WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Roe Roe’s Heroes Childhood Cancer Foundation made a surprise $7,000 donation to Brenner Pediatric Oncology Clinic Tuesday. The donation is in honor of Pearl Monroe “Roe Roe” Tucker’s 7th birthday and one-year anniversary of ringing the bell of victory.

The daughter of FOX8’s Chad Tucker surprised the same clinic staff that cared for her and her family during their 858-day battle with B-Cell (ALL) leukemia. 

Roe Roe’s Heroes Childhood Cancer Foundation was created in 2021 by family and friends. Named in honor of the community of heroes who supported and surrounded the Tucker family, Roe Roe’s Heroes works to continue that spirit, helping local families battle childhood cancer financially and emotionally. The foundation aids in emergency financial assistance, sponsors family support events, provides scholarships to future pediatric healthcare workers and teams up with foundations that use play as a form of healing.

Roe Roe’s parents, Chad and Meredith Tucker, work to bring awareness to pediatric cancer and advocate for increased research funding. Their work with foundations and hospitals has helped raise more than a million dollars to date for children fighting cancer.

What is the impact of childhood cancer?

Each day, 47 children are diagnosed with cancer in the United States, which means more than 17,000 children in the U.S. are diagnosed each year. Globally, about 400,000 new cases of cancer affect children under the age of 20 each year, and that number is most likely underreported due to many cases that go undiagnosed.

In high-income countries, approximately 80% of children diagnosed with cancer will be cured. In some low and middle-income countries, only 20% of children will survive.

In the United States, 84% of children diagnosed with cancer are alive at least five years after diagnosis.

As of 2018, there are approximately 483,000 survivors of childhood cancer in the U.S. This number is projected to grow to more than 500,000 in 2020.

Survival, however, does not mean they are cured or free from long-term side effects. Even those who are cured may suffer long-term side effects as a result of the cancer treatments they received. Children who were treated for cancer are twice as likely to suffer chronic health conditions later in life versus children without a history of cancer.

Cancer is the #1 cause of death by disease among children, though research is consistently underfunded. Only 4% of the billions of dollars the government spends annually on cancer research is directed toward treating childhood cancer, according to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. As a result, only three cancer medications have been specifically developed for children in the last 20 years. 

The lack of funding is why many organizations and children’s hospitals work to raise research dollars each year.