head. In June 2018, his friends and family decided to show up and stand alongside him to shave their heads in solidarity. Damon was in awe of what had happened, “it was awesome, I didn’t ask any of them to do it. They chose to do it. It was amazing.”AA35A551-DC7D-4E35-B664-45093A48705E

In August 2018, Damon’s doctor performed an internal prosthetic surgery to replace the bones around his knee joint. For a normal patient, the recovery should be 12 days. Damon made it his mission to leave within five days.  Damon’s doctor credits his quick rehabilitation to his active lifestyle.

Throughout his cancer journey, Damon has remained positive. He often says “we’re lucky, lots of kids are worse off than I am, and the little ones that don’t understand or can’t really explain what they’re feeling, it’s horrible.” Damon is currently cancer free and January 1, 2019, he ends chemotherapy treatment.EA6BBDC2-5220-4E3A-9B87-1132798E8C35

For more information about osteosarcoma please visit:

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Gold Ribbon Hero: Kirby

Meet Kirby: a tenacious 4-year-old who BEAT cancer! ACCO initially met his mom, Sonnie, when she commented on an Instagram post. Forging a relationship with Sonnie meant that we got a peek into her life with Kirby and his brother (Aaron) and his sister (Mattea).

Kirby was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt’s Lymphoma in July 2017. He was losing weight, not sleeping, and was in major pain according to his mom. “Every day his mobility declined while his doctors ignored our concern and sent us home,” she shared.

0 copyBy August, Kirby was completely paralyzed from the waist down. The doctors wouldn’t listen. Kirby’s parents decided to take matters into their own hands and took Kirby to a larger hospital to go through more tests. After a tearful meeting with one doctor expressing she didn’t know what was wrong with Kirby, they ordered an MRI. Moments after the MRI was read, the doctor told Sonnie, “we found out what is wrong with your son, he has tumors on his spine and they are spreading. It’s cancer. We need to get him on an airplane on our way to Children’s Hospital.” By noon, the family was on an airplane to Children’s Hospital of Colorado – a home to the Sargent family for the next six months.

“Going through treatment was more than I expected. We were lucky enough to be able to stay in Brent’s Place in Aurora, Colorado. They provided everything from a tote of groceries to a place to stay and everything in between. One day, our car broke down on the way to chemo and they helped us to get to treatment at the hospital. The sense of community at the hospital and Brent’s Place was astounding.”


The doctors found out that Kirby had cancer within his abdomen, hip, kidney and it was smothering his spine and spinal cord. They told Sonnie that he would survive but he would be wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. As a result of cancer, Kirby has major nerve damage to his bowels, bladder, and mobility. He has no feeling of his legs, feet or toes.

Kirby and his family were visiting a local park this fall and he told his mom he was going to walk. He ended up taking a few steps with his brother and sister and hasn’t looked back since.

At 4 years old, Kirby can proudly say that he successfully beat cancer! He is walking and has not used his wheelchair for over three months. He was able to run the Butte, Montana Relay for Life as their youngest survivor. With the aid of braces, his dog and siblings, he is able to spread awareness and enjoy life. He is still in weekly doctor’s appointments and medical needs but he is getting used to the new normal.


On Halloween, Kirby wore his Go Gold cape with his Captain America costume. Kirby’s brother’s school asked Kirby to walk in their parade and he proudly strutted his stuff while clapping and high fiving the attendees. Since being declared “NED” he’s been able to stay out and trick or treat and even go out on a family dinner.

For more information on Non-Hodgkin’s Burkitt’s Lymphoma, please visit:

For free resources for your child:

Gold Ribbon Hero: Grace

Meet Grace – a sweet and spirited 9 year old and one of our Ambassadors for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Grace is a generous and giving individual with a passion to help others and brighten their days. She is strong and courageous, even when things might not be easy.

