Reading for a Cure for Childhood Cancer


January 1 – December 31, 2010

Did you know that:

  • The risk of any single individual developing cancer by age 20 is approximately one in 330
  • In the United States, approximately 10,500 children under age 15 and 3,700 adolescents ages 15-19 are newly diagnosed with cancer each year.  That is roughly the equivalent of two average size classrooms (35-46 kids) diagnosed each school day.
  • For children between 1-19 yrs, cancer is the fourth leading cause of death overall, and the leading cause of disease related death. It remains responsible for more deaths from ages 1-19 than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and AIDS combined.
  • Leukemia, tumors of the brain and nervous system, the lymphatic system, kidneys, bones and muscles are the most common childhood cancers.
  • For every six research dollars per patient with AIDS and every one research dollar per patient with breast cancer, a child with cancer receives 30 cents.

**This information was taken from the Pediatric Cancer Foundation’s websiteread more facts about childhood cancer here.

My heart has been touched specifically by two children whose progress I have been following: Andrew and Kate. I’ve spent several months learning more about childhood cancer and the work towards a cure. What I have learned has made me want to do something significant to help. I was inspired by what Natasha at Maw Books did last year in her effort to raise awareness and money for the crisis in Darfur. I was amazed at the impact that one month of focused effort and a call out to the community of book bloggers could do for a cause. And so it was with this in mind that I began to formulate a project to help not only raise awareness, but to raise funds to end childhood cancer.

For anyone who has done research on non-profit organizations that reach out to families and children facing cancer, you will not be surprised at the vast network of people hoping to see an end to this disease.  I spent a lot of hours reading websites and learning more about the organizations who have been successful at making inroads towards a cure. My research ultimately drew me to the Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Let me tell you a little about them:

Read more about PCF and their work at their website.

The Challenge

Reading for a Cure is all about raising money and awareness to find a cure for childhood cancer. It is about making a commitment over the course of one year to make a difference in the lives of children. I am asking the book blogging community to show how much we care for children by committing to this cause. The level of commitment is up to you. Here is how it works…

Choose a Level of Participation:

  1. One Month – Pick any month in 2010 and push yourself to read as many books or pages as you can with a commitment to donate a certain dollar amount per page or book or review. Consider asking friends or family to sponsor you or match your donation.
  2. Three Consecutive Months from January 1st – March 31st. Focus your efforts in three months of reading. Consider teaming up with another reader and “match” each other.
  3. Six Consecutive Months from January 1st to June 30th. Use these six months to focus on the cause to raise money to end childhood cancer.
  4. Be a superstar. Commit to a full 12 months of reading for a cure, setting a dollar amount to donate for all the books or pages you read in 2010. Or perhaps you want to donate per review you post, or reading challenge you complete. The choice of HOW to donate is completely up to you.

***PLEASE NOTE: You can sign up at ANY time for this challenge and if you come to the challenge “late” but want to include books you’ve read before you join (retroactively) that is fine too…ALSO, you may change your mind about the level of participation at any time.

How Do Donations Work?

  • I have set up a way for you to donate at PCF’s donation site specifically for this challenge – it is called “Reading for a Cure” and can be found if you scroll down the donation page. IF you are reading for this challenge, PLEASE be sure to indicate that is the event you are donating through…this way I can give everyone a total of our efforts at the end of the year. I will only be getting a total from PCF, not a break-down of who donated what amount.
  • IF you feel strongly about donating to another worthy charitable organization which is fighting for a cure for childhood cancer or is focused on helping children with cancer, I will certainly not discourage you from donating to them rather than PCF. However, if you choose to donate to an organization other than PCF I would ask that you either email me privately or leave me a comment at the time of your donation to let me know the amount you donated and to whom you donated. I am not keeping score (whatever you give is wonderful), but I would like to include your donation in the end of the year tally. I want to do an end of the year wrap up post to show how much money this event raised towards ending childhood cancer … and I want to include EVERYONE who participated!
  • It is up to you how you want to donate. You can choose a dollar amount per book you read, number of pages you read, number of reviews you write, etc…You do not have to wait until the end of the year to donate…you can donate at any time. For example, I am going to donate quarterly rather than making one big donation at the end of the year.
  • ANY amount is fine. There is no minimum or maximum. Do what feels right to you.

Other Guidelines:

  • You do NOT have to have a blog to join the challenge. ANYONE can join at any time.
  • Use Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post to sign up. Please link directly to your post about the event. IF you do not have a blog, simply leave me a comment with your commitment. **UPDATED TO ADD: I am adding a list of names of the non-bloggers who are participating just above Mr. Linky.
  • I am creating a page on my blog – the tag is READING FOR A CURE and can be found on the top of my home page. This page will contain periodic updates, links to posts on my blog about the challenge, etc…
  • Feel free to use the graphic on the top of this page. To copy to your computer, right click on the image and select “save as.” Then you can upload the graphic to your blog.
  • UPDATE February 19, 2010: SIGN UP, sponsor a participant, OR make a one time donation to PCF in March and you will be entered to win books in my giant MARCH GIVEAWAY! Go to this post to learn more.

Other Stuff You May Want to Know:

  • I am in the process of planning some events, giveaways, etc…for those people participating in this challenge. I had intended to run a “kick off” event…but due to personal reasons, I will be  traveling  back East in January…and I don’t think I can pull off the kind of event I wanted to do.  SO, instead, I am going to do something really big in March as a celebration of the first quarter of our challenge to raise money and awareness for a cure for childhood cancer. I’ll be posting more as we get closer to March.
  • I have NO affiliation with the Pediatric Cancer Foundation. I choose them solely on information I have learned about them and my belief that they are a reputable and professional organization dedicated to helping children. I also like the idea that they are a grass-roots, non-profit organization.

