Jordan Spieth Family Foundation Announces Gift to Children’s Health, Adds Pediatric Cancer Pillar
September 11, 2017
DALLAS (Sept. 11, 2017) – Inspired by his childhood friends’ cancer battles, three-time major champion and Dallas resident Jordan Spieth has given to Children’s Medical Center Foundation the largest single gift from the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation.
The Spieth Family Foundation gift will benefit two areas within the Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Health: the Child Life Program and a travel fund for the Experimental Therapeutics Program in Childhood Cancer. The latter will help up to 10 children and their families each year travel to Dallas to take part in clinical trials not offered elsewhere.
This support of Children’s Health is a first for the Spieth Family Foundation and officially launches pediatric cancer as a fourth pillar of the Foundation. After a banner rookie year on the PGA Tour in 2013, Spieth, who is from Dallas, realized a personal dream by launching the Foundation to highlight causes important to him. The Foundation was formed with the mission of supporting special-needs youth, junior golf, and military families and has given away $1 million since it began. After watching a lifelong friend take on a recurring battle with cancer, Spieth decided to add a new philanthropic focus to the Foundation’s mission.
“Investing this gift in my hometown pediatric hospital, one of the best in the country, is a really special moment for me,” said Spieth. “There are thousands of children treated for cancer every year at Children’s Health. I have personally lost a friend to it. Recently watching my best friend as he went through treatments inspired us to make this an official pillar of the Foundation. We are eager to help wherever we can.”
Spieth has quickly become one of the best professional golfers in the world, recently completing the third leg of the Grand Slam with his historic win at The Open Championship in July. He also won the Masters (2015) and the U.S. Open (2015) as part of his 14 global career victories.
The Spieth Family Foundation gift to the Child Life Program will support services like music, art and pet therapy that are not covered by insurance but are essential for helping children cope with the social and emotional challenges of illness. The Child Life Program at Children’s Health was the first program of its kind in Texas and is celebrating its 43rd anniversary this year. Today, it is an essential part of the fabric of the hospital.
While great strides have been made in pediatric cancer research – from 58 percent survival in the mid-1970s to more than 80 percent today – there are still many high-risk or recurrent cancers that defy available treatments. The Experimental Therapeutics Program was launched in 2015 to develop and carry out clinical research trials of the newest forms of childhood cancer therapy. Leveraging the biomedical research capabilities of UT Southwestern Medical Center, these new approaches are often available only to patients at Children’s Health. The Spieth Family Foundation gift will help children and families from across the U.S. – or even across the globe – access these potentially lifesaving treatments without worrying about the added cost of travel.
“It is impossible to measure the impact that Jordan Spieth’s generosity will have on children now and into the future,” said Brent E. Christopher, president of Children’s Medical Center Foundation. “We are so grateful for his commitment to help children battling cancer, as well as his trust in Children’s Health. Jordan’s support will help us deliver the very best care and continue our relentless pursuit of better treatments – and, hopefully, cures – so that one day no child will be faced with cancer.”
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