PCH campaign helps with cancer research, Independent Newsmedia joins fundraising effort

Michael Spangenberg wrote on Instagram: “Feeling grateful and inspired after meeting Kaylee today. How many of us can say our smile would be this big if we were in her position? Thank you to everyone who donates their money, volunteers their time and works at @phxchildrens.” An example of the t-shirt made for the PCH Step Up. Step In. Stop Cancer. campaign. (Submitted photos)

Valley businesses are stepping up to help raise $1 million for children’s cancer research.

Last year, more than 315 children were diagnosed and treated for cancer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, according to Tim Harrison, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Special Events.

Independent Newsmedia is partnering with PCH to promote the month-long initiative: Step Up. Step In. Stop Cancer. The campaign, which can be found at StepUpWithPCH.org, is engaging businesses and community stakeholders to raise much-needed funds for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at PCH during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September. The CCBD treats more than 100 patients with cancer each day.

“Kids with cancer don’t have a normal life,” Mr. Harrison said. PCH wants every child to have that normal life of playing soccer, dancing ballet or hanging out with friends.

Michael Spangenberg wrote on Instagram: “Feeling grateful and inspired after meeting Kaylee today. How many of us can say our smile would be this big if we were in her position? Thank you to everyone who donates their money, volunteers their time and works at @phxchildrens.” An example of the t-shirt made for the PCH Step Up. Step In. Stop Cancer. campaign. (Submitted photos)

Campaign advertisements include headlines such as “Take him from surgery to soccer,” “Take her from radiation to recital” or “Take her from chemotherapy to kindergarten.”

Mr. Harrison says it’s not too late to help with the fundraising efforts.

“We are hopeful that we will see more activity on the website from individuals to start pages and challenges,” he said. “The beauty of this program is people can figure out how to step up in their own way.”

Several businesses are doing just that for individuals who do not want to make a monetary donation. (See If You Go box)

Michael Spangenberg, co-founder of State Forty Eight, has been an avid supporter of the PCH campaign for the past three years. The apparel company donates $5 to PCH for every specially-made PCH t-shirt sold. Visit www.statefortyeight.com.

“This year has been the most successful sales by far,” Mr. Spangenberg, a Chandler resident, explained. “A big part of our business is wanting to get involved in the community. We want to be the iconic brand in Arizona to support Arizona in every possible way. A big success for us is partnering with companies and teams that really show off Arizona.”

Mr. Spangenberg encourages people to consider volunteering for PCH.

“It is pretty amazing to see all the smiles on their faces, considering what the children and families are going through and how much PCH is helping them.”

PCH develops personal treatment plans for their patients, giving them access to the most innovative clinical trials and therapies that will give the child the best chance at survival. According to PCH, the breakthroughs they are making are helping save lives of children locally and on a national level.

When children finish their treatment at PCH, they ring a bell to celebrate their trials and accomplishments of surviving cancer.

“The bell ringing element is such a powerful message to getting kids to be able to ring the bell when they have completed their treatments,” Mr. Harrison said. “A very small amount of people get to ring it, and it is a very significant milestone in a family’s life. We want to hammer that bell.”

Thomas Olmsted ran 100 miles Sept. 14 for PCH’s StepUpWithPCH.org campaign. The Arcadia resident is pictured with his boys, Cannon, 5, and Porter, 2. (Submitted photo)

Thomas Olmsted, a former Navy Seal, who served the U.S. for nine years and father of two boys, Cannon 5, and Porter, 2, is now fighting for the children who need his help the most. He’s thankful that his boys are cancer-free, and wants to raise money for pediatric cancer research to give patients a chance for survival.

Mr. Olmsted, the featured fundraiser on StepUpWithPCH.org, has committed to raise $100,000 for PCH.

“My personal mark is $10,000, but I was challenged to raise $100,000,” Mr. Olmsted said. To help with the hefty personal goal, he ran a 100-mile race Sept. 14 in Colorado to show donors his commitment to raising awareness about childhood cancer.

“We always have an opportunity to give. If you don’t have the money, you always have the opportunity to strike up the conversation about giving,” Mr. Olmsted said. “Don’t be scared to step up.”

As a media partner, Independent Newsmedia will be promoting the campaign through articles, posting on our websites and through social media. Independent Newsmedia committed to raising $5,000 for cancer.

Readers can log onto StepUpWithPCH.org, Click on Support a Fundraiser, Search for a Team tab, type in Independent Newsmedia, and then make a donation to reach Independent Newsmedia’s goal.

As of press time last week, more than $367,000 has been raised for the PCH campaign.

Editor’s Note: Mrs. Bisson is the Arizona publisher of Independent Newsmedia.

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