The James Fund
Background Information on The James Fund:
When James Birrell was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 1996, friends, family and complete strangers rallied to help the Birrell family raise money to fund research which would find new treatment options to save James. One of the most insidious of all childhood cancers, neuroblastoma has a very high mortality rate.
Since his death in 2001, the Birrell family continues the work in James’ name to save other children. The James Fund has become the leading neuroblastoma initiative in Canada and is funding cutting-edge research projects in 8 countries. James Fund researchers have taken the top research awards in their field, globally.
About The James Fund for Neuroblastoma Research
“When I have to make the choice, it will always be to keep battling cancer,” James once said. “I am not giving up!” Of the Fund that bears his name, he said, “With all this experimenting, they’ll get it figured out and then all the kids with neuroblastoma will be able to survive.”
Those words have galvanized the team of James Fund scientists as they work towards a day when no child will suffer the horrors of this disease, which claims a child somewhere in North America every sixteen hours.
As well as funding world-class neuroblastoma research, The James Fund is also committed to supporting other neuroblastoma families during their fight to save their child.
Neuroblastoma is a type of childhood cancer that begins in the embryonic cells which normally develop into parts of our nervous system. Neuroblastoma usually occurs in children under the age of five and is the most common type of tumor found in babies under one year of age. Over the last twenty years there has been modest improvement, due to research, in the prognosis for children diagnosed with neuroblastoma at less than one year of age, however, despite research initiatives, there has been little improvement in the prognosis for older children with widespread disease at diagnosis. In seventy percent of patients the original tumor has already spread to other parts of the body before any symptoms are seen. The vast majority of these children die.