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The National Pediatric Cancer Foundation (NPCF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research to eliminate childhood cancer. Our focus is to fund research to fast-track less toxic, more targeted treatments by partnering with 24 leading hospitals nationwide. Since 1991, the NPCF has been a shining light for children fighting cancer by donating millions of dollars to research.


In 1991, two mothers faced every parent’s worst nightmare. Their children were diagnosed with cancer.

Melissa Helms and Risa Tramel met at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida while their infant daughters were undergoing cancer treatments. Through research advancements, both of their daughters survived and are now healthy young adults. However, through this experience, Melissa and Risa were inspired to continue fighting pediatric cancer. Together, they founded the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to collaborate with leading hospitals across the nation and funds clinical trials to find a faster cure for pediatric cancer.

For the first 15 years, the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation funded seed grants at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital and Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, All Children’s Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida.

Our Impact

  • Donated 23 million dollars to the Sunshine Project
  • 87 cents of every dollar spent goes directly to our mission of funding research to find a faster cure
  • The highest ratings a nonprofit can receive:4-star rated by Charity Navigator with a perfect, 100% score
  • Platinum Level by GuideStar
  • Our Research Project, The Sunshine Project, will focus on Brain Tumors, Ewing Sarcoma, and a drug combined with the promise to treat multiple types of pediatric cancer
  • Clinical Research: Conducting multiple Phase 1 clinical trials at 22 hospitals nationwide
  • Pediatric Total Cancer Care Program: Blood and tissue banking program to further personalize medicine for children
  • Translational Research: NPCF laboratory at Moffitt Cancer Center is rapidly evaluating agents for Phase I trials