Meet the Tap Cancer Out 2024 Beneficiaries

As we bid farewell to 2023, we are thrilled to share that Tap Cancer Out not only surpassed its initial goal of raising $1.4 million but also went above and beyond by donating a staggering $1.5 million to our ten incredible beneficiary partners as well as three of our original beneficiary partners: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, St. Baldricks and Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. We also made a spot donation to the Koenig Childhood Cancer Foundation to close out the year.

This generous contribution, made possible by the Tap Cancer Out BJJ community, brings our cumulative donations to over $6.2 million, supporting 78 diverse grants and projects focused on research, medical training, survivorship support, prevention, and more.

Looking ahead to 2024, we are fueled with enthusiasm to continue our multi-beneficiary approach. Building upon the strong relationships forged over the years, we are delighted to announce that all ten of our esteemed beneficiary partners will remain on board. Our ambitious goal for the coming year is to raise $1.5 million, enabling us to sustain our unwavering support in the ongoing battle against cancer.

We invite you to explore the details of each organization and the impactful programs your contributions will support this year. Join us (by registering today) in making a difference by registering for one of our local events and taking part in the collective effort to combat cancer. Together, we can continue to amplify our impact and contribute to the vital causes that drive our mission forward.

Based in North Carolina, Little Pink Houses of Hope’s mission is to promote breast cancer recovery by offering opportunities for survivors to reconnect and celebrate life and specifically address the needs of families impacted by breast cancer. This mission is grounded in the awareness that, while many resources exist for breast cancer prevention and treatment, it is rare to find programs that meet the palliative support needs of survivors and their families. Little Pink aids breast cancer recovery by conducting breast cancer family retreats across the United States and US Virgin Islands.

In 2024, Tap Cancer Out will fund the travel expenses for 75 families to attend a retreat location that provides opportunities for families to de-stress from the rigor of doctor appointments and cancer treatments, enabling families to spend quality time as a unit, meet other families in similar health circumstances, and create an ongoing support network for these new friendships, via social media and established networks. This funding will help to ensure that families that may not have been able to previously attend due to financial constraints can attend and start their path towards emotional healing.

The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation was created in honor of Jay McGillis. Jay was a special young man who developed leukemia while a member of Coach Coughlin’s team at Boston College. In the eight months between Jay’s diagnosis and the day he lost his battle with cancer, the Coughlin family saw firsthand the physical, emotional, and financial strains the illness caused the McGillis Family. After going through the tragic events with Jay’s family, Coach Coughlin vowed that if he ever had the chance, he would create a way to help families with children battling cancer. Coach Coughlin kept his vow and started this foundation to be there in Jay’s honor. Their mission is to help families tackle childhood cancer by providing comprehensive financial, emotional, and practical support. From diagnosis to recovery and beyond, they are part of the team, allowing parents to solely focus on their child’s well-being. The Jay Fund’s goal is to BE THERE for parents facing the unthinkable so they can be there for their families.

In 2024, Tap Cancer Out will continue to support 75 families with an additional month of supermarket gift cards, food vouchers for the hospital cafeteria, Uber Eats gift cards, and holiday meals so families and celebrate and make memories without the financial burden, or worry, of where their next meal will come from.

The American Brain Tumor Association is the nation’s oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to brain tumor education, support, and research. The ABTA is a steadfast advocate on behalf of the brain tumor community in the United States, and they are here to help patients, caregivers, and their loved ones as they navigate the brain tumor journey.

Tap Cancer Out’s relationship with the ABTA is extremely valuable. For the past two years, we have funded meaningful scientific research being performed by basic fellows. These fellows are the scientists of the future, bringing fresh ideas to an extremely difficult and complex disease state. In 2024, Tap Cancer Out will support the next cohort of fellows once again, funding a Basic Research Fellowship – a fellowship focused on metastatic brain tumors. The ABTA Basic Research Fellowship Program is among one of the ABTA’s most important offerings to up-and-coming researchers in the brain tumor community.

 In addition to the Fellowship Program, the ABTA, together with its Metastatic Brain Tumor Collaborative, is working to launch a new, critically important, collaborative research grant mechanism specifically focused on metastatic brain tumors. With the help of Tap Cancer Out, the ABTA can continue to seek better diagnostic and treatment options for this life-altering disease.

A long-standing partner of Tap Cancer Out, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s mission is to change the lives of children with cancer through funding impactful research, raising awareness, supporting families, and empowering everyone to help cure childhood cancer.

Since 2017, Tap Cancer Out has donated $2.15 million to ALSF, funding dozens of grants across the country, and we’re thrilled to continue our partnership as we fund more pediatric cancer research grants. In 2024, we plan to support research out of Baylor College of Medicine, focusing on the treatment of Lymphoma. Cancer is the top cause of disease-related death in children in the U.S., and a common type is B cell malignancy, making up over 30% of childhood cancers. While survival rates for kids with B cell lymphoma have improved, relapse is often fatal. Treatment with genetically modified cells called CD19.CAR-T cells has been a game-changer, achieving an 80% success rate. However, these cells are personalized (autologous), limiting their use due to cost and time. Efforts are underway to create “off-the-shelf” cell products, but safety concerns have paused trials. There’s an urgent need for accessible treatments for all kids with B cell cancers.

