About NPCF

Our Mission

The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF)  is a nonprofit organization dedicated to research and clinical trials to find less toxic, more effective treatments for childhood cancer.

Our purpose is to reduce the side effects of current treatments, improve survival rates, and ultimately eliminate childhood cancer.

NPCF is a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Did You Know

A majority of cancer research focuses on adult treatments and is done within the walls of individual institutions.


The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation created a collaborative research network with top oncologists and researchers across the country to improve outcomes for pediatric cancer.

Little girl in princess outfit holding a sign saying last day of chemo and that she beat Leukemia

Our History

In 1991, two mothers faced every parent’s worst nightmare. Their children were diagnosed with cancer.

Melissa Helms and Risa Tramel met at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida while their infant daughters were undergoing cancer treatments. Through research advancements, both of their daughters survived and are now healthy young adults. However, through this experience, Melissa and Risa were inspired to continue fighting pediatric cancer. Together, they founded the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to collaborate with leading hospitals across the nation and funds clinical trials to find a faster cure for pediatric cancer.

For the first 15 years, the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation funded seed grants at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, All Children’s Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida.

In 2005, the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation formed the Sunshine Project, an innovative collaboration with one goal: to bring together the nation’s top doctors and researchers to find a faster cure for pediatric cancer. Through the establishment of the Sunshine Project, the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation has developed a business model that capitalizes on the strengths of researchers from all different fields of science and streamlines the process to accelerate the development of new treatments.

Best of all, the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation has proven that this collaborative model works. Since 2005, we have funded four Phase 1 Clinical Trials. New compounds have been, and continue to be, tested and hold great promise for children who have not experienced positive results under the standard treatment protocol.

Picture of young African American boy flexing his muscles showing how strong he is to beat cancer