Nurse Kelly Pergande cares for 2-year-old Trevor in our MACC Fund Center.

Nurse Kelly Pergande cares for 2-year-old Trevor in our MACC Fund Center.

For 30 years, I have been helping children who have cancer. Every child and every family has a different story, but each one is a story of hope and courage. And each one begins the same way — with the words no parents ever want to hear … “your child has cancer.” They’re scared and they feel powerless. That is the reality for families we meet every day.

Over the past 30 years we’ve made remarkable strides in treating kids with cancer, now with successful outcomes for 80 percent of the kids we see. But that means 20 percent of cancers are still very difficult to treat. And our treatments are still associated with a tremendous amount of acute and long-term side effects, even for the children who do successfully beat the cancer. With 13,400 children diagnosed with cancer each year, that’s just unacceptable!

The impact of research on pediatric cancer care

It’s research that has brought us to an 80 percent success rate, and research that will bring us the rest of the way to treating the most difficult cancers. This is not insurmountable!

We are recognizing remarkable possibilities, for example, as we further study genetics. As we understand how an individual child’s genetic makeup affects how he or she responds to specific therapies, we can better target medications to effectively treat the disease without destroying healthy cells.

Why corporate and individual philanthropic support is vital

This need for further research is why corporate and individual philanthropic support is so vital to our work with kids every day. Here at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the vast majority of the children we treat are enrolled in at least one clinical trial. We are taking what we learn in the lab and applying it to our care and, likewise, taking what we learn from our patients to inform our research.

As federal research dollars continue to decrease, it’s other funding sources that make our work possible. We are incredibly grateful for partners such as the MACC Fund and Northwestern Mutual, as well as the gifts and fundraising efforts of so many more who have made such a tremendous impact on our program.

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. On behalf of all the families we serve, I am thankful for the vital support we receive and am hopeful we can continue to spread the word, providing greater hope for cures as well as improved quality of life for our patients and their families.

Marcio Malogolowkin, MD– Marcio Malogolowkin, MD, medical director, Hematology/Oncology, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Specialists in the MACC Fund Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin are among the most experienced in treating children with cancer and blood disorders. The program was named among the nation’s best in U.S. News & World Report’s 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospitals report.


Making remarkable strides in treating kids with cancer, as research progresses — 1 Comment

  1. To Dr. Kelly and all the Oncology doctors. To Kelly, Bonnie and all the nursing and support staff at the MACC center.

    You are miracle workers that have helped to cure my son Doolin of ALL. Words simply cannot express our gratitude!

    Although we don’t see you all as often as before,(which is a GOOD thing!) the results of your hard work and love is present daily in Doolin’s smiles.

    We love you all!