EASTON, PA (Jan. 11, 2010) – Lauren’s First and Goal Foundation is pleased to announce the awarding of $173,275 in grants, which includes $163,500 to seven organizations related to pediatric cancer research and services and more than $9,200 directly to family support.

Since its creation in 2004, Lauren’s First and Goal (LFG) has awarded more than $693,000 toward its mission of providing financial support for brain tumor research and cancer services, offering financial and emotional support to families living with pediatric cancer, and increasing awareness of the disease.

“We feel very fortunate to be able to contribute to these important projects and help advance research committed to finding more effective and less toxic treatments for pediatric brain tumors,” said Marianne Loose, who founded Lauren’s First and Goal with her husband John. “The grants are really the product of the participation, cooperation and community effort of thousands of generous and caring people committed to improving the lives of pediatric cancer survivors.”

In an effort to enhance its primary mission of supporting pediatric research, LFG is providing $60,000 to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for its new Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium (CBTTC). A 10-year, $15-million initiative, the CBTTC will be working to collect, store and distribute tumor tissue for more than 200 types of pediatric brain tumors. As researchers are often limited by availability of tumor tissues, this consortium will help to speed along the research process by providing them access to the tissues they need to test therapies and models for treatment. Another advantage CBTTC will offer is better cooperation and sharing of information among researchers, which should translate to development of improved therapies.

In addition to the new support of the consortium, LFG will continue its contributions to two ongoing research projects. The foundation will grant $35,000 to a pediatric low grade astrocytoma research study at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and $25,000 to the Pilocytic Pilomyxoid Research Fund at Johns Hopkins.

LFG also invested $500 to donate 60 copies of Hope is Here to Stay, an inspirational children’s book, to pediatric neurology oncology and cancer service facilities.

While helping to fund pediatric cancer research is part of the foundation’s mission, LFG also considers it critical to support services that help children and their families who are dealing with pediatric cancer. Earlier this year, LFG donated $30,000 to sponsor 20 families at Camp Sunshine during brain tumor week. Camp Sunshine, based in Maine, is the first camp in the nation to focus on serving the entire family and gives them the opportunity to rebuild their relationships and enjoy week-long retreats packed with fun-filled events.

LFG is also making a difference for local families, giving $10,000 to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley for their parents’ support group as well as social, recreational and educational programming. Finally, LFG has committed $1,500 to Splashes of Hope, which is an organization of talented artists that paints murals in healthcare facilities, and $2,000 to Penn Veterinary’s Vet Pets program that allows veterinary students and therapy animals to visit with guests at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House.

The final piece of LFG’s mission is family support, recognizing that the financial strain of a cancer diagnosis can present a tremendous challenge for families and caregivers. LFG has gifted more than $9,200 to help families with uncovered medical, housing, utility or funeral expenses.