Reflecting on World Cancer Day

The Children’s Inn CEO, Jennie Lucca, reflects on the upcoming World Cancer Day and shares stories of hope.

Jennie with child
Jennie Lucca with Inn resident, Melva

On this World Cancer Day, I would first like to take a moment to reflect on the 10,500 children under the age of 14 who will be diagnosed with cancer in just this year alone. Despite major treatment advances, cancer continues to be the second leading cause of death for children in the United States (National Cancer Institute). As a partner in hope and discovery, our goal at The Children’s Inn at NIH is to provide relief, support and strength to children, young adults and their families who participate in clinical research studies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Their medical journeys have led to new scientific discoveries that have and will continue to change the ways we diagnose, treat and prevent illness, including cancer.

The medical advances that take place at the NIH help make childhood possible. It gives hope to young adults like Terran who received a devastating cancer diagnosis at the young age of 14. Unable to treat her cancer, her doctors referred Terran to specialists at the National Cancer Institute, where mesothelioma and other rare cancer types are studied in children. Because of you, Terran and her family had a nurturing place like home to stay so they could support their daughter as she participated in a promising cancer treatment trial at the NIH Clinical Center. Today, Terran is a college student, pursuing her dreams.

Terran and her dad
Terran and her father, Terrence

Another courageous story that comes to mind is Felix. Felix had been treated with every standard treatment for leukemia, including two bone marrow transplants; however, his leukemia kept coming back. Searching the internet for treatment options, his mom came across an immunotherapy trial called CAR T-cell therapy conducted at the National Cancer Institute, which seemed to be the best option for her son. Traveling to the United States from Vienna, Austria, Felixand his family placed their hope in NIH research. Thanks to you, they also drew strength and crucial emotional support from their stay at The Children’s Inn at NIH — without ever receiving a bill for lodging, meals or activities. Best of all, thanks to his revolutionary trial, Felix is now cancer-free.

Felix photo
Inn resident Felix

What Difference Can You Make for Children With Cancer?

Here are the simple ways you can make a difference today for children with rare and difficult-to-treat cancers whose best hope is NIH clinical research:

Your support will give the gift of hope to more children like Terran and Felix. Together, we can change medical history — one child at a time.