The Ethan Jostad Foundation for Childhood Cancer is one of the many organizations that were founded by parents after the loss of a child to cancer. Just because they don’t bring in the hundreds of millions of dollars like the larger organizations, in no way diminishes the great, from the heart, work that the foundation does for families and children with cancer.
Ethan was 7 years old and prior to the day of his diagnosis, appeared to be a healthy young boy. His parents noticed a small lump on his chest and decided to have it looked at. On Aug 6, 2009 they received the awful news that Ethan had Stage IV Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS ). I won’t go into all the details of the trials and tribulations that Ethan and his family endured. I would encourage you to read his story on the foundations facebook page, both so you understand what Ethan and so many childhood cancer patients and families face, and how much he and his family fought. On August 8, 2011, Ethan lost his battle to cancer. That same year, his family began the Ethan Jostad Foundation in his memory.
Some of the ways the foundation helps children with cancer:
Contributes funds to The Keller Laboratory at Oregon Health Science University
Provides toy packages to children with cancer and their siblings
Provides financial aid and support to Oregon families who have children impacted by childhood cancer
In addition to the St. Baldrick’s grant they have funded Dr. Charles Keller’s Lab at OHSU and his research into alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. The funds raised by the Ethan Jostad Foundation helped fund research staff that published peer reviewed medical studies and opinions in the medical journal Oncogene in May of 2013.
Their foundation is also 100% volunteer and the entire board is unpaid and has no overhead expenses in the form of salaries.
I highly encourage you to read about Ethan and his foundation both on Facebook and on their website. I also ask that if you’re looking for ways to help during this month of Childhood Cancer Awareness, that you look to Ethan’s foundation as a recipient of your good will.