This week, The V Foundation for Cancer Research and ESPN are teaming up with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the fight against pediatric cancer by raising awareness and funds to support lifesaving work for children.
After tipping off Sunday and continuing through March 4, the NBA family – led by Hoops for St. Jude ambassadors and ESPN commentators – will engage fans through a partnership designed to advance cancer research and patient care benefitting children and families battling pediatric cancer. One hundred percent of donations to The V Foundation from this campaign will go directly towards cancer research benefitting St. Jude's patients.
"St. Jude is a research hospital, daily coming up with new discoveries for cancer treatments and that's important because they share all their information freely," Memphis Grizzlies head coach Lionel Hollins. "With that, we have quicker treatment and cures and we save more lives.
"The work that St. Jude Children's Research Hospital does is nothing short of amazing," said former Los Angeles Lakers forward and third-year Hoops for St. Jude Ambassador, Pau Gasol.
"I have visited the hospital many times and have witnessed first-hand the impact of the support it receives," Gasol, a former Memphis Grizzlies star. "Funding from The V Foundation makes our fight against cancer even stronger. St. Jude's lifesaving work wouldn't be possible without the generosity of others."
March 4, the final day of the campaign, marks the 20th anniversary of The V Foundation, which was founded in 1993 by ESPN and legendary N.C. State basketball coach and ESPN commentator, the late Jim Valvano. As a cancer patient, Valvano worked to eradicate the disease by championing investment in promising young cancer researchers.
To date, with ESPN's leadership, The V Foundation has awardied more than $100 million in cancer research grants.
St. Jude and The V Foundation are joined by ESPN and the NBA, who have committed to promoting the campaign within a slate of nationally-televised games during Hoops for St. Jude week and via a new public service announcement that will air throughout the week on ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV.
"Working in collaborations to eradicate cancer is more important now than ever before," said Susan Braun, CEO of The V Foundation. "Cancer is a complex and devastating disease. We dedicate this important collaboration to children facing cancer and their loved ones, and we are honored to take part."
"'Your child has cancer' may be the four scariest, most devastating words a parent could ever hear, and they mark the beginning of one of the most daunting battles children and their families could ever face," said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude.
"St. Jude has made incredible progress in the fight against pediatric cancer, but it's a fight that wages on. We are blessed to have allies like The V Foundation, ESPN and the NBA in arming our doctors and scientists with the resources they need, introducing more people to our lifesaving work and inviting them to join us in our mission."
Fans will have the opportunity to support the pediatric cancer awareness campaign in a variety of ways, including donating at www.stjude.org/hoops4 or www.jimmyv.org/nba, or donating $10 by texting HOPE to 50333 or JIMMYV to 80888 (message and data rates may apply).