Teaming up to fight childhood cancer!

CALGARY, Feb. 16 /CNW/ - The Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation (ACHF) received a gift of $2.5 million today from the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta (KCCFA) in support of childhood cancer research at the Alberta Children's Hospital, as well as the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute for Child and Maternal Health and the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute - both at the University of Calgary.

"Childhood cancer is such a devastating disease. It's clear that a coordinated effort is required if we're going to find new ways to help more kids," says Saifa Koonar, President and CEO of the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation. "We're thrilled to be working alongside the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta in this battle. Their gift will go a long way to help our team discover new treatments and cures that will extend beyond cancer, beyond kids and well beyond Calgary."

The Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta has been a long-time supporter of the childhood cancer team at the Alberta Children's Hospital. "When I say it is a labour of love to support the childhood cancer team here in Calgary, I mean it," says Christine Wandzura, Founder and CEO of the KCCFA. "Their work is vital. And their efforts will benefit children and families for years to come."

Seven-year-old Michael Andrews is a cancer survivor who personally thanked Christine Wandzura for the support from the KCCFA for kids like him. He benefitted from the use of experimental therapies in his battle with neuroblastoma four years ago. Says his mom, Lisa Colford, "I don't even want to think of where we'd be if researchers hadn't come up with new drugs for Michael. It's great to know that these kinds of breakthroughs will continue for children facing battles with cancer right here at the Alberta Children's Hospital."

The Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation raises funds for excellence in child health and family centred care. Through the generosity of donors, the Foundation provides funding for innovative programs, state of the art equipment, advanced medical training and internationally recognized pediatric research.

The Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta is a charitable organization that supports families fighting childhood cancer by providing programs and funding in four areas: camp, research and hospital programs, and education scholarships. KCCFA was founded in 1991 by Christine Wandzura after she lost her son Derek to brain cancer. It began as the Kids Cancer Camps and later became the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta when it expanded its mandate to begin funding research and hospital programs. Today, KCCFA is one of the largest funders of childhood cancer research in the country, awarding $8.3 million to Alberta research projects to date. In February 2008, KCCFA expanded again and began awarding scholarships to cancer survivors. And, in 2009, the Foundation opened the gates to Alberta's first specialized camp for children with cancer.

SOURCE Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation

For further information: For further information: Jody Schwartz, Senior Associate, Communications, Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, Office: (403) 955-8813, Cell: (403) 889-8669, Email: jschwartz@achf.com

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Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation

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