Grace is a typical 9-year-old, she loves gymnastics, softball, riding her bike, reading, painting and swimming. She also loves playing with her friends. This little warrior exudes good vibes and positive energy 24/7. For every birthday, Grace requested that in lieu of gifts, money should be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Little did she know, she might be the recipient of services from them in the future.grace2

Aubrey, Grace’s mom, said “Grace was always the tallest in her class, and then one day she wasn’t. She was drinking a lot of water, so it warranted a closer look. A proactive pediatrician and endocrinologist ordered a brain MRI which resulted in the detection of a mass around Grace’s pituitary gland dangerously close to her optic nerves.”  The initial tumor was detected on April 9, 2018 and over the next few weeks, Grace endured scans at the neurosurgeons office. After discussing things with the doctor at length, Grace decided she wanted to be a doctor. She had more tests, scans and plenty of needles and laid still for each of them. She got through all of the tests by listening to songs on her playlist and smiling as best she could. Grace even comforted her queasy mother and support team.

Grace was diagnosed with Germinoma brain cancer, a germ cell brain tumor, on May 2, 2018. Her aggressive treatment began on May 9, 2018 and she just finished the radiation portion of treatment. As of today, there is no evidence of a tumor and Grace will undergo blood tests, MRIs and spinal taps for the next few months to monitor the success of the chemo.

graceandmomGrace loves to be crafty; she made a sign for the children to sign and date which says “Last Day of Chemo.” Throughout her treatment, she decided to paint pictures to brighten the nurses and the children’s days. When losing her hair became a reality, Grace decided to throw a party and shave her head. Grace’s brother and her best friend joined her in shaving their heads as well.

According to Grace’s mom, “The hardest thing in the process has been missing school. She is one of ‘those kids’ that is passionate about being in school. She video conferences in as much as she can and keeps up on all her projects, even the ones for her future’s gifted program. She rallied a huge team for a fundraiser walk for her hospital and came in second place overall for fundraising. She was the first place for largest team.”

Grace is determined to help people and is currently making a plan of how she will continue helping other kids with cancer. She enjoys tagrace1lking to people about this part of her journey and is focused on helping others. Grace plans on learning more about oncology. She is excited for the future and can’t wait for her hair to start growing back!

*Special thanks to Barbara Zobian and the Candlelighters NYC*


American Childhood Cancer Organization Applauds World Health Organization’s New Global Childhood Cancer Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 28, 2018 – Washington, D.C. – The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO), the soleU.S. member of Childhood Cancer International (CCI) provided its overwhelming support today for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 0announcement of its new global initiative to address the disparity between childhood cancer survival in low-middle versus high-income countries. The announcement came at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s side-meeting on childhood cancer which was organized by the Missions of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, El Salvador, the Republic of Moldova, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Republic of Philippines and the Russian Federation.

Funded through a generous donation from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer partners with national and international *stakeholders including CCI to provide leadership and technical assistance to support governments in building and sustaining high-quality childhood cancer programs.

Each year, more than 300,000 children ages birth to 19 years are diagnosed with cancer around the world. Approximately 8 in 10 of these children live in low and middle-income countries where their survival rate is often near 20%. This is in stark contrast to high-income countries, where cure rates exceed 80% for many common childhood cancers.Screen Shot 2018-09-26 at 3.15.41 PM

How urgent is this global initiative? “Childhood cancer is the number one non-communicable disease (NCD) cause of death in children globally,” said Ruth Hoffman, ACCO’s Chief Executive Officer, and President of Childhood Cancer International. “Childhood cancer has no borders. Why should childhood cancer treatments and cures? Even in the U.S. the majority of children with cancer continue to be treated with old drugs that were developed in the 1950’s, ‘60’s and 70’s. These drugs cost very little yet are too often unavailable to the majority of children with cancer in the world who happen to live in low to middle income countries. With increased access to essential childhood cancer medicines and radiation, children can be cured of their disease regardless of where they live in the world.” Ms. Hoffman will continue to represent the voice of the families of children with cancer as a member of the WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer.

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  • Increase political commitment and capacity of countries to deliver best practices in childhood cancer diagnosis and treatment;
  • Support governments to develop high-quality cancer centers as well as develop standards and tools to guide the planning and implementation of interventions for early diagnosis, treatment and palliative and survivorship
    care inclusive of the needs of childhood cancers;
  • Improve access to affordable essential child cancer medicines and technologies;
  • Support governments to safeguard families of children with cancer from social isolation and financial ruin as a result of cancer care;
  • Prioritize cancer as a child health priority and increase available funding at the national and global levels.