Camp Sunshine provides retreats combining respite, recreation, and support while enabling hope and promoting joy, for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families through the various stages of a child’s illness. The programs are free of charge to families and include on-site medical support.

In 2024, Camp Sunshine will continue to use Tap Cancer Out funds to support families attending Camp including; lodging, meals, activities, as well as onsite medical (physician) and professional support. One of the greatest barriers for some families attending Camp is the cost of travel. Camp Sunshine’s goal is to eliminate that difficulty by covering 100% of the travel expenses for first-time families who request support, and offer assistance, if possible for returning families at decreasing percentages. Tap Cancer Out will also fund the travel for families to attend the camp in person for the upcoming year.

Christopher’s Haven is an organization located in Boston, Massachusetts, and Atlanta, Georgia with a mission to operate a supportive community consisting of ten temporary apartments and a community recreation area for families of children being treated for cancer in nearby hospitals. Christopher’s Haven offers more than an apartment for kids and their families while they battle cancer. It’s a support system and a community where Christopher’s Haven families can be together, share a laugh, be comforted, and comfort others. We know medicine heals the patient, and Christopher’s Haven heals the child.

In 2024, Tap Cancer Out’s raised funds will help to maintain fully-furnished apartments at the Emerson Place Apartments in Boston, as well as across the street from the Emory Proton Center in Atlanta, GA. These apartments are available to families with children seeking cancer treatment at nearby hospitals. Families value the close-proximity to the area medical centers, treasure the ability to be together in an apartment setting, and cherish the needed support with other families facing similar circumstances during interactions in The Loft.

Our international partner, CureCervicalCancer, is dedicated to the early detection and prevention of cervical cancer. Their network of clinics operates in 7 different countries including Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Vietnam. Their Mobile Health for Mamas program launched in Kisumu, Kenya in October 2021, and in one year, they tested 11,384 women for HPV, treated 2,236 women for cervical pre-cancer, and successfully linked 156 women with advanced care. They also trained and mentored 55 local healthcare providers who staff our traveling mobile clinics and also bring their screening and treatment skillset back to their home healthcare facilities. They also trained and equipped 1078 community health workers with the knowledge and tools to bring HPV testing to the doorsteps of women in their communities.

In 2024, Tap Cancer Out will continue to support Mobile Health for Mamas, the first Mobile HPV Testing + Treatment Mobile to address the urgent need for access to screening and treatment in Kenya. Mobile Health for Mamas brings free HPV tests directly to the doorstep of women in the community through trained Community Health Workers. The HPV tests are processed in their mobile laboratory which operates on solar batteries and can travel anywhere and women who test HPV-positive are scheduled to receive free treatment at mobile clinics in their community from our team of local healthcare providers.

First Descents provides life-changing, outdoor adventures for young adults impacted by cancer and other serious health conditions, improving their long-term survivorship.

Through our three-year partnership, Tap Cancer Out has now directly sponsored more than 50 young adult cancer survivors to attend a First Descents program and will continue to support their survivorship adventure programs as we look to 2024.

The Isabella Santos Foundation is dedicated to improving rare pediatric cancer treatment options in an effort to increase the survival rates of kids with cancer. Isabella was diagnosed at age four with high-risk neuroblastoma, the most common rare pediatric cancer. Her treatment included chemo, surgery, and radiation with many treatments not available in the North Carolina region. That meant traveling all over the country in hopes of positive results. Isabella endured five relapses with neuroblastoma before she passed away at 7 years old in 2012. ISF has donated nearly $6 million to expand the scope of research and treatment, and to fill various needs surrounding neuroblastoma and other childhood cancers. By creating a comprehensive research and treatment option in Charlotte, NC through the ISF Rare & Solid Tumor Program, we look to create a cutting-edge option for children and their families.

In 2024, Tap Cancer Out will continue to support the ISF Rare & Solid Tumor Program as they desperately need an additional Solid Tumor Physician on staff. With more than 60 patients waiting to be evaluated, the Solid Tumor Physician is vital in delivering clinical care in the outpatient setting and elevating the comprehensive model of care to include medical, psychological, and integrative support. 

Johns Hopkins Division of Pediatric Oncology‘s vision is to focus on the types of childhood cancer that are most resistant to cure to develop new treatments that cure with minimal side effects, both immediate and long-term while linking their laboratory investigations to clinical trials to better identify new options for more effective and less toxic therapies, and assess the long-term consequences of cancer and its therapies in patients who are cured to improve their quality of life during and after treatment.

For the third year in a row, Tap Cancer Out will fund The Tap Cancer Out Young Investigator Award in honor of Michael Corb. Michael was the TCO founder’s nephew who lost his battle with leukemia at 9 months old. Funding through the award would support a young pediatric oncology faculty member researcher at the Instructor or Assistant Professor level by providing the resources needed to conduct innovative research within the Johns Hopkins Division of Pediatric Oncology.

We are thrilled about the impact we will make with our beneficiary partners through the end of 2024 and we’re so appreciative to have you as part of the ride!