MILWAUKEE, Aug. 18, 2021– Although it’s the leading cause of death for children under 19, according to the National Cancer Institute, childhood cancer research only receives 4% of funding from the federal cancer budget. Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, is advancing the search for better treatments and cures for pediatric cancer and supporting the next generation of diverse researchers through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST) Program.
Northwestern Mutual has committed $60,000 to the program, which will support 12 undergraduate, graduate, or medical students through eight weeks of research experience with top researchers in the pediatric oncology field. The company aims to encourage a more diverse pipeline of researchers within the field by supporting students from underrepresented backgrounds as they pursue research related to childhood cancer.
“Through the hard work and dedication of these students and researchers, the reality of a world without cancer is that much more attainable,” said Eric Christophersen, president, Northwestern Mutual Foundation. “Building a pipeline of researchers with diverse perspectives will help us drive the innovative ideas that are essential to creating the best possible outcomes for children diagnosed with cancer.”
Program Spotlight: Pediatric Oncology Student Training (POST)
Recognizing the importance of funding childhood cancer researchers at critical stages in their careers, the POST Program was created by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation in 2011 to increase exposure to the field of pediatric oncology and develop practical research skills among undergraduate, graduate and medical students. Students are provided with the opportunity to experience research firsthand by directly working with a principal investigator.
“Since 2012, Northwestern Mutual and their employees have gone above and beyond each year to help kids with cancer and this year is no different,” said Liz Scott, mother of Alex Scott and co-executive director of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. “Their support of the POST Program continues our daughter’s legacy by funding much needed research in the fight against childhood cancer by encouraging young, bright students to enter the field.”
2021 Pediatric Oncology Student Training Program students are conducting research projects with a variety of focuses, including Defining Features of Relapse Predictive Cells in ALL, Ototoxicity and Language Development in Pediatric Germ Cell Tumor Survivors, Disparities in Relapsed Pediatric AML Therapy, and Effects of Center-level Resources on Septic Shock and Mortality Incidence in Children with Acute Leukemia. The complete list of 2021 POST Program recipients can be found here.
The Northwestern Mutual Foundation is dedicated to accelerating the search for better treatments and cures for childhood cancer and supporting children and families affected by the disease. Since 2012, the organization has supported the fight against childhood cancer through its Childhood Cancer Program by donating more than $35 million to support families and survivors and has funded over 455,000 hours of research with partners like Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and other nonprofit organizations across the United States.
About Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope. To date, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a registered 501(c)3 charity, has raised over $200 million toward fulfilling Alex’s dream of finding a cure, funding over 1,000 pediatric cancer research projects nationally. For more information on Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, visit AlexsLemonade.org.
About Northwestern Mutual Foundation
The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is to improve the lives of children and families in need. The Foundation has given more than $400 million since its inception in 1992 and is designed to create lasting impact in the communities where the company’s employees and financial representatives live and work. We accomplish this by combining financial support, volunteerism, thought leadership and convening community partners to deliver the best outcomes. Our efforts are focused nationally on curing childhood cancer, and locally on education, neighborhoods and making our hometown of Milwaukee a great destination. Visit Northwestern Mutual Foundation to learn more.