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Maryland Pediatric Cancer Fund Established After ACCO’s What About Kids? Initiative Expands to Maryland

For the past year and a half, ACCO has been taking the lead with our legislative champions in Maryland to create childhood cancer research funding opportunities. We are excited to announce that our Legislative Champion Senator Michael Jackson recently introduced SB 51: – Maryland Pediatric Cancer Fund – Establishment and Income Tax Checkoff Bill. In his opening comments to the Senate Committee on Budget and Taxation, Senator Jackson stated, “This bill comes as a result of advocacy efforts from several local parents of children who have battled cancer, and from the American Childhood Cancer Organization.” Senator Jackson noted that ACCO’s staff brought to his attention the childhood cancer research funding successes we achieved in NJ, PA, and KY in 2021. He summarized that Maryland is in a “unique position to help lead the way in enhancing research efforts to combat childhood cancer.” Three of ACCO’s team including Aubrey Reichard-Eline, Keli Mazzuca, Amy Shields, and her son Sully, as well as Gavin Lindberg from The Evan Foundation provided testimony at the hearing. 

ACCO is also thrilled to be working alongside our Legislative Champion Delegate Maggie McIntosh on a childhood cancer research companion bill. This bill, which will be introduced imminently in the House, already has 26 cosponsors! 

In addition to the legislative approach to increasing funding for childhood cancer research in Maryland, ACCO’s CEO Ruth Hoffman and staff have had extensive communication with David Brinkley, Secretary of Budget & Management, as well as with Keiffer Mitchell, Governor Hogan’s Chief Legislative Officer & Senior Advisor. We are working hard towards the inclusion of an appropriation for childhood cancer research funding in Governor Hogan’s 2022-’23 budget. Our trained advocates and staff have made ongoing calls to their Representatives, as well as to Governor Hogan in support of this important budget item. 

Finally, ACCO’s team continues to work with Brian Mattingly at the MD Dept. of Health providing childhood cancer representation on MD’s State Comprehensive Cancer Plan Working Groups including a presentation to the Maryland Cancer Council on Sept. 17th, 2021. 

ACCO is thrilled with the great strides taking place through our leadership towards state funding for childhood cancer research in Maryland which builds upon our successes in securing appropriations of $5 million in KY, $15 million in New Jersey, and $10 million appropriated in Pennsylvania. In the past year, ACCO has trained more than 600 childhood cancer advocates in 48 states, expanding our “What About Kids?” state-level funding for childhood cancer research across the country! 

We encourage you to follow ACCO’s “What About Kids?” updates as we transform state-level cancer funding across the U.S which could directly impact childhood cancer research in your state!

To donate in support of “What About Kids?” click here:


Since its founding in 1970, ACCO has been at the forefront of advocating for childhood cancer research funding. Historically, ACCO worked with the Federal Government to secure appropriations for childhood cancer research including advocating alongside President Nixon’s National Cancer Act of 1971 to more recently working alongside the community to pass the Childhood Cancer STAR Act. Despite extensive successes at the federal level, childhood cancer research remains sorely underfunded. 

In 2011, ACCO conducted a comprehensive analysis of state-based comprehensive cancer control plans where we identified that more than half of our nation’s states had no childhood cancer language included in their plans. These plans guide and coordinate efforts within the state to gather state-specific cancer incidence and mortality data, as well as identify and implement goals and strategies specific to address their cancer burden and needs. Most plans and associated state-based funding were focused primarily on adult cancer. 

ACCO asked the critical question: “What About Kids?” Since 2016, we have taken the lead in representing childhood cancer on state cancer working groups, as well as securing childhood cancer research funding at the state level. We established a model program in Kentucky through the creation of the KY Pediatric Cancer Trust Fund with an associated $5 million appropriated each year through the Governor’s budget.

In 2021, ACCO’s leadership resulted in $25,000,000 in new state appropriations, transforming childhood cancer research funding in a whole new way! Through donor funding of ACCO’s “What About Kids?®” Advocacy Initiative, ACCO has successfully proven that states play a critical role in overcoming the national disparity between adult and childhood cancer research, treatment, and support. In addition to the $5 million previously appropriated in KY, ACCO secured an additional $15 million in New Jersey and $10 million appropriated in Pennsylvania. This amounts to $30 million secured by ACCO across 3 states for childhood cancer research in 2021 and equates to the annual amount appropriated at the Federal level through the historic Childhood Cancer STAR Act. 

As part of our What About Kids® program, our twice-monthly training has recruited more than 600 childhood cancer advocates across 48 states who have begun state-specific initiatives through ACCO-led targeted workgroups. ACCO’s goal is to secure state-based childhood cancer research funding in 25 states by 2030. As a proud member of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer (GICC), ACCO’s goal is in keeping with the WHO’s Targeted Goal: To increase the global survival of childhood cancer to 60% by 2030, thereby saving an additional 1 million children’s lives. 

As ACCO continues to expand its innovative childhood cancer research funding, it is our hope and belief that doing so will contribute to that goal. 

To join ACCO’s Advocacy training, please click here:

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