THANK YOU in advance for helping to find a cure for childhood cancer! Make your reading count in 2010!

Non Blogger Participants (since their names will not appear on Mr. Linky):

  1. Verbatim
  2. Christine
  3. Avalonne


  1. Sari (sponsoring Caribousmom)
  2. Barbara (sponsoring Caribousmom)
  3. Jaydek (sponsoring Coconut Library)

Those Making A One Time Donation to PCF:

  1. Laura at Musings
  2. Beachreader
  3. Kay at My Random Acts of Reading
  4. Paula

Blogger Participants (sign up below on Mr. Linky):

Please follow and like the blue thistle


Skip to comment form

    • Rebecca on December 18, 2009 at 21:59

    This is such a great idea, Wendy! I need to think about how I can donate since my funds are limited and then I will join up!

    • Annette on December 19, 2009 at 12:06

    Not sure what level I’ll choose, will decide after the first, but count me in!

    • Verbatim on December 19, 2009 at 12:41

    Just thinking about what level I want to commit to, but I’m game. Thanks for making it clear that we non-bloggers are welcome, too! (I always wonder.)

    • Wendy on December 20, 2009 at 10:34

    Rebecca: I am so glad you’ll be joining…THANK YOU!

    Annette: YAY! I am happy you are joining.

    Verbatim: I don’t want to leave anyone out! Thank you for being part of this challenge – I hope we get a lot of people joining us.

    • Jenners on December 21, 2009 at 18:27

    I admire you for organizing this. I’m going to think about what I honestly feel I can do and let you know later.

    • Alena on December 21, 2009 at 21:34

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    • Wendy on December 28, 2009 at 09:35

    Jenners: Thanks – anything you do (even just advertising this on your blog) will be much appreciated!

    Alena: Thanks for reading – I hope you’ll help support this important cause.

  1. I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be getting my challenge post up here in the next couple of days! What a great cause.

    • Jen on January 1, 2010 at 06:22


    As the mother of a child in treatment for Leukemia, I thank you for taking an interest in this cause. Pediatric cancer research is grossly underfunded, and yet, kids are dying everyday.

    My daughter and I will be donating $1 per book through the year – it isn’t much, but we do want to contribute something (plus it will help her learn to read!). I will also let my blog followers know that they can take part in this event.

    Thanks again!

    • Wendy on January 2, 2010 at 14:24

    Natasha: I am so glad you’re joining – I hope it is a successful challenge in every way.

    Jen: Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your story here…and thank you for joining the challenge. My hope is that in some small way this will make a difference for children like your daughter.

    • Verbatim on January 3, 2010 at 14:26

    I’ve been taking quite a while to decide how to construct my pledge because my reading schedule may change a bit this year, as I have three baby quilts I need to complete, and that means less reading time. So I’ve decided I will donate $3 per book this year, with a minimum $100 for the year. Thanks again for hosting this very worthwhile challenge!

    • Wendy on January 4, 2010 at 13:19

    Verbatim: Thanks for joining in the challenge – and for such a generous commitment too! I’ve decided to start a list of names of non-bloggers just above the Mr. Linky who are participating…since it looks like Mr. Linky is making it hard to sign up if you don’t have an URL code.

  2. This is a great idea! I will be sharing this with my students as well.

  3. I’ll participate in the challenge and have posted information about it on my blog today. Thanks for the great idea, Wendy!

    • Christine on January 11, 2010 at 12:50

    Hi, I love to read and just discovered the world of book blogs! I’m inspired by your challenge and think it is a very worthy cause. I do not have a blog, but I would like to join this challenge for the year. I’ll donate $2.00 per book, with a minimum of $100.00 for the year.

    • Wendy on January 12, 2010 at 09:49

    Christina: Awesome – thanks for spreading the word!

    Frances: Thanks for joining!!! And for posting about it too 🙂

    Christine: I’m so glad your joining…I’ve added your name to the non blogger list of participants above 🙂

    • Sari on February 20, 2010 at 13:57

    Still not finding a list of readers. I am just going around and around on your blog. Mr. Linky just added my name to the donors. If anyone would like a sponsor let me know. I will donate two dollars for every book read.

    Thanks again for doing this.


    • Wendy on February 20, 2010 at 14:26

    Actually, Sari…you just signed up as a Participant 🙂 There are no one-time donors yet (looks like I need to re-write this so it is clearer). I’ll take you off of the participants – your name is already under sponsors. If you want to sponsor me, I’d be thrilled. I am shooting for 10 books in March…

  4. I’m just starting now, but want to do the whole year level. I will notify people who are sponsoring me that they can sponsor me starting now, or from the beginning of the year (they can go back and see how many reviews I have posted from the beginning of January). I will be asking for donations based on posts, so that my readers can see which books I have legitimately read.

    This is a great idea! Thanks for coordinating!

    • Wendy on February 24, 2010 at 11:44

    Coconut Library: Thank you so much for joining in! I don’t know if you caught the post about the book giveaways happening in March for those participating in Reading for a Cure…but you will be entered. If you let me know the names of your sponsors, I will add them to the list above and they will also be added to the list of those eligible to win books in March! You can either leave me a comment with their names – or drop me an email (or have them come by and leave a comment). To read more about the giveaways…click on the link in my sidebar!

  5. Cancer can cause heavy economic burdens on both patients and their families. Government-sponsored programs as well as services supported by nonprofit, national organizations are available for people who do not have health insurance and for those who have insurance but still need financial assistance to cover health care costs. Child cancer patients and their families need to discuss any concerns about health care costs with their doctor, medical social worker, or the business office of their hospital or clinic.

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