Cancer is the second leading cause of death and the first when ranking death by disease in children. Childhood cancer will affect close to 10,500 children under the age 15 in the U.S. this year.
The survival rate of childhood cancer has increased, with 84% of children now living 5 years or more. Sadly, nearly 1,190 children under the age of 15 are expected to pass away this year from cancer. 1
Road Scholar is proud to help spread awareness for the following childhood cancer organizations:
Working together with Liz Scott, who founded the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation after her 8-year-old daughter Alex passed away from cancer, Road Scholar’s bright yellow tractor trailer was created, featuring an image of young Alex at her lemonade stand with the goal of being “On the Road for Alex’s Lemonade Stand…Fighting Childhood Cancer, One Cup at a Time.”
Alexandra Scott was diagnosed with neuroblastoma before her first birthday. After receiving a stem cell transplant when she was just four years old, Alex wanted to open up a lemonade stand and “give the money to doctors to allow them to ‘help other kids, like they helped me,’” she said. She ended up raising $2,000 that year. As more and more people heard Alex’s story, they too began to open lemonade stands and with their help, Alex was able to raise over $1 million to help find a cure before she passed away at the age of 8. 2
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has raised over $200 million so far towards helping to find a cure.
While Road Scholar’s awareness campaign was taking off, Jim Barrett, President of Road Scholar, received word that his grandson had been diagnosed with a tumor. He decided to create a trailer for the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF), placing his grandson’s picture on it.
The Children’s Tumor Foundation’s mission is to advance peer-reviewed research to develop treatments and cures for neurofibromatosis (NF); support persons with NF and their families by making thorough and accurate information readily available; assist in developing clinical centers and best practices to improve access to quality healthcare for those who live with NF; and expand public awareness of NF to improve diagnoses, increase understanding of the challenges that NF presents, and encourage support for NF research. 3
Working with the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation, Road Scholar created a jet black tractor trailer, featuring the foundation’s trademark bear who is pictured with a red bandana on, a symbol of undergoing chemotherapy. Also portrayed is a happy young cancer survivor.
The organization was created in 1990 after Greg Anderson, their Founder and survivor of a 30 days to live lung cancer diagnosis, visited a Children’s Hospital for a speaking engagement. After meeting with numerous parents at the hospital, Greg realized that he needed to do something to help. Greg interviewed parents and those responses helped him form the programs the foundation has today.
The Bear-Able Gift program, which delivers gifts to thousands of children each year…items such as board games, toys, crayons, coloring books, markers, video games, puzzles, books, teddy bears, craft kits…all sorts of things that make children smile and laugh…are distributed to hospitals across the country. The Bear-Able Gift Program is the largest supplier of gifts to children with cancer in North America.
The Helping Hands Fund provides emergency bridge payments directly to the utility companies and landlords, ensuring that each child has a warm, safe place to call home while recovering from cancer.
The Camp Scholarship Program allows children in remission to reconnect with those friends and activities. The program provides funding for a camp of their choice; sports, music, art, science, horseback riding, skiing or whatever activities they missed most during treatment.
Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation operates an extensive international aid program which provides treatment medications and medical supplies to clinics and doctors treating cancer patients in developing and impoverished countries. They also provide medicine and supplies to aid medical professionals in the treatment and prevention of the side effects of cancer including lymphedema and treatment-related infections.
Working with Hebert, Usable Creative of Lafayette, La, and Elmo Rinaldi (President & CEO of Northern Wine & Spirits and who introduced Road Scholar to Sky High), a new awareness truck was born, this one On the Road to Save Lives! Shooting for Comfort, Aiming for a Cure, spreading the word for Sky High for St. Jude, which helps fund research, provide comfort, and save lives at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Sky High is a non-profit organization comprised of an army of volunteers that raises funds on behalf of the families undergoing treatment for pediatric cancer and other threatening diseases at St. Jude through sporting clays, concerts, live auctions and golf tournaments,” says Brittany Hebert, Founder of Sky High for St. Jude.
September is also National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Prostate cancer is the “second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men,” affecting 1 in 8 males. Around 248,530 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed and nearly 34,130 will pass away from prostate cancer this year. 4
While symptoms are not usually apparent in the beginning, as the disease progresses, “men have a weak or interrupted urine flow; experience the inability to urinate or difficulty starting or stopping urine flow; may feel the need to urinate frequently, especially at night; may see blood in the urine, or have pain or burning with urination. Men may also feel pain in the hips, spine, ribs, or other areas due to metastasis of prostate cancer into the bones.” 5
Prostate cancer became the second awareness truck to join Road Scholar’s campaign after one of our drivers, Greg Kearsh, was diagnosed the disease.
Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month: Peggy’s Pathway
Over 61,000 women will be diagnosed with uterine/endometrial cancer this year and sadly, nearly 12,000 will pass away, mostly because the disease went unnoticed until it reached an advanced stage. So was the case for Peggy Pettinato.
“My mother was diagnosed in May 2014 with uterine (endometrial) cancer,” says Natalie O’Hara, the youngest of Peggy’s four children. “The disease had already progressed to Stage IV by the time symptoms appeared and the cancer was diagnosed. She underwent surgery as well as chemotherapy, both the state of the art at the time, however these treatments were not successful and the cancer took her life on Jan. 16, 2015. In seeking a way to memorialize her the year following her death, we had difficulty finding any information about studies being done on early detection or innovative treatments of endometrial cancer to which we could contribute in her memory. Because of that, our family has created a foundation in her memory to fight the devastating disease that unfortunately claimed her life. Discussions about the foundation began in 2016; however our first official meeting with our committee was in early 2017.”
That’s when Peggy’s Pathway for Women’s Cancer Care was born with two objectives in mind; early detection and innovative treatment.
The Foundation’s goal is to raise at least $200,000 annually to help fund research.
One day, Peggy’s husband Bob was talking to Jim Barrett, President of Road Scholar Transport, about his family and friends starting up the foundation and Jim further explained Road Scholar’s awareness trailers and the creation of one for Peggy’s Pathway. Steve Tolerico, a committee member of the Foundation and President of IDGroup, designed the truck, which contains Peggy’s picture.
“I think Road Scholar’s awareness program is a terrific program for both your company as well as the benefactor charities!” says Natalie. “It brings awareness to the various causes you feature throughout your coverage area as a literal travelling billboard. It also sets your company apart as charitable and active in your community, in addition to providing your core competency quality freight services to your customers.”
Check out all of Road Scholar’s awareness trucks here.