When David and Martha Shower’s newborn grandson was treated in Akron Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the couple credited the hospital with saving his life. They decided to make a lifetime commitment to support the hospital and chose to focus their giving toward fighting childhood cancer.
In 2002, the Showers Family Foundation gave $3 million to help build Akron Children’s Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders and to fund patient care, research and education programs. The center ranks in the top one-third of pediatric cancer centers in the U.S., in terms of number of new cancer cases treated each year, and has been recognized by US News and World Report and the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
Now, the Showers Family Foundation is encouraging the community to fight for a cure with Cash Dash for Cancer, an online fundraising campaign that will take place Aug. 23 – 25. The foundation plans to match every dollar donated online by the public and donations will go toward cancer research.
“Progress has been made in the quest to cure childhood cancer over the past four decades. During that period of time the long-term cure rate for childhood cancer has increased from less than 10 percent to approximately 80 percent,” said Jeffrey Hord, MD, medical director of the Showers Family Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders.
Dr. Hord said Akron Children’s clinical research activity is expanding by working collaboratively with other top cancer programs to offer access to protocols testing newly-developed drugs for various childhood malignancies. Last year, nearly 300 patients enrolled into various hematology and oncology clinical trials.
“The support of the community and generous individuals such as the Showers Family is absolutely essential to the work we do in caring for some of the sickest children in Northern Ohio,” Hord said. “I know that the high-quality care we provide, the wide-array of patient support services available, and our research and educational efforts would not be possible without the generosity of the Showers Family.”