Filling the Funding Gap

More adults than kids get cancer, it's true. That's why governments and foundations fund more research for adult cancers—and we're all for finding cures for adults. But look closer:



Average # of years of life lost to cancer


Average age at cancer diagnosis

icon of an adult swinging a golf club



Average # of years of life lost to cancer


Average age at cancer diagnosis

icon of a child kicking a ball
Curing childhood cancer is the equivalent of curing breast cancer in terms of productive life years saved.

–Dr. Eugenie Kleinerman, 
Head of the division of pediatrics at the Children’s Cancer Hospital at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

And those years we could save?

They’re the years when a kid could:

Grow up, marry, and have children of their own

Create something beautiful the world has never seen

Or even discover a cure for cancer

funding pie chart
The National Cancer Institute has more than doubled its investment in childhood cancer research in recent years, due to greater advocacy and awareness. However, more funding is needed to develop new, safer therapies for kids with cancer.
“Sustained federal funding for childhood cancer research is critical to accelerating progress for kids and families.”
–NCI Director Dr. Ned Sharpless

What about pharmaceutical companies?

About 60% of all funding for drug development in adult cancers comes from pharmaceutical companies. For kids? Almost none, because childhood cancer drugs are not profitable. Look even closer:

You may see bald children on the fundraising appeals of other charities, but if you’re particular about how your donation is used, look carefully. Many cancer organizations fund:

  • Patient support groups.
  • Transportation to treatments.
  • Places for families to stay during hospital visits.
  • Health information and education.
  • Programs to make patients feel and look better.

We’re glad—these are all important! But if you’re giving to support cancer research (specifically for kids), look closely to see how much of your donation will do that.
It may be less than 5%.

All childhood cancer research, all the time.

At the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, we do one thing, and we do it well:
We fund childhood cancer research.

  • Our mission is to find cures for childhood cancers and to give survivors long and healthy lives.
  • We are the largest non-government funder of childhood cancer research grants.
  • By funding cooperative research through the Children’s Oncology Group, we give kids nationwide access to the very latest in research and clinical trials.
  • Thanks to a grant review system that impresses the experts, we fund only the very best childhood cancer research.

There’s a big funding gap to be filled.

Yes, we’re proud of what we do for kids fighting cancer. But there’s a big gap between the need for funding and the money available.

At St. Baldrick's alone, of the $26 million needed to fund every grant application that received an excellent score in the June 2024 cycle, only $9.4 million was available and granted.

 = $1m not funded  = $1m funded

St. Baldrick’s awarded more than $10 million in 2024 so far

That’s a lot of great research not yet funded.
With your help, we can do it!