Funding will support the Crazy 8 Initiative aimed at accelerating the search for cures for hard-to-treat cancers
MILWAUKEE, July 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Marking the 10-year anniversary of its Childhood Cancer Program, Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, has committed $2 million to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) to support the organization's Crazy 8 Initiative. As the initiative's largest funder, Northwestern Mutual's investment will support research for innovative and rigorous approaches that address the most intractable issues in pediatric cancer research.
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"Ten years ago, our company was inspired by Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, Alex Scott, and her belief that every child with cancer deserves access to quality treatments and cures that were not available to her," said Northwestern Mutual Foundation President Steve Radke. "In honor of our Childhood Cancer Program's 10-year anniversary, we are proud to continue supporting Alex's mission by investing in the Crazy 8 Initiative to advance the search for life-changing treatments and cures for families across the country."
ALSF's Crazy 8 Initiative is designed to bring scientists from a variety of disciplines together to collaborate and accelerate the pace of new cure discovery. Northwestern Mutual's funding will support larger-scale collaborations aimed at creating innovative treatments for incurable cancers, identifying and characterizing challenging cancers and utilizing cellular barcoding to fight pediatric leukemia.
"For 10 years, we are honored that Northwestern Mutual continues to be a steadfast partner to us in its commitment to finding childhood cancer cures," said Liz Scott, co-executive director of Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation and Alex's mom. "Their $2 million commitment to our Crazy 8 Initiative is the latest example of how they are true partners in making sure that all kids with cancer can reach their fullest potential."
Since 2012, Northwestern Mutual has supported the fight against childhood cancer through its Childhood Cancer Program by donating more than $45 million to support families and survivors and has funded more than 520,000 hours of research with partners like Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation and other nonprofit organizations across the United States.
Spotlight: Dr. Yael Mossé, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Cancer Center
Through ALSF's Crazy 8 Initiative, Dr. Yael Mossé, pediatric oncologist at CHOP's Cancer Center and professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, is leading a research team of international scientists to develop a drug that directly targets MYCN – the protein that causes many of the most aggressive and lethal pediatric cancers, including high-risk neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma. Dr. Mossé and her team aim to develop the MYCN-directed drug in four years, prove that it is effective against the most lethal pediatric cancers and launch a clinical trial shortly after. Successful completion of this project will lead to curative new drugs for children with currently incurable cancers by targeting an essential protein that, until now, has been deemed undruggable.
Funded by ALSF and grants from Northwestern Mutual, Dr. Mossé also led the research team and clinical trial that resulted in breakthrough research and made treatment possible for Edie Gilger, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was six months old. Neuroblastoma is the same cancer Alex Scott had, and recently, a biopsy of Alex's tumor revealed that her neuroblastoma was caused by a mutation in the same gene that caused Edie's, and the treatment that cured Edie of her neuroblastoma could have treated Alex's cancer.
For 10 years, Northwestern Mutual has almost exclusively funded childhood cancer research through ALSF to honor Alex's mission and legacy, and Edie is proof that this research saves lives.
About Northwestern Mutual Foundation
The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is to improve the lives of children and families in need. The Foundation has given more than $400 million since its inception in 1992 and is designed to create lasting impact in the communities where the company's employees and financial representatives live and work. We accomplish this by combining financial support, volunteerism, thought leadership and convening community partners to deliver the best outcomes. Our efforts are focused nationally on curing childhood cancer, and locally on education, neighborhoods and making our hometown of Milwaukee a great destination. Visit Northwestern Mutual Foundation to learn more.
About Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of 4-year-old Alexandra "Alex" Scott, who was fighting cancer and wanted to raise money to find cures for all children with cancer. Her spirit and determination inspired others to support her cause, and when she passed away at the age of 8, she had raised $1 million. Since then, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement. Today, ALSF is one of the leading funders of pediatric cancer research in the U.S. and Canada raising more than $250 million so far, funding over 1,000 research projects and providing programs to families affected by childhood cancer. For more information, visit AlexsLemonade.org.
About Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual has been helping people and businesses achieve financial security for more than 165 years. Through a holistic planning approach, Northwestern Mutual combines the expertise of its financial professionals with a personalized digital experience and industry-leading products to help its clients plan for what's most important. With more than $560 billion in combined company and client assets, $34 billion in revenues, and $2.1 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to nearly five million people with life, disability income and long-term care insurance, annuities, and brokerage and advisory services. Northwestern Mutual ranked 97 on the 2022 FORTUNE 500 and was recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2022.
Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, WI (life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (investment brokerage services), broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC) (investment advisory and services), federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company (NLTC) (long-term care insurance). Not all Northwestern Mutual representatives are advisors. Only those representatives with "Advisor" in their title or who otherwise disclose their status as an advisor of NMWMC are credentialed as NMWMC representatives to provide investment advisory services.
SOURCE Northwestern Mutual