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.