About the Amanda Riley Foundation
The Amanda Riley Foundation is a childhood cancer organization that lends support to families with children battling cancer. We offer essential programs and services that directly impact both the child going through the cancer battle and their family members because we know when a child has cancer, the entire family has cancer.
Our focus is on smiles with a goal of improving the quality of life for kids as they are enduring cancer treatments, while they are in the midst of their battle - during their toughest times. We strive to be a bright spot for them on their darkest days and to do all we can to take their mind off of having cancer. We also have programs set up to make dreams come true for surviving warriors and we fund research with hopes of someday soon finding a cure.
Our foundation was established in 2010 to honor the memory of Amanda Riley who lost her life to cancer at the tender age of 17. Today we work tirelessly to keep her smile alive through the faces of others battling as she did. We are a 501 (c) (3) corporation and all donations are tax deductible. Our EIN # is 27-3494872. We would like to also add that even after 6 years; we are 100% volunteer based. We pay no salaries and have no overhead so 100% of all donations received directly impact the families that we serve.
We have five philanthropic service areas including:
Direct support of children battling solid tumor cancers
- We are the 1st source the hospital contacts when the family of a child battling a solid tumor cancer is in need. We have covered expenses for these families including airfare to travel to other children’s hospitals, hotel rooms, car transmissions, home air conditioners, rent, utilities, car payments, sent gift cards, gas cards and more.
- We also send periodic gifts to the child battling cancer and their siblings to brighten their days.
- $1000 Reasons to Smiles – After a solid tumor patient has been undergoing treatment for 6+ months and are still struggling with the disease, (not getting better or have been given news that treatment is not working) we offer them a gift of 1000 Reasons to Smile. This is a gift where the sick child gets to choose whatever he/she would like up to $1000.00 value.
- We provide Christmas to families in need that have a child battling a solid tumor cancer. This is two-fold. One, many families experience financial hardships when dealing with a child that is sick due to not being able to work because of being at the hospital. Secondly, we take care of all the shopping needs for the family so the sick child does not have to get out in germ infested environments and to help ease some of the burdens for the parents associated with holiday shopping. In 2015 we sponsored 95 children.
- We send “welcome” packets to all newly diagnosed families full of items such as a notebook, tote bag, hand sanitizer, nausea spray, etc. to be used during clinic and hospital stays.
Supporting all children in-patient at the AFLAC Cancer Center at Scottish Rite
- We provide Meals every Mondays at the AFLAC Cancer Center @ Scottish Rite.
- We provide a large snack basket weekly for patient at the AFLAC Cancer Center
- We give goody bags to all in-patient children on a bi-weekly basis.
- We give gift bags bi-weekly to parents of all in-patient children. Bags include gift cards, parking passes, cafeteria meal passes and other essentials that are beneficial to have during a hospital stay.
- We supply toiletry care packages for parents use upon an emergency overnight hospital stay.
- Upon request, we supply the hospital with basic needs such as lounge pants, pajamas, toys, undergarments, batteries and other items.
- We host 2 “Day of Smiles” events each year where all in-patient children get to “go shopping” for FREE. (Like a Christmas in July)
Funding an annual Amanda Riley Research Grant for Rhabdomyosarcoma
- In 2016 we funded our first annual $25,000 research grant. This grant went to fund researcher Madeline Hayes out of Boston. Rhabdomyosarcoma has a 70% recurrence rate due to self-renewing tumor cells which causes relapse. At this time there are no treatments for children if they indeed relapse. Her research is geared toward eliminating these cells and the patients would remain relapse free. Next year we hope to double our funding.
Make dreams come true for cancer survivors
- Most children dream of becoming a parent someday. Unfortunately, this dream can be shattered for those diagnosed with cancer as chemotherapy treatments are known to cause infertility. Even if not infertile, many females enter premature menopause, some as young as 20 years of age. Most families with a teen diagnosed with cancer are not aware of these risks or have the knowledge of what steps to take that could help the child become a biological parent someday. We are working with Dr. Meacham and her team at CHOA to educate families of their options and to fund the harvesting and preservation of eggs for teen girls.
- Many children have to modify their dreams for the future and when presented with an opportunity, we strive to help make these dreams come true. Example – We have a young man that was an avid runner and had dreams of running in the Olympics one day. Unfortunately, he had to have a leg amputated due to his cancer diagnoses but that did not stop him from chasing his dreams. He now does wheelchair racing and is on track for the 2020 Paralympics. He was in need of a custom chair in order to compete at his highest level but unfortunately did not have the means to purchase it. Our foundation made it possible for him to live out this dream by assisting in the purchase of a much desired and needed wheelchair.
Awareness Events because – Awareness = Funding = Research = A Cure!
September is childhood cancer awareness month and our focus during this month is to raise awareness. We host many events during September including gold-outs, as gold is the color for childhood cancer and whipped pie challenges to name a few. Our goal during September is to education everyone about childhood cancer and the lack of attention and funding it receives.