About Us

Every week, 38 kids pass away from cancer.

We want to stop this, so we support the brightest and boldest minds whose groundbreaking research is leading to better treatments and cures.

We also fund vital family support services and advocate for childhood cancer education and awareness. Learn more about what we fund.

We believe a world without childhood cancer is possible.

Our story

In 1979, 13-year-old Katie Hageboeck was nearing the end of her 16-month battle with leukemia. Before she died, Katie asked that her savings for a new 10-speed bike be given to Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF), a little-known fund at the University of Minnesota.

During this time, the government was cutting back on research spending, which stalled potentially lifesaving work. To support research progress, families in treatment at the hosptial would pass around a hat in the waiting room, giving memorial gifts in a child’s name. From then on, Katie’s parents, Diana and Norm, vowed to support the University of Minnesota’s groundbreaking research.

In 1981, two years after Katie passed away, the Hageboecks organized a fundraising event called Dawn of a Dream, which has become CCRF’s signature gala. Since Dawn of a Dream’s inception, the event alone has raised over $22.5 million for childhood cancer research.

Today, Children’s Cancer Research Fund is a national nonprofit, and thanks to donors and partners around the country, we have contributed $150 million to research, education and awareness and quality-of-life programs for childhood cancer families.

We believe kids deserve safer, less toxic treatments, and we’re committed to funding groundbreaking research and services that enhance healing and care.

CCRF News & Updates