Crowdfunding for Kids with Cancer: Everything You Need to Know

| 9 min read Crowdfunding

Receiving the news that a child has been diagnosed with cancer is absolutely heartbreaking for any parent, family member, or friend. Whether you have a child with cancer or you just want to help raise money for a cause you believe in, we’re here to teach you everything there is to know about crowdfunding for kids with cancer and answer all your fundraising questions.

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Important facts to know about childhood cancer

  • According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer is the leading cause of death amongst children and adolescents. It is estimated that, in 2023, a total of 15,190 children and adolescents ages 0 to 19 will be diagnosed with cancer and 1,590 will die of the disease in the United States 
  • The most common type of childhood cancer is leukemia. The American Cancer Society reported that leukemia is responsible for 28.1% of childhood cancer. The most common two types being acute lymphocytic leukemia and acute myelogenous leukemia.
  • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society reports that leukemia is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among children, which is why education and awareness about childhood cancer are so important. 
  • According to the American Cancer Society, more than 85% of children with cancer are now surviving more than five years. This is a huge increase from a 5-year survival rate of 58% in the mid-1970s, which is largely attributed to advances in medical treatment.
  • While childhood cancer is rare, it is the leading cause of death by disease in children and affects children as young as infants. 
  • The financial burden brought on by a diagnosis goes far beyond just medical bills. Parents and caregivers are forced to quit jobs to look after their sick child while they receive treatment, which means they may not have enough income to provide housing, transportation, or basic needs. 
  • Treatments available for children may be even more limited than those available to adults. In some cases, children facing cancer may undergo treatments that are typically reserved for adults.

The future of pediatric cancer research funding

According to Ruth Hoffman, executive director of the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO), statistics indicate that childhood cancer is on the rise. The number of brain tumors appearing in children is continuing to increase and there has been very little pharmaceutical development for childhood cancer in the last 25 years. That said, there have been major advances in survival rates for childhood, however it does depend on the type of cancer the child has.  The survival rate of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in first remission, is now approaching 90%. The five-year survival rate for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is lower, at 60-70%. Moreover, the rates can vary greatly depending on subtype and other factors.

In order to make an impact and try to slow the rise of childhood cancers or mitigate their effect, we have to help fund research. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2023, the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) allocated a significant portion of its budget to cancer research. While this was a good step, it is important to remember that when it comes to research, childhood cancer often falls to the bottom of the pile. Other cancers that have a higher mortality rate for the population as whole take precedence such as breast, lung and prostate cancer. This is significant because less than 10 drugs have been developed to fight childhood cancer since the 1980s. Since childhood cancer research receives little funding, personal fundraising is critical to advancements in the field.

Childhood cancer fundraising: the true cost of treatment

Not only does a cancer diagnosis turn a child’s entire world upside down, but overwhelming medical expenses can add an enormous amount of financial stress on families. Cancer treatment can be very costly—according to research carried out by the National Library of Medicine in 2024, the mean healthcare costs for all cancers in the 5 years post diagnosis is $127,946 in the US. In addition to treatment, there are other costs that add to the already mounting stack of medical bills, such as food, lodging, and transportation.

These are some of the reasons why more and more families are turning to crowdfunding. Pediatric cancer fundraising is a great way to raise money for the high cost of cancer treatment. It’s also a simple and effective way to receive support from loved ones and people worldwide. 

Grants available for children with cancer

There are many grants available to families who have a child suffering with cancer. Here are three to consider:

Go 4 The Goal

Go 4 The Goal offers grants to children undergoing treatment for cancer. They offer financial assistance to parents for household bills, travel costs, tutor assistance and more. They also grant wishes for children with cancer to lift their spirits and help them make lasting memories. Go 4 The Goal provides funding to hospital based support programs and renovations as well.

Little Wish Foundation

The Little Wish Foundation offers ‘little wishes’ to kids with cancer and works to make them come true. Their aim is to bring hope, comfort, and joy to children suffering with cancer.

Make a Wish Foundation

The Make a Wish Foundation works to grant wishes of critically ill children in the US, this includes those diagnosed with cancer. A wish can be a day out, a present or even a holiday. 

What charities help kids with cancer?

