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Jake would often say to us, “Don’t let the cancer win.”

As a martial artist and philosopher, he knew that we could choose our attitude, whether to be overwhelmed by cancer and let it destroy our spirit or to fight back as he did, with dignity, strength, outspoken truthfulness, and good humor.

We have chosen to continue Jake’s fight.

Jake's story

When our son Jake was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, he was in his senior year at Cherry Hill High School East. He battled both Hodgkins lymphoma and acute myeloid leukemia with an indomitable spirit that inspires us still. Read more about Jake's story here.

We have funded innovative research to help find less toxic and more effective treatments for children and young adults with cancer. For example, one of our grants supported the development of new antibody conjugate technology to more precisely attack cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Another harnessed the patient’s own immune system, genetically manipulating immune cells to recognize and kill cancer cells. Click here to read more about our exciting research projects.

Innovation Award

Congratulations to our 2023 Award Recipient: Qinheng Zheng, PhD.

Read here about Dr. Zheng's work on inhibitors to suppress the action of a cancer-causing mutation called K-Ras. K-Ras is prevalent in many adult cancers and Dr. Zheng has found that a specific type of K-Ras mutation called G12D is also prevalent in pediatric cancers, such as juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and acute myelogenous leukemia.

The Jake Wetchler Foundation funds an annual award for innovative researchers in the fight against pediatric cancer. We have established the award in partnership with the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, one of the premier cancer research foundations in the world, with 13 Nobel laureates to their credit. The Damon Runyon – Jake Wetchler Award for Pediatric Innovation recognizes scientists whose research helps to fight back against pediatric cancer, and whose innovative ideas and hard work may one day lead to cures so that young people like Jake can live their lives and fulfill their promise.

Why Innovative Research

Cancer is the #1 cause of disease-related death in children and despite advances, most pediatric cancer treatments remain highly toxic and have not changed in decades. In this age of unprecedented technological and scientific promise, we can--and must--bring the power of innovation to pediatric cancer research. Learn more here.

Our Mission: We fight back against pediatric cancer by supporting innovative scientists in their search for cures.