Childhood cancer awareness campaign brings optimistic voice to families fighting for hope

Kneaders Bakery & Cafe and Huntsman Cancer Institute join forces for Hope Fights Childhood Cancer campaign | Photo courtesy of Kneader's Bakery & Cafe, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — In support of National Cancer Awareness month, Kneaders Bakery & Cafe launched its 2018 Hope Fights Childhood Cancer campaign with a goal to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research.

The campaign was inspired by the work of Joshua Schiffman, pediatric oncologist and teen cancer survivor and a world-renowned and respected cancer researcher at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah.

All 59 Kneaders locations throughout the country will sell elephant-shaped sugar cookies and elephant-themed retail items to support advances in childhood cancer research in the Schiffman Lab at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. One hundred percent of every $2.99 cookie sale goes directly to childhood cancer research in the Schiffman Lab and childhood cancer resources at HCI.

Kneaders has raised $350,000 for Schiffman’s work through its unique campaign since launching it in 2016.

Utah resident Kirsten Flores, a patient of Schiffman, and her two children have all been diagnosed with Li Fraumeni Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that increases the risk of developing several different types of cancer.

It’s a “gut-wrenching, ever looming, sickeningly high chance of developing cancer or multiple cancers in our lifetime,” Flores said, adding:

I was hopeless about our future as a family until I met, worked, and continue to work with incredible doctors and a team of people who bring me out of despair and into hope. People like Dr. Schiffman, who put my mind at ease the minute after hearing about his research with elephants and learning how to stay proactive. Ask anyone I know, and they will tell you of my admiration and support of both him as a person and his research.

According to the National Cancer Institute, up to 90 percent of patients diagnosed with LFS  run the risk of developing some form of cancer by age 60.

A cancer survivor at age 14, Schiffman devoted his career to researching and treating pediatric cancers. Schiffman led a study that found that a cancer-fighting protein in elephant DNA helps elephants protect themselves from cancer. This finding is one example of an inspiring cancer research innovation that may unlock the answers to new treatments, better outcomes, and ultimately an end to cancer in children and adults.

“Elephants have 40 copies of the cancer-fighting p53 gene,” Schiffman said. “Humans only have two copies, and some children and families at high risk for cancer only have one copy of this life-saving gene.”  

Across the U.S., 43 children are diagnosed with cancer each day, with more than 40,000 in active cancer treatment annually.

“Childhood cancer impacts our family personally and it’s what inspired us to create a campaign with a positive vision for families who are battling the disease,” said James Worthington, Kneaders Bakery & Cafe CEO, whose nephew is a teen cancer survivor.

“Because of generous donations to our campaign from loyal customers across the country (many of whom have also battled cancer in their families), Dr. Schiffman’s work continues to move forward with hope – which is what our campaign is all about. Together a little hope can make a big difference.”

Those wishing to learn more and donate to Schiffman and his team at Huntsman Cancer Institute through the Hope Fights Childhood Cancer Campaign can click here. Kneaders 2018 elephant-shaped sugar cookies are available to order online until supplies last.  

In addition to the elephant cookies and the campaign-themed retail items, Kneaders customers will also have the option to make a cash donation of their choice to the campaign or round up the total amount of their purchase at the register in stores.

Throughout September, customers are encouraged to tag pictures with campaign retail items and cookies using #HopeFightsChildhoodCancer. The campaign will run from Sept. 12 through Oct. 3.

To find the nearest Kneaders location and hours, click here.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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