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Who We Are

Our History

            Child Cancer Fund began 30 years ago with the Child Life Specialist position in the Oncology Division at Nemours Children’s Health in Jacksonville, Florida. The Child Life Specialist provided a holistic approach to pediatric cancer treatment – one that was innovative and family-centric. This position was a vital part of the healthcare team, reducing the stress and anxiety of cancer treatment by providing diversionary activities for children. Children and their parents depended on the Child Life Specialist’s support, but unfortunately, 1994 was a time of managed care, and such “innovations” were not covered by insurance. A group of concerned parents came together to raise money to keep the Child Life Specialist’s position intact, and out of that effort, the Child Cancer Fund was born.

            Since that day in 1994, the Child Cancer Fund has served more than 3,500 children and their families. In 2019, Child Cancer Fund completed the funding of the restricted Christy Fund to forever fund in perpetuity the Child Life Specialist position at Nemours Children’s Health in Jacksonville, Florida.

            In 1998, the Child Cancer Fund added the second pillar of its mission: providing financial support to families experiencing hardships because of a childhood cancer diagnosis. Shortly thereafter, in 2000, they began sponsoring families to attend Camp Boggy Creek, giving them a much-needed, medically-supervised retreat weekend away from the stress of treatment. And because children miss valuable instruction time due to treatments and doctor’s appointments, the Spiller Educational Support Program was launched in 2014 to help children get additional tutoring and educational support.

            The third primary pillar in Child Cancer Fund’s support of families – emotional support – arrived in 2017 with the onset of #CCFConnect. CCFConnect was established for “those who understand what it’s like,” providing a social group for parents and guardians of pediatric cancer patients. CCFConnect provides opportunities for families to meet others facing similar circumstances through monthly activities throughout the year.

The Future of Child Cancer Fund

Caring support for families fighting childhood cancer.

This year, the Child Cancer Fund recognizes “30 Years of Caring” for Northeast Florida families battling childhood cancer, following the 2023 introduction of our newest programming assistance: mental health support. We are proud to add psychosocial and holistic support to our services, which is essential during a childhood cancer diagnosis. We’ve pledged $1 million to the Child Cancer Fund Psychosocial Services Endowment through our partnership with Nemours Children’s Health. 

This endowment will fund wrap-around services exclusively for oncology patients at Nemours – in perpetuity. These services include music therapy, animal-assisted therapy, psychology services, and education programs. The Child Cancer Fund Psychosocial Services Endowment will address patient needs beyond medical care, help ease the stress and anxiety of treatment, and improve overall health outcomes.

Our Leadership

Headshot of Carla

Carla Montgomery
Executive Director

The Child Cancer Fund was established by those who understand what it’s like. We are run by those who understand what it’s like. And like our families who never stop fighting, we will never stop.