Caroline Symmes Endowment shines light on urgent need to fund pediatric cancer research

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in children ages 1-14, yet funding for pediatric cancer research counts for only four percent of the total amount spent on cancer research in the US annually. More than 20 percent of pediatric cancer victims do not survive, and they would benefit from more research.

Caroline Symmes was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor Disease when she was just three years old. While the cure rate for Wilms Tumor is 90 percent, Caroline had one of the most aggressive cases oncologists had seen. There had not been enough research done on a tumor like hers because of lack of funding. As a response to their tragic loss, the Symmes family from Central Indiana is dedicated to raising funds through the Caroline Symmes Endowment for Pediatric Cancer Research at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.

The Caroline Symmes Endowment for Pediatric Cancer Research will fund the only program of its kind in the world to address pediatric research for solid tumors. It has the potential to dramatically impact the funding dynamics related to solid tumor research in children. The Symmes family hopes that further research ensures that no other family will have to be in their position. The family has currently raised $800,000.

September is designated as Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month, and in honor of this month and their daughter Caroline, the Symmes family is hosting several events in the Indianapolis area to raise additional funding and awareness about the need for pediatric cancer research.

September events include:
Yoga Class at Riley in the Riley Hospital for Children Simon Family Tower lobby  |  FREE event
Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 12 p.m.- 12:30 p.m. STAFF   |   12:35 p.m. – 1:05 p.m. FAMILIES AND PUBLIC
Presented by TheYoga Studio.
Kick-off for the Caroline Classic
Sunday, Sept. 13 at 7:00 the home of Libby and David Symmes
Gourmet food by the Lucas Estate culinary team, live and silent auction, surprise musical guest

5th annual Caroline Classic
Monday, Sept. 14 at Broadmoor Country Club, 7:00 a.m.
Proceeds from this annual golf tournament benefit The Caroline Symmes Cancer Endowment

People can support the Caroline Symmes Cancer Endowment and find more information about events at
About Riley Children’s Foundation
Riley Children’s Foundation supports Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, Camp Riley and the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home. As Indiana’s only comprehensive hospital dedicated exclusively to the care of children, Riley Hospital has provided compassionate care, support and comfort to children and their families since 1924. Each year children from all 92 Indiana counties turn to Riley Hospital and its regional clinics throughout the state more than 300,000 times. Riley Hospital’s partnership with Indiana University Health and its strong affiliation with the Indiana University School of Medicine make Riley Hospital the leader in pediatric care in the state and the region. For more information, visit

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