New York (February 21, 2013) – This week, The V Foundation for Cancer Research and ESPN are teaming up with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the fight against pediatric cancer by raising awareness and funds to support lifesaving work for children.
Tipping off February 24, and continuing through March 4, the NBA family—led by Hoops for St. Jude ambassadors and ESPN commentators—will engage fans through this unique relationship, designed to advance cancer research and patient care benefiting children and families battling pediatric cancer. One hundred percent of donations to The V Foundation from this campaign will go directly towards cancer research benefiting St. Jude patients. Together they form a powerful force in pediatric cancer research.
“The work that St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital does is nothing short of amazing,” said Los Angeles Lakers forward and third-year Hoops for St. Jude Ambassador Pau Gasol. “I have visited the hospital many times and have witnessed first-hand the impact of the support it receives. Funding from The V Foundation makes our fight against cancer even stronger. St. Jude’s lifesaving work wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of others.”
March 4, the final day of the campaign, marks the 20th anniversary of The V Foundation, which was founded in 1993 by ESPN and legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator, the late Jim Valvano. As a cancer patient, Valvano worked to eradicate the disease by championing investment in promising young cancer researchers. To date, with ESPN’s leadership, The V Foundation has helped carry his dream forward by awarding more than $100 million in cancer research grants. This new endeavor will allow the organizations to work together to help make the shared vision of a world free of pediatric cancer a reality.
St. Jude and The V Foundation are joined by ESPN and the NBA, who have committed to promoting the campaign within a slate of nationally televised games during Hoops for St. Jude week and via a new public service announcement that will air throughout the week on ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV.
”Working in collaboration to eradicate cancer is more important now than ever before,” said Susan Braun, CEO of The V Foundation. “Cancer is a complex and devastating disease. We dedicate this important collaboration to children facing cancer and their loved ones, and we are honored to take part.”
The contributions of St. Jude supporters enable the hospital to treat the toughest cases of childhood cancer, with some of the best outcomes in the world. Best of all, no family ever pays St. Jude for anything. St. Jude has literally changed the way the world treats childhood cancer and has helped push overall survival rates from 20 to 80 percent since the hospital opened in 1962. St. Jude freely shares its research discoveries with doctors and scientists everywhere, so that one child saved at St. Jude means thousands more saved around the world.
“‘Your child has cancer’ may be the four scariest, most devastating words a parent could ever hear, and they mark the beginning of one of the most daunting battles children and their families could ever face,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude. “St. Jude has made incredible progress in the fight against pediatric cancer, but it’s a fight that wages on. We are blessed to have allies like The V Foundation, ESPN and the NBA in arming our doctors and scientists with the resources they need, introducing more people to our lifesaving work and inviting them to join us in our mission.”
Fans will have the opportunity to support the pediatric cancer awareness campaign in a variety of ways, including donating at www.stjude.org/hoops or www.jimmyv.org/nba, or donating $10 by texting HOPE to 50333 or JIMMYV to 80888 (message and data rates may apply).
Schedule of nationally televised NBA games: February 24 – March 4 (ET
MEM @ BKN; 7pm/ESPN
Schedule of nationally broadcast NBA games on ESPN Radio: February 24 – March 3 (ET)
LAL @ DAL; 1pm/ESPN Radio
Interviews, Hoops ambassador quotes, b-roll, video and photos available upon request.
About NBA Cares
NBA Cares is the league's social responsibility initiative that builds on the NBA's long tradition of addressing important social issues in the United States and around the world. Through this umbrella program, the NBA, its teams and players have donated than $210 million to charity, completed more than 2.3 million hours of hands-on community service, and created more than 760 places where kids and families can live, learn, or play, in 24 countries or territories on five continents. NBA Cares works with internationally recognized youth-serving programs that support education, youth and family development, and health-related causes, including: KaBOOM!, Special Olympics, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, UNICEF, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Since opening 50 years ago, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has changed the way the world treats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. No family ever pays St. Jude for the care their child receives and, for every child treated here, thousands more have been saved worldwide through St. Jude discoveries. The hospital has played a pivotal role in pushing U.S. pediatric cancer survival rates from 20 to 80 percent overall, and is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted to children. It is also a leader in the research and treatment of blood disorders and infectious diseases in children. St. Jude was founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, who believed that no child should die in the dawn of life. Join that mission by visiting stjude.org or following us on facebook.com/stjude and twitter.com/stjude.
About The V Foundation
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has funded more than $100 million in cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. Administrative and fundraising expenses are paid by their endowment. The Foundation distributes grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Board. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.
About Team ESPN
Team ESPN, the corporate outreach program of ESPN, encompasses ESPN's multi-faceted community relations initiatives, including volunteerism, corporate giving and cause marketing, while utilizing its diverse media assets. Through Team ESPN, ESPN employees and fans join together to make a difference in the communities in which we work. Its slogan is “Fans Helping Fans.®” www.teamespn.com.