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WHAT WE DO

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MEDICAL AND ANCILLARY PROGRAMS

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he Children’s Cancer Caring Center (CCCC) is the only free treatment center for children stricken with cancer in the southeastern United States.  All patients, equally, receive state-of-the-art medical care and treatment regardless of economic or insurance status.

From its inception, the CCCC has strongly supported research and currently supports and participates in the largest, worldwide clinical research effort ever attempted in the development of better childhood cancer therapies, coordinated by the National Cancer Institute.

The Children’s Cancer Caring Center also created, administers, and supports, a comprehensive network of totally free non-medical ancillary programs for its patients and their families which include:

THE FAMILY FUND – serving those in need of assistance with non-medical items such as limited transportation, money for food, diapers, etc.

HOME AWAY FROM HOME – at the Ronald McDonald House, paid for by the CCCC for its families.

JOEY’S LOVE & WISHES – providing “Happiness Medicine” through special wishes made by, and granted to, each and every CCCC youngster.

CAMP FIESTA – proving a unique and exciting fun-filled 9-day sleep-away and travel summer camp experienced under full medical supervision where the majority of counselors are long-term survivors of the CCCC.

SPECIAL EVENTS – provided for the children which include an annual Holiday Extravaganza, outing to the circus, ice show, major sporting events, and so much more, with a focus on family togetherness.

Because cancer affects children differently than it does adults, the treatment of cancer in children is also different.  This requires medical attention from pediatric oncologists and over two dozen additional separate sub-specialty physicians, some of whom are involved initially, at the point of diagnosis, with others becoming involved at various phases during the treatment process.  The cost of treating one child with cancer is staggering and continues to skyrocket annually.

The CCCC, unlike other pediatric facilities, provides long-term follow-up care into adulthood, corrective surgery and prosthetics, and whatever else is needed to improve the quality of life for the courageous children and young adults who are now long-term cancer survivors.

The greatest reward of the CCCC’s medical program comes from its remarkable, maturing patients, who have gone on to complete school, pursue professional careers, lead productive lives, get married and have children of their own.  Their accomplishments and celebrations–at graduations, weddings and other occasions–honor the true spirit of life and the very purpose of the CCCC.

OUR ACHIEVEMENTS

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RESEARCH AND EDUCATION

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he Children’s Cancer Caring Center, from its inception, has strongly supported research and currently supports and participates in the largest, world-wide clinical research effort ever attempted in the development of better childhood cancer therapies, coordinated by the National Cancer Institute.

In recognition for the importance of higher education in pediatric oncology, the CCCC has also supported five Fellowships, while at the grass roots level, educating the community to the special needs of children with cancer.

Because cancer affects children differently than it does adults, the treatment of cancer in children is also different.  This requires medical attention from pediatric oncologists and over two dozen additional separate sub-specialty physicians, some of whom are involved initially, at the point of diagnosis, with others becoming involved at various phases during the treatment process.  The cost of treating one child with cancer is staggering and continues to skyrocket annually.

The CCCC, unlike other pediatric facilities, provides long-term follow-up care into adulthood, corrective surgery and prosthetics, and whatever else is needed to improve the quality of life for the courageous children and young adults who are now long-term cancer survivors.

The greatest reward of the CCCC’s medical program comes from its remarkable, maturing patients, who have gone on to complete school, pursue professional careers, lead productive lives, get married and have children of their own.  Their accomplishments and celebrations–at graduations, weddings and other occasions–honor the true spirit of life and the very purpose of the CCCC.

GET INVOLVED

Thank you for your interest in the Children’s Cancer Caring Center. If you are interested in supporting the Children’s Cancer Caring Center, including hosting an event, please fill out the information below and we will contact you to discuss opportunities.

THE FAMILY FUND

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he Family Fund is a proven “antidote” for the high level of emotional and financial pressure that otherwise would cause the family to destruct.  Childhood cancer is a catastrophic “family” disease.  It weakens the child, produces sibling neglect and erodes the family as a unit.

By providing confidential and timely, hassle-free, financial assistance, together with caring emotional support, the CCCC’s Family Fund program has succeeded in preserving family unity which, in turn, provides an added advantage to the child battling cancer.

