Executive Director of CURE Childhood Cancer Kristin Connor is in the studio for today’s episode of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio. Joined by co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick, the group discusses CURE Childhood Cancer, how the nonprofit helps families and children, the impact of the pandemic on the organization and more on this Around Atlanta segment of Radio.
Connor is an Atlanta native. She attended Vanderbilt University for her undergraduate education and then earned a law degree from the University of Georgia (UGA). After graduating from UGA, Connor went on to practice law for 10 years as a business litigator for a Midtown firm.
“I sort of think of all that as training for what I ultimately moved on to do,” said Connor. “In 2001, my youngest son was born with cancer. I didn’t know that could happen until then and that was a life-changing experience. It really exposed me to the world of kids with cancer that I had never seen up close and personally.”
Connor’s son had an aggressive cancer on his spine at birth and was declared cancer-free in 2003. He is now 19 years old and a college student. Connor is extremely thankful for the outcome her son and family had but was changed by the experience forever. She realized that there was very little being done about childhood cancer on a national level. As she learned more about the gap in public knowledge towards the issue, she was motivated to help the cause as much as possible.
Connor took a leave of absence to pursue work with a national nonprofit that addresses childhood cancer. After almost two years, CURE approached Connor about its growing organization. CURE was looking to take its nonprofit to the next level with the help of Connor and her skill set. Fifteen years later, she is still with the company, helping it thrive and spread awareness to make a difference in children with cancer.
CURE Childhood Cancer was founded in 1975 by the first pediatric oncologist at Emory University, Dr. Abdel Ragab. At the time, there was no research budget, a lack of basic tools and patients receiving transfusions in closets. Dr. Abdel wasn’t even able to diagnose different types of pediatric leukemia in patients to prescribe the best course of action. Because of this, he knew things had to change. With the help of the Tri Delta Atlanta Alumnae chapter, enough money was raised to create CURE Childhood Cancer.
“I love the organization because it is just extremely mission-focused,” said Connor. “We focus only on cancers which affect children. I certainly didn’t know it before we went through it, but those are very different than cancers that affect adults. Our primary mission is to advance research which is specific to those cancers that affect kids and to help families through the journey.”
Since CURE’s conception in 1975, it has raised millions of dollars to advance research for childhood cancer, as well as lobbied for life-changing legislation and supported thousands of childhood cancer patients and their families. When Connor joined CURE 15 years ago, it operated on a budget of around $850,000 with a total staff of three people. Now, the nonprofit has 20 employees and a budget of over $8 million.
CURE Childhood Cancer has a strong partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Through the partnership, CURE has helped to bring innovative and state-of-the-art technology to Atlanta. The technology is focused on the genetic makeup of cancer and works to target and attack the genetic issues involved with children with cancer. This very precise technology was funded by CURE Childhood Cancer.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, healthcare operations have looked very different. At first, only one designated parent was allowed to stay with a child while receiving treatment for his or her cancer. In addition, children and their parents were separated with no outside interaction. This means no therapy dogs, group sessions, food deliver or other programs to help ease a child’s time in the hospital.
In response, CURE immediately switched its tactics to better support parents and children experiencing these difficulties. CURE started packaging up meals in boxes and having them delivered to parents in the hospital. Because these parents were alone without the support of other family members in the hospital, leaving for food or other necessities was almost impossible. CURE helped alleviate some of the stressors by having food delivered directly to the rooms. In addition, CURE continued to provide financial and lodging support for families in need.
CURE Childhood Cancer has two events coming up, including Lauren’s Run and the annual CURE Picnic. Due to the health concerns surrounding the pandemic, these events will be held virtually this year. The event is composed of a 5k fun run and picnic.
Hosted by the nonprofit’s Young Professional Leadership Council, CURE is hoping to host an in-person event in June called Spring Fever. Hosted at Guardian Works in Atlanta, this outdoor venue allows for social distancing.
To learn more about CURE Childhood Cancer, visit https://curechildhoodcancer.org. Also, be sure to listen to the full interview above.
Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. New American Funding and CURE Childhood Cancer are not associated. Click here to view the terms and conditions of products mentioned during the show. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (March/2021)
New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 123,000 loans for $30.4 billion, 198 branches, and about 3,100 employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America six times. It has a state-of-the-art career training facility and develops innovative technology, including the GoGo LO mobile application. For more information, visit www.branch.newamericanfunding.com/Atlanta.
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