About The Pediatric Cancer Foundation

The Pediatric Cancer Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research to eliminate childhood cancer. Our focus is to fund research to find less toxic, more targeted therapies by partnering with leading hospitals nationwide.

The Pediatric Cancer Foundation (PCF) relies on five primary sources of funding for its financial support: individual contributions, corporate contributions, planned giving, grants, and fundraising events.

Current Sunshine Project Initiatives:

  • Clinical Research: Conducting two Phase 1 clinical trials at 15 hospitals nationwide
  • Pediatric Total Cancer Care Program: Blood and tissue banking program to further personalized medicine for children
  • Translational Research: PCF laboratory at Moffitt Cancer Center is rapidly evaluating agents for Phase I trials
  • Preclinical Studies: Funded 8 pre-clinical grants totaling $600,000 to Sunshine Project investigators

Proud to Announce:

Research. It’s what we fund. 
It’s all we do. 
It’s the only way to find a cure. 


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 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 this disease.

Together, they founded the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to fund research that will lead to the elimination of childhood cancer worldwide.

Over the past 23 years, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation has donated more than $6 million to researchers. For the first 15 years, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation funded seed grants at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, All Children’s Research Institute in St. Petersburg, the University of Florida in Gainesville, and the University of Miami School of Medicine.

In 2005, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation formed the Sunshine Project, an innovative collaboration with one goal: to bring together the nation’s top doctors and researchers to fast-track new treatments and increase the survival rate for children battling cancer.

Through the establishment of the Sunshine Project, the Pediatric Cancer Foundation has developed a business model that capitalizes on the strengths of researchers from all different fields of science and streamlined the process to accelerate the development of new treatments.

Best of all, the 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.

Help us Fund Research. And Hope.

A cure for pediatric cancer begins with you. Through the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, your donation can save lives. There are many ways you can be a part of funding a cure for pediatric cancer.

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