The successes of the CCCC’s one-of-a-kind Medical Program, augmented by ancillary programs such as The Family Fund, have resulted in an increase in long-term survival for the patient and a remarkably low divorce rate among the parents.

Although a growing number of children are experiencing long-term survival into adulthood, the CCCC does not abandon those families whose children have lost their battle with cancer.  The Family Fund assists those unable to meet funeral expenses, assuring their child is buried with dignity.

The Family Fund provides for non-medical essentials, including but not limited to:

  • Limited transportation and/or repairs to the family vehicle used for clinic visits

  • Temporary family lodging at Ronald McDonald House

  • Patient clothing

  • Temporary household expenses and/or groceries when parents are temporarily out of work

JOEY’S LOVE AND WISHES

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n 1983, the LOVE AND WISHES program of the Children’s Cancer Caring Center (not affiliated with the Make-A-Wish Foundation), was created to meet the needs of each and every patient, regardless of prognosis, by helping to stimulate a positive attitude while reducing the high stress level that accompanies the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.  Every child at the Center receives a “special” card on which he or she indicates a most desired wish.  The CCCC considers fulfilling the wish to be a uniquely vital form of “happiness medicine.”

In 2002, this program was rededicated as JOEY’S LOVE AND WISHES Program.  Many years ago, when eight year old Joey Sessler began to lose her battle against leukemia, she was flown to Colorado, where her favorite movie star, John Travolta, was performing.  He greeted Joey with a kiss and picked her up in his arms.

Joey’s dream had come true, made possible by the CCCC’s Love & Wishes Program and CEO Lee Klein, who saw this experience as a much needed lesson in hope, and proof that nothing is impossible.  With the love and devotion of family, along with having her wish granted, Joey had powerful new inspiration that helped to strengthen her fight, and ultimately succeeded in winning a long and difficult battle against cancer.

Tragically, at the age of 28 years, Joey passed away as the result of an unfortunate accident unrelated to cancer.  Through the caring generosity of the late George and Lyla Williams, in loving memory of their beloved granddaughter, Joey, JOEY’S LOVE AND WISHES Program will continue to lift spirits, inspire and strengthen the courage of all CCCC patients for years to come.

CAMP FIESTA

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reated in 1985 as an independent, registered 501(c) (3) charity organization, Camp Fiesta is the official pediatric oncology camp of the Children’s Cancer Caring Center. Camp Fiesta is South Florida’s first and largest camp for children with cancer, and is located in Broward County’s beautiful Birch State Park, under full medical supervision.

Each summer, over 50 CCCC youngsters between the ages of 7 and 17 become stronger physically and emotionally, and enjoy Camp Fiesta’s 9-day, fun-filled sleep-away camp, where independence away from home and family environment is encouraged, and where children with cancer can be around other children who understand and appreciate the ordeal of battling cancer.

In 1991, Camp Fiesta underwent a major expansion, allowing a greater number of cancer-stricken children, not only from the CCCC, but from other tri-county hospitals as well, to participate in this outstanding camp, made possible through the generosity of the Ethel and W. George Kennedy Family Foundation, Inc.

Camp Fiesta features a wide range of activities including swimming and sports, trips to the beach, canoeing, fishing, arts and crafts, with sleeping accommodations in tree-shaded, newly-renovated, air-conditioned cabins equipped with TVs and DVD players.  The joyful Camp Fiesta experience is augmented by exciting South Florida field trips, and a three-day/two night travel adventure to Disney World, Universal Studios and Busch Gardens.  Judge Marilyn Milian, star of television’s “The People’s Court”, has held “Campers’ Court” where campers and counselors participate as plaintiffs, defendants, attorneys and witnesses in an educational mock trial.

Camp Fiesta is medically staffed around the clock and boasts a counselor-to-camper ratio of 1 to 3.  Most of the counselors are themselves cancer survivors who were former campers.  Camp Fiesta is funded exclusively through private donations.  The result of community support and volunteerism of its Board of Directors and camp counselors, Camp Fiesta is lovingly referred to by the campers as “The Greatest Camp in the History of the World.”