CHILDHOOD CANCER SOCIETY
At 16 years old, Thomas Head was diagnosed with Leukemia and began treatment soon after surrounded by the love and support of his family and friends. Recognizing the significance of being surrounded by loving family and supporters during his recovery, Thomas set out to create Childhood Cancer Society, an organization on a mission to ensure that children diagnosed with cancer have the opportunity to experience the benefits that come from this vital support system.
Nectar News recently conducted an interview with Founder Thomas Head to learn more about the history and mission of the Childhood Cancer Society. “A true miracle happens when a child looks up from a hospital bed and feels the comfort of loved ones at their side”. – Thomas Head (CEO)
NN: The organization was developed considering the vital support system that young victims of cancer are in need of. Can you tell us more about how you came to realize the importance of the support system from your own experience?
TH: When I was 7 years old, I was diagnosed with an extremely low platelet count. Doctors thought I might have had leukemia, however, after a battery of tests and weekly blood work they concluded that it was ITP. My parents were small business owners and had the flexibility to always be there for me during my blood tests as well as doctors appointments. I never once went to an appointment where they were not both there. My memories from childhood are entirely comprised of instances where I was surrounded by the genuine love and concern of both my parents. During that time, I recall that foundation giving me the confidence I needed during what could have been considered a very scary time for a 7 year old boy.
NN: What are some of the unique services that families receive as members of the Childhood Cancer Society?
TH: When I was struggling with ITP, my family was fortunate enough to have great insurance and the means to get me to and from the hospital. They would also frequently take trips to Toys “R” Us as an incentive after blood work, bone marrow biopsies, etc. After a while, I would look forward to these treatments because I loved Toys “R” Us and I began considering hospital visits as an opportunity to add to my ever growing action figure collection. These experiences were my inspiration for developing the three main pillars of Childhood Cancer Society’s mission. The families we sponsor receive support with their medical expenses (deductibles, co-pays, debt, etc.), transportation costs to and from the hospital (gas cards, car services, etc.) and gifts (primarily tablets, video games, gaming consoles, etc.).
NN: What are the daily activities and responsibilities of staff members at the Childhood Cancer Society?
TH: My dream for Childhood Cancer Society (CCS) is to create a completely benevolent society that attracts people who sympathize with the plight of the people we sponsor and are interested solely in helping these families in their battle. In that sense, I decided at a very young age that we would only retain volunteers, never employees. Additionally, in the age of “non-profits” that sometimes have 50% or higher administrative expenses, I’ve always wanted CCS to be treated as more of a conduit for people who wanted to feel comfortable knowing that the dollar they gave went directly to a child who needed it. In that regard, I have never earned income from Childhood Cancer Society and never intend to. While we do pay others for services that contribute to our operation expenses (online domain services, overhead for fundraising events, etc.) we will never be a salary-oriented organization.
NN: What do you hope the Cancer Society will be able to do in the future that you haven’t already been able to accomplish?
TH: Currently, we are reliant on events and fundraisers to provide our support. Although we are 100% volunteer operated, these sorts of events are less efficient than a simple online donation based donor pool would be. My dream for Childhood Cancer Society is to develop a monthly donor base that costs us nothing to acquire thereby allowing us to essentially act as conduit for donors to donate directly to families battling childhood cancer. With a largely online donor base, we would issue a video with a quarterly donor statement allowing our supporters to see directly who their money helps. Mitigating operation expenses, increasing donor impact per donation, giving contributors the opportunity to see exactly who their support impacts. How large that impact is, will be the never-ending pursuit that we constantly improve upon.
NN: What is the most rewarding element of your work with the Childhood Cancer Society?
TH: Working with social workers to help families. Imagine you are a new parent, money is tight, but you have enough to embark on this journey with your partner and bring a new life into the world. Maybe as soon as 6 months to a year, or potentially even 7 or 10 years down the road (you never really plan for or expect this sort of tragedy), the child you love with all your being is diagnosed with an illness that immediately makes your heart sink and your mind race. Over the 10 years I have been doing this, I have known nothing to be more rewarding than helping alleviate the stresses and horrors that accumulate as a result of a shocking childhood cancer diagnosis.
NN: How can the community be of assistance to your work with young cancer patients?
TH: I’ve always said, money isn’t everything; however, it is the common denominator between all things. The amount of money we raise is directly correlated with the level support and quantity of families we can help. Our mission will always be to maximize the impact of your donation while mitigating the amount it costs to obtain it.
100% of the profits from the Childhood Cancer Society are used to help families struggling with the challenges of childhood cancer. To learn more about this 501(c)3 registered non-profit company visit their website and social media pages below.
DONATE Join the Childhood Cancer Society as they bring families together so that the miracle of healing can begin – one precious child at a time!