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Johns Hopkins Contact: Amy Mone Heaps
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Optimist International Foundation Provides Landmark Gift to Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center for Children's Cancer Research
Pediatric oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center received a major boost to its arsenal in the fight against children's cancers with a $920,000 commitment from Optimist International to establish an endowed research fellowship in pediatric oncology and hematology. The funding agreement is the largest ever by the youth-focused community service organization.
"This gift from the Optimist International Foundation will provide vital support, helping us to expand upon breakthroughs in the treatment of childhood cancers by rapidly moving research findings from the laboratory to the bedside," says Robert J. Arceci, M.D., Ph.D., director of pediatric oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. "Equally important, it gives us the opportunity to train outstanding new physicians who will care for our most precious resource -- our children," he added.
The landmark gift will be announced March 24 at a ceremonial event in the Cancer Center marking the collaboration between Optimist International and Johns Hopkins.
"It is through the hard work of our volunteers, the support of the Maryland-South Delaware District Optimist Childhood Cancer Campaign and the community at large that we have been able to fund such critical research efforts at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center," says Dwaine Sievers, president of Optimist International. "We are proud to be part of this program at one of the leading pediatric oncology research institutions in the United States."
Optimist International is comprised of 4,014 Optimist clubs with 126,516 members throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and around the world. Carrying the motto "Bring Out the Best in Kids," Optimist clubs conduct 65,000 service projects that reach more than 6 million young people each year.
Since its inception in 1973, the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center has been dedicated to better understanding human cancers and finding more effective treatments. It is one of only a select few in the nation to receive a National Cancer Institute designation as a comprehensive cancer center and the only such in Maryland.