This initiative is founded on the World Health Assembly’s resolution Cancer Prevention and Control through an Integrated Approach (WHA70.12), which urges governments and WHO to accelerate action to achieve the targets specified in the Global Action Plan and 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development to reduce premature mortality from cancer.

Actions to increase childhood cancer survival today represent effective and tangible steps as part of the broader fight against non-communicable diseases – steps that will catalyze global efforts to transform childhood cancer outcomes worldwide and ultimately save many more lives of children, now and for years to come.

*Some Stakeholders include: The International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP), Intenational society of pediatric oncologists, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Sick Kids Hospital of Toronto, Texas Children’s Hospital, World Bank, Pediatric Oncology Rally to Transform Access to Global Essentials (PORTAGE), Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP), Chai Clinton Health Access Initiative (CCHAI), BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), Pharmaceutical Industry, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA)


The American Childhood Cancer Organization was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1970 by parents of children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer to advocate for their needs and support research so every child survives and leads a long and healthy life. The U.S. largest grassroots organization at the forefront of the crucial battle against childhood cancer, the ACCO is dedicated to shaping policy, supporting research, raising awareness and providing educational resources and innovative programs to children with cancer, survivors and their families. Since its inception, the ACCO has helped support more than half a million families affected by childhood cancer. ACCO now has 35 local ACCO affiliates known as Founding Hope chapters throughout the United States.

Childhood Cancer International (CCI) was founded in 1994 and is recognized as the largest patient support organization for childhood cancer in the world. Comprised of 188 member organizations in 98 countries, CCI represents the voice of children and adolescents with cancer, childhood cancer survivors and their families globally. Operating as a non-State Actor in official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO), CCI engages with the WHO as well as international develo
pment organizations, policy-makers, civil society organizations, research and medical professionals to advocate for the rights of children and adolescents with cancer and prioritize childhood cancer as an integral part of the local, national and global child health and development agenda.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SET UP AN INTERVIEW: Contact Ruth Hoffman, Chief Executive Officer, American Childhood Cancer Organization and President, Childhood Cancer International.; 202-262-9949.

Largest Childhood Cancer Icon Ever

Amazon + ACCO 2018

American Childhood Cancer Organization and Amazon Unveil Largest Childhood Cancer Icon Ever

IMG_0153Amazon provides funding for policy initiative to overcome the disparity between adult and childhood cancer research


Dear ACCO supporters –

IMG_0151As you know, September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM). Our team has been hard at work the past year preparing for this important month. Today we are reaching out to our supporters so that you are the first to hear some very exciting 2018 CCAM updates. We hope you followed along last year during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month as Amazon + ACCO joined together in a revolutionary awareness campaign to transform the future of how corporate American recognizes childhood cancer as a national child health priority. This year is even bigger and better, literally! Today we are thrilled to announce Amazon + ACCO 2018 as we unveil our biggest awareness icon yet – a massive Amazon Prime airplane emblazoned with a old ribbon and featuring the American Childhood Cancer Organization’s registered taglines “GO GOLD®” and “because kids can’t fight cancer alone”.The plane will take to the skies and deliver packages to customers across the nation, bringing a little bit of gold (and hope) everywhere it goes (!
We are also excited to announce that throughout the month Amazon will also host “Camp Amazon” Gold Edition activities in Amazon robotics fulfillment centers across the United States to engage children diagnosed with cancer who demonstrate an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The fulfillment center will turn “gold” for the occasion and invite cancer children from local hospitals to see how Amazon robots help deliver smiles to customers around the world.  On behalf of the children participating in Camp Amazon Gold Edition, Amazon will also make donations to the pediatric oncology programs committed to saving their lives.

Until September 2017, no one knew hope could be found in a box. In the weeks and months to follow, we heard from thousands of you impacted by childhood cancer and who were so deeply moved that the world’s largest online retailer would join in the fight against the disease. In September 2018, we are excited to share that millions of Amazon customers will once again receive the special edition box featuring the gold ribbon, the international symbol of childhood cancer. We can’t wait to see your photos after you receive a box, please be sure to share with us on social media!

