One mom asked for donations to fight childhood cancer. 20 years later? $100 million — and counting.
Kids who have a lot of health issues have a rough time. But when it's cancer … well, it's particularly brutal.
But Ansley Riedel fought childhood cancer and beat it.
She had a particularly difficult form of leukemia to treat beginning at age 1, and she had to fight it for just over two years. For any hope of a cure, she needed a bone marrow transplant — but it could not be done anywhere in her region. Her family had to travel across the country to save her life.
In 1995, her mother, Vicki, was raising funds for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and asked Aflac CEO Dan Amos for a small donation to make renovations on the floor where they cared for children with cancer, and that's where things began.
20 years later, Aflac has donated $100 million to the fight. That's no small potatoes.
Thanks to medical progress funded in part by donations like that, Ansley survived.
She's now a nurse at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, where she wants to help other kids get through hard times.
Over 15,000 kids under the age of 20 will be diagnosed with cancer this year.
What does that look like when you glance around the neighborhood or schoolyard?
1 in every 4 elementary schools will have a child attending who has cancer. Wow.
There is good news, though. In the 1960s, childhood cancer had only a 10% survival rate. Now, it's up to 80%. Progress, right?
You're probably thinking, "But aren't there a bunch of dollars every year from the federal government that go to cancer research?" And you'd be right.
Less than 4% of federal funding for cancer research goes to pediatric cancer. It needs our help.
Childhood cancer research specifically is critically underfunded. Here's some more about these numbers: