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UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

By Our Side

News & Features

Titus and Jedidiah Chang © UC Regents 

Survivor stories  

Patients tell their own stories about treatment and recovery.

Robyn Raphael © UC Regents 

Cancer donor stories  

Donors share their inspirational stories of why they support UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Giving to Cancer Center


The UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center recognizes our many donors and supporters.

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Keaton Raphael Memorial

Keaton Raphael MemorialKeaton Raphael Memorial, a Roseville-based philanthropy, has been a leading source of support for pediatric cancer patients and researchers at UC Davis since 2000. Created and named for Keaton Raphael, who died at age 5 in 1998 of neuroblastoma, the organization has raised millions to provide children with cancer and their families with emotional, educational and financial support, as well as to increase awareness and fund pediatric cancer research. Their direct contributions to UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center include sponsorship of “Keaton’s Korner,” a play area in the Pediatric Infusion Center, “End of Therapy” parties for children when they complete treatment, organization and hosting of Sacramento-area St. Baldrick’s Day fundraising events, innovative pediatric cancer research grants and pediatric clinical trials support.



Catch Some Air

Pediatric cancer patient Paislee Schumann models her new T-shirtThrough Catch Some Air,is a business created by sisters Brianna and Kristine Tesauro after Kristine was diagnosed with leukemia. Bored during long stays at the UC Davis Medical Center or in the cancer center’s pediatric infusion center, the two started drawing and making whimsical, cheerful T-shirt designs. They now create and sell the shirts online and have raised enough money to give shirts to other children going through a cancer diagnosis and treatment.



Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer

Alex's LemonadeAlex Scott, who passed away at the age 8 from cancer, raised more than $1 million toward finding a cure for the disease that took her life in 2004. Her parents created Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation in 2005 to continue their daughter’s effort, raising money for and awareness of childhood cancer causes—especially research into new treatments and cures. The organization has raised more than $120 million for pediatric cancer research, including work being done at UC Davis.



Beads of Courage

logo © beadsofcourage.orgBeads of Courage provides an innovative, arts-in-medicine approach to children fighting chronic diseases. Each pediatric patient is provided with a bead strand with his or her name. As treatment progresses, the child receives a unique, handmade glass bead to commemorate each procedural milestone. The result: a beautiful strand of beads that "tells" each child's story. The program, which started in 2003, has served children nationwide. UC Davis Children’s Hospital introduced Beads of Courage to patients with a cancer diagnosis in May of 2008. Since then, more than 150 patients have received beads as a way to memorialize their cancer fight. The beads have been so successful among oncology patients that the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine now offers the resource to their pediatric patients. Children receive beads while in the hospital, at the Children’s Surgery Center and in the Cancer Center’s Pediatric Infusion Center.



UC Davis clinical scientist wins second Hartwell Foundation award for pediatric cancer research

Noriko SatakeUC Davis pediatric oncologist and researcher Noriko Satake has been awarded a 2015 Hartwell Biomedical Research Collaboration Award from The Hartwell Foundation, a philanthropy that funds innovative and leading-edge biomedical research with the potential to benefit children of the United States. This is the first time a Hartwell investigator from UC Davis has received the Foundation’s inter-institutional Collaboration Award.


Joy Jars - Jesse Rees Foundation

JoyJarsGuided by the slogan “NEGU” (Never Ever Give Up), the Jessie Rees Foundation strives to ensure that every child fighting cancer has the support and resources they need to overcome their battle. The Foundation was started by 12-year-old Jessica Joy Rees, who was diagnosed with two rare brain tumors. During her fight, she asked her parents how she could help all the children she met who were also battling cancer. From this simple question, Joy Jars were created. Filled with new toys and activities, JoyJars let children fighting cancer (either at home or in the hospital) know they are not alone. Jessie personally filled over 3,000 JoyJars while she was alive and since her passing, more than 100,000 JoyJars have been delivered to children worldwide. The Jessie Rees Foundation has brightened the day for dozens of children at the UC Davis Children’s Hospital and Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Team Will

Team Will rider © team-will.orgTeam Will,is a group of cyclists that aims to raise public awareness of childhood cancer through various cycling activities and events. The organization originated in Folsom in 2005 after William Kiefer, a young boy with a rhabdoid tumor of the kidney, lost his battle with cancer just five months after being diagnosed with the disease. Now, riders of all ages and abilities trek across the country to raise funds and awareness about pediatric cancer. Team Will has so far raised $180,000 for pediatric cancer research and family support services. Their stops at UC Davis Children’s Hospital include fun activities for the pediatric patients, who then sign the riders’ jerseys before they set out on their long cycling tours. The team is planning its seventh coast-to-coast cycling event in June, starting in San Francisco and ending in New Jersey. They will stop at 10-12 hospitals and attend community events along the way. Funds raised will go to families who have children with cancer and to Camp Okizu, a program for families of and children with cancer.


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