Sherrie and Michael Wells started the Hugs for Brady Foundation in 2009, shortly after their 13 month old son, Brady Michael, was diagnosed with Non-Differentiated Acute Leukemia, a very rare form of leukemia. In 2010, Brady passed away at 23 months old, after he had bravely battled the disease for ten months.
The Hugs for Brady Foundation is dedicated to helping children with childhood cancers. Our moral compass has directed us to support children with cancer in any and every way possible. This year, Hugs for Brady passed the two million dollar milestone in terms of dollars raised to help kids with cancer. Lets keep the momentum going!
How We Can Help
Every year, over 13,500 children are diagnosed with cancer in the US. We started the Hugs for Brady Foundation to help end pediatric cancer for good.
- Childhood cancer research is vastly and consistently underfunded.
- Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the U.S.
- One in 285 children in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they are 20 years old.
- Every year, an estimated 250,000+ new cases of cancer affect children under the age of 20 worldwide.
- Two-thirds of childhood cancer patients will have long lasting chronic conditions from treatment.
- Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group; socioeconomic class; or geographic region. In the United States, the incidence of cancer among adolescents and young adults is increasing at a greater rate than any other age group, except those over 65 years.
- Childhood cancer is not just one disease. It is made up of a dozen types and countless subtypes.
Money donated to the Hugs for Brady Foundation goes directly towards funding…
- Advanced cancer research at centers such as The Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
- Special projects such as funding the region’s first sedation-free MRI project at New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital
- Helping families defray the costs of cancer treatment for their sick children
- Providing computers, TV’s, furniture and video games for children at oncology units like the Robert Wood Johnson Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital’s Hematology/Oncology Unit
- Organizing Life-Saving Blood Drives
From buying custom built Brady Buggy Wagons, computers, TVs and video games, to the funding of the New Jersey’s first pediatric hematology/oncology young investigator program; every dollar donated is spent in the pursuit to make the lives of children with cancer better. Our non-profit organization serves people of all races, creeds, and religions. We do not discriminate. We merely support all causes concerning pediatric cancer.
No child is turned away— no matter what their financial status or if they do not have health insurance. According to our calculations, it costs about $10,000 day to be a patient on the pediatric oncology floor.
Our ultimate goal is to eradicate pediatric cancer. We will not rest until childhood cancers of all types are a forgotten nightmare.
The Hugs for Brady Foundation is a non-profit organization (Tax ID: 27-3921673) your donations are 100% tax deductible. No donation amount is too small and no donation amount is ever too large. With this growth, we have been able to accomplish more, and have a larger impact upon our community. We welcome new volunteers with open arms. Visit our Volunteer Opportunities Page to find out how you can become a cherished part of the Hugs for Brady Foundation.
Provide Brady Buggy® Wagons for every children’s hospital that treats cancer in the USA
The whimsical animal-shaped wagons are sure to bring smiles to children and adults alike. In today’s healthcare environment, the commitment to adapting medical care for all generations of patients, even the smallest children, is a priority. Providing Brady Buggy® Wagons gives children a safe, familiar means of transportation within a hospital.
With their bright colors and pleasant designs, the Brady Buggy® Wagon was created specifically for use in healthcare settings. Its child-friendly components and eco-conscious materials allow children and their caregivers some semblance of normalcy and comfort while navigating through the hospital during their stay.
The best feature of the wagon is that it includes a trailer to tow the IV pole. This allows kids to be mobile, even during chemo treatments.
The cost is $250,000 to equip every hospital in U.S.A. that treats pediatric cancer. To donate now, please click here.
The Hugs for Brady Foundation Pediatric Cancer Research Lab
Hugs for Brady recently pledged $500,000 to Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey to fund the institute’s first laboratory devoted to its Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program. The institute, which manages roughly 6,000 pediatric patient visits annually, has long provided the most advanced treatment options for children with cancer and blood diseases, a tradition of innovation on which the Hugs for Brady Gift will build. Under Peter Cole, the Embrace Kids Foundation Endowed Chair in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, the lab will attempt to develop treatments for pediatric cancer and for reducing the toxicity of anticancer therapies- research that will benefit children worldwide… With this new gift, Sherrie says, the institute is closer than ever to giving all children what they deserve: “the chance to play, learn from their mistakes, go to prom, attend college, and grow old with the people they love.”
Excerpt from, “A Loving Embrace” written by Leslie Garisto Pfaff. Read the entire article here.
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Hugs for Brady pledged $300,000 to support state-of-the-art research aimed at helping the youngest of cancer patients. Personalizing cancer treatments by targeting genomic mutations in the cancer is at the heart of what is known as ‘precision medicine’—an approach which has seen rapid advances in recent years. Instead of prescribing therapy based solely on the organ where the cancer originated, clinicians utilize genomic analysis for a more comprehensive look. Through a rapid gene sequencing test, the tiniest details of a tumor biopsy are uncovered, sometimes revealing one or more mutations in the patient’s genes. It is the mutations themselves that can be targeted with new or existing drugs. A team of physician-scientists, bioinformatics specialists, systems biologists, pathologists and a host of others meet weekly to discuss profiling results and determine therapy options. This new commitment to the precision medicine initiative will provide additional opportunities over the next three years for physicians to analyze the genomic profiles of pediatric patients to better understand their cancers and help improve treatment options.
Funding of a research program, such as the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, is a critical step in helping to find a cure.
Dr. Richard Drachtman, Medical Director at Bristol Myers-Squibb Children’s Hospital and Brady’s Primary Doctor
Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York Presbyterian: Research
The Hugs for Brady Foundation is proud to support the funding for a pediatric “mock” MRI machine and video goggles to provide sedation free procedures. The Kitten Scanner and MRI Goggles will have a significant impact on young patients. By preparing children for procedures and easing their stress, this donation underscores the patient- and family-centered care that is at the core of the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital’s mission and will help the doctors, nurses, child life specialists and staff deliver on that promise.
The aim of this research is to reduce the number of children receiving general anesthesia and as a result improve safety and quality of care provided.
This two year research project is being headed by Kari Mastro, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, the Vice President of Nursing and Patient Care Services at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York Presbyterian.
The Hugs for Brady Foundation was established to help children battling cancer and assist in research to ultimately find a cure for pediatric cancer. We are a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. All donations are 100% tax deductible (Tax ID# 27-3921673).
Thank you so much for all of your support—it is such a worthy cause. On behalf of Brady and all of the children with cancer, any donation will be greatly appreciated.
You can look into the window of Brady’s life and read all about the extraordinary journey of a 13 month old baby diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, here. It is a very personal view of what it is like to have a baby with pediatric cancer.