IMG_0149Additionally, like last year, in September thousands of Amazon fulfillment center employees will dress in their pajamas at work as a part of ACCO signature program PJammin®, recognizing pajamas are the battle uniform for children with cancer who often are forced to spend months and even years at a time fighting for their lives in their PJ’s. Soon we will be reaching back out to you to join our ACCO team and Amazonians as we go PJammin in hopes that the movement will go viral so that children fighting for their lives in their pajamas all across the country – many times isolated by hospital walls and connected only to the outside world by social media – will not feel alone.

Last but not least – ACCO is so proud to share with you first that in 2018 Amazon has chosen to take the next key step towards improved outcomes for children battling cancer by providing financial support of a new policy initiative, Why Not Kids. Using Kentucky as a successful model, Amazon + ACCO will strategically implement Why Not Kids in pilot states across the country to advocate for policies and state-level funding in recognition that children are not simply small adults.

Although it is important to acknowledge significant recent accomplishments including the 21stCentury Cures Act, RACE (Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity) for Children Act, and Childhood Cancer STAR (Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research) Act, we know a large disparity still exists between the amount of funding the federal government allocates for adult and childhood cancer research. The reality remains that in the past two decades only 3 new drugs have been approved by the FDA specifically to treat childhood cancer. This compares to more than 185 new drugs approved to treat adult cancers. We think kids deserve more. Involvement of corporate partners is more important than ever to give all children access to more effective treatments with less toxicity.

IMG_0152This disparity became very personal to ACCO Director of Government Relations and External Affairs, Jamie Ennis Bloyd, when her five-year-old son was diagnosed with aggressive stage 4 lymphoma and leukemia during the legislative session in March of 2014.  A state public health lobbyist at the time, Jamie quickly recognized the gap in state-level engagement and funding for childhood cancer. Working with state legislative commission staff, she discovered in the last 3 biennial state budgets over $15 million dollars [1] had been allocated to adult cancer research. Never in the history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky had the legislature invested in broad-based support of pediatric cancer – causing her to wonder aloud, “If state funds have been allocated to adult cancer research – why not kids”? She soon learned that very few, if any, states in the country had specifically invested in childhood cancer research either.

In the 2018 Kentucky legislative session Governor Matt Bevin and the Kentucky General Assembly recognized this urgent need and set a national precedent for state engagement in the fight against childhood cancer by appropriating first time funding of $5 million dollars for collaborative childhood cancer research efforts at the state’s two children’s oncology group hospitals. Already this new funding has resulted in the revelation of a cluster of a 40-county area in Kentucky in which children have an 87% higher incidence of pediatric brain tumors than what would be expected. Pediatric brain tumors are now the leading cause of death for children diagnosed with cancer in America. We want to bring this type of awareness and state level funding for childhood cancer research to all fifty states and we are so thankful for Amazon’s financial support to ACCO to make this happen.

We hope you join with us in sharing a sense of excitement and pride for being a part of our organization and a community of supporters who make this work possible. We couldn’t do it without you. Please stay tuned throughout the month as we post daily about other corporate partnerships, the amazing work of our 33 Founding Hope chapters, our Gold Ribbon Heroes, Go Gold events, Light Up Gold, PJammin® in schools, updates on the state proclamation initiative, and so much more.

Please consider asking friends and family to join follow us on social media and sign up for our mailing list (hyperlink here to webpage to join mailing list) to join us on our quest….because kids can’t fight cancer alone!®

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Ruth Hoffman,

Chief Executive Officer

American Childhood Cancer Organization


The American Childhood Cancer Organization was founded in Washington, D.C. in 1970 by parents of children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer to advocate for their needs and support research so every child survives and leads a long and healthy life. Since its inception, the ACCO has helped support more than half a million families affected by childhood cancer. ACCO now has more than 33 local ACCO Founding Hope affiliates throughout the United States. For more information on the partnership with Amazon visit make a donation, please visit

[1]Information based on 2016 RS HB 303, 2014 RS HB 235, 2012 RS HB 265 and provided by LRC Appropriations and Revenue staff on 7/19/2017