In these complex economic times, it has become increasingly common that organizations cannot succeed alone, and many nonprofits are embracing the concept of collaboration for mutual benefits. Indeed, collaboration has become quite the buzzword in the nonprofit world as the economic crisis has gripped our country and resources to support charitable efforts have continued to shrink.
However, collaboration is nothing new to CURE Childhood Cancer. Maintaining collaborative partnerships with other organizations has been a longstanding practice for CURE. CURE was founded in 1975 by Dr. Abdel Ragab, the first pediatric oncologist at Emory University. Because of the urgent need to fund a pediatric oncology research program at Emory and to provide support for families afflicted by childhood cancer throughout Georgia, Dr. Ragab organized a group of parents who formed CURE.
CURE’s first mission was in partnership with Emory and was to help raise funds for a special microscope and other equipment to assist in diagnosing different types of childhood leukemia, using newly developed techniques. In 1978, CURE contributed $20,000 to purchase the microscope and related research equipment. Additionally, CURE was soon able to provide partial support for the training of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology fellows during their research rotations.
From 1975 to 1981, the childhood cancer research lab was located at Grady Hospital. Since most of Dr. Ragab’s patients were being treated at Emory Clinic, CURE provided a significant donation in 1981 to establish a research lab on the Emory campus. This was designed as a temporary facility while plans were made to build a permanent lab on the campus.
Finally in 1987, a new outpatient clinic for childhood cancer was opened on the campus. Over several years, CURE raised more than one million dollars to build and equip a laboratory on the second floor of the pediatric oncology clinic. The Childhood Cancer Research lab was dedicated in 1989 and represented a huge step forward in providing an up-to-date facility with almost 3,500 square feet of space devoted to research in childhood cancer, the first of its kind at Emory.
Under Dr. Ragab’s leadership and with CURE’s backing, the childhood cancer research program at Emory continued to grow and soon became one of the largest pediatric oncology programs in the country in terms of patients diagnosed and treated each year.
From those early days and continuing today, CURE has worked collaboratively and cooperatively with the staffs at children’s hospitals in Georgia and beyond to provide important support to families. We also work with other wonderful organizations like Camp Sunshine, Ronald McDonald House and Remember the Rainbows, meeting regularly to discuss the activities of each organization, assess the needs of the children and families we serve and the collective resources available and determine collaborative means to address the needs.
We firmly believe that the more we are able to work together successfully, the more we will achieve our goals of helping families suffering at the hands of cancer navigate the difficult road they are traveling and the faster we will be able to achieve our mission of curing this dreaded disease. Every step in that direction counts.