Miracle Flights

Miracle Flights provides free commercial flights to sick children and their families in need of life-saving medical care not found in their home communities. This can help people who need to travel abroad for cancer treatment.

National Children’s Cancer Society

The NCCCS offers emotional, financial and educational assistance to families with a child with cancer. They can help with travel, lodging and other expenses.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society offers some financial assistance to children undergoing treatment for Leukemia and Lymphoma, this includes financial assistance with insurance premiums.

Tips to make your cancer fundraiser as successful as possible

  • Be sure to include photos of the sweet child you’re fundraising for, but always obtain permission from their parent or guardian.
  • Be as transparent as possible in how funds will be used. Donors are more likely to give if they know exactly how their donations are helping.
  • Post frequent updates on your fundraiser. Not only does this help tell your ongoing story, but it’s a great donor retention strategy—remind people that your cause still needs funding.
  • Use the fundraiser’s team functionality to add close family and friends to the fundraiser to help post updates and share the fundraiser.

Related reading: 10 Cancer Fundraising Tips to Help You Raise More Money

Three examples of successful fundraisers for children with cancer

If you’re looking to start a personal fundraiser for your child or a family friend with cancer, look through these fundraisers for inspiration on how to tell your story in your fundraiser description. 

Olivia’s(Livi’s) fundraiser

In her parents own words “Livi is a former gymnast, a volleyball enthusiast, loves to surf and swim.” But Livi also has cancer. She was first diagnosed after suffering dizziness and weakness in her arm. Unfortunately, what comes next is every parent’s worst nightmare. Doctors discovered an inoperable cancerous brain tumor at the base of her brain stem. The tumor has affected her ability to walk and move her arms. Fortunately, Livi has been accepted into a clinical trial for a new cancer drug which will begin in the upcoming weeks. Her parents have launched a fundraiser to help them provide the best possible care for Livi. Funds will cover much needed medical equipment, a handicapped van, medications, home health care aides and travel expenses for appointments/treatments. 


Zidan is only 23-months-old and he is fighting for his life. Recently, Zidan was diagnosed with Pineoblastoma, a rare and aggressive brain cancer originating from the pineal gland. The aggressive cancer has affected his ability to walk. His family has started a fundraiser to help give him the best treatment available. Writing on the fundraising page, they wrote: “The journey ahead is daunting, both medically and financially. Life-saving surgery is paramount, yet the costs exceed our family’s means.” They have raised more than $26,000 so far.


Kinsley’s Kicking Cancer

Little Kinsley was only 11-months-old when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. A fundraiser was started to help her parents with living expenses while Kinsley goes through treatment. Over $43,000 was raised. To pay it forward, any leftover funds will be donated to fund childhood cancer research. 

Children’s cancer research charities that need your help

If you are interested in donating to or starting a fundraiser for a charity that researches children’s cancer, below are some of the best childhood cancer charities in the United States. 

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation

Alex Scott was just four-years-old when she raised over $2,000 through a lemonade stand she set up in her front yard to raise money for childhood cancer. Her cause soon grew and she raised over $1 million by the time she passed away at age eight after her own battle with neuroblastoma. Now, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation raises money to fund research and support families affected by childhood cancer. It is the biggest childhood cancer charity in America.

CURE Childhood Cancer

CURE is focused on funding integral research that will help end childhood cancer. To date, they have invested $43 million into innovative research and $12 million to advance precision medicine and launch a Precision Medicine Program.

The Pablove Foundation

The Pablove Foundation was started in honor of 6-year-old Pablo Thrailkill Castelaz, who passed away after his battle with bilateral Wilms Tumor. It is committed to funding pediatric cancer research and providing children with cancer access to the arts. To date, The Pablove Foundation has invested over $3.8 Million in pediatric cancer research

Start a fundraiser for a child with cancer today

If you’re interested in helping a child with cancer, fundraising through GoFundMe is here to help with the tools you need. With step by step instruction to show you how fundraising works, GoFundMe is there for you every step of the way. Whether you’re wondering how to help a friend with cancer or seeking your own financial help for your child’s cancer costs, crowdfunding is the perfect place to start. There are tons of fundraising ideas to help make your fundraiser a success. Be part of the change to help children overcome this terrible disease by starting a fundraiser or donating to a childhood cancer charity.

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Written by GoFundMe