Causes We Support
The mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.
Robert Roesler de Villiers, son of a well-to-do New York family, was only 16 when he quickly succumbed to leukemia in 1944. Five years later, frustrated by the lack of effective treatments for what was then considered a hopeless disease, parents Rudolph and Antoinette de Villiers started a fundraising and education organization in their son's name.
Headquartered in a small Wall Street office, the Robert Roesler de Villiers Foundation had only a few volunteers and a tiny budget. The task was daunting. Most leukemia patients, especially children, died within three months. Even by the mid-1950s, when the first-generation chemotherapy drugs began appearing, the disease remained a stubborn challenge. The Foundation reported in its 1955 annual report: "As of this date, Leukemia is 100% fatal. This is almost a unique situation among the many diseases to which man is susceptible."
Driven by the de Villiers' nearly boundless belief that leukemia and other blood cancers were indeed curable, the Foundation grew steadily, opening its first chapters in the New York City area. The organization, after changing its name to The Leukemia Society, was renamed The Leukemia Society of America in the 1960s to communicate a broad, national reach.
The mission of the Four Diamonds Fund is to conquer childhood cancer by assisting children treated at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital and their families through superior care, comprehensive support and innovative research. Any family in Pennsylvania with a child being treated for pediatric cancer at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital is automatically eligible for support.
Since 1972, the Four Diamonds Fund has helped more than 3,200 families since 1972. Approximately 100 new families receive support each year, and approximately 500 families are supported as they continue their cancer battle.
Four Diamonds offsets the cost of treatment that insurance does not cover, and supports the medical team that cares for the children. In the last 10 years, the Four Diamonds Fund has been able to provide significant funding to physician scientists at Penn State Hershey who are performing research in basic science, translational research, and personalized medicine in pursuit of improved therapies and ultimately a cure for all types of pediatric cancer.
Four Diamonds was founded in 1972 by Charles and Irma Millard, shortly after the death of their 14-year-old son, Christopher, who fought cancer for three years. The Four Diamonds Fund is named after a story Christopher wrote shortly before his death, which featured a knight on a quest to find the four diamonds of Courage, Wisdom, Honesty and Strength in order to be released from captivity by an evil sorceress. His family
believed the four diamonds to be symbolic of the traits Chris believed were necessary to overcome cancer.
For more information about the Four Diamonds Fund, click here.
Every year, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital at Penn State Hershey Medical Center is a destination for hope and healing for thousands of children and their families. As the only Level I pediatric trauma center between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, we serve the most populous rural regions in the nation, with more than a million children in our referral area.
Construction is underway on a new state-of-the-art home for pediatric medicine at Penn State Hershey Medical Center which will capitalize on our current strengths and allow us to better meet the needs of children and families in central Pennsylvania. The new free-standing children’s hospital building will represent the leading edge in medical facility design, and embody our commitment to family-centered care.
Children’s National Medical Center is the only exclusive provider of pediatric care in the metropolitan Washington area and is the only freestanding children’s hospital between Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Norfolk, and Atlanta. Serving the nation’s children for 140 years, Children’s National is a proven leader in the development and application of innovative new treatments for childhood illness and injury. Children's expertise in cancer, trauma, neonatology, cardiac, orthopedic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery care serves more than 360,000 patients each year.