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 hospital 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 $186 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.

About Us

At Children’s Cancer Research Fund, we believe a world without childhood cancer is possible – but it’s going to take all of us.

Illustration - Only 4% of federal cancer research funding is dedicated to childhood cancer
OUR WHY

Currently, only 4% of federal cancer research funding is dedicated to childhood cancer. It is crucial that we fund safer, more effective treatments and cures for kids with cancer.

Chart showing how donations are spent
OUR MISSION

Our main focus is to support the research of bright scientists across the country whose ideas can make the greatest impact for children fighting cancer. We also fund resources and programs that help families who are fighting cancer stay strong, find community and take care of themselves.

In our six-month fiscal year July 1 to December 31, 2019, 83.8 percent of donations went toward our mission.

OUR RESEARCH FUNDING PRIORITIES

We want to ensure that your donation has the greatest impact, so we’ve chosen to focus our research funding efforts on three main areas:

Emerging Scientists

Young researchers often struggle to receive funding early in their careers, meaning their great ideas go unexplored. This program funds the next generation of leaders in cancer research.

Hard-to-treat diseases

Many childhood cancers are considered less worthy of study by the National Institute of Health and other large organizations because they’re deemed too rare or difficult to treat. We are committed to closing this research gap.

Survivorship

The battle isn’t over when their cancer is gone – so we fund research that aims to give every survivor of childhood cancer a long, healthy life after treatment.

OUR SIGNATURE EVENTS

We host fundraising events throughout the year, both local and nationwide, to raise awareness and funding for childhood cancer research.

OUR HISTORY

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.

Photo of Katie Hageboeck

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 hospital 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 Dream, CCRF’s signature gala. Since the event’s inception, Dream alone has raised over $22.5 million for childhood cancer research.

Today, CCRF is a national nonprofit, and thanks to donors and partners around the country, we have contributed $186 million to research, education and awareness and quality-of-life programs for childhood cancer families.