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The Fight Against Childhood Cancer Is Personal

Insights & Ideas Team •  September 30, 2014 | Home and Family

By John Kordsmeier, vice president of Strategic Philanthropy and Community Relations at Northwestern Mutual.

At Northwestern Mutual we have made a strong commitment to be a part of the fight against childhood cancer. Our cause of childhood cancer has allowed us to hear about the hopes, dreams and aspirations of children and families dealing with these terrible diseases. And these are not small numbers. In fact, 12,500 children develop cancer every year. But these are not just numbers; these are children whose names and faces we’ve come to know. Connor. Brooke. Austin. Emily. Issy. Cameron. Will. Nolan. Kimberley. Mitchell. Kayla. Cole. Tony. Addison. Alex. And, unfortunately, this list is not complete.

September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month. We’re talking a lot about it at Northwestern Mutual. That’s because as a company we have made a commitment to fight childhood cancer—funding research and providing support to children and families dealing with these diseases. We understand that when a child must deal with the devastating impact of cancer, so does the family. That’s why we’ve partnered with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to raise funds for research, and organizations like Starlight Children’s Foundation, which helps children dealing with cancer through distraction therapy.

What’s been really inspiring is to watch how the Northwestern Mutual community has reacted. Since our partnership was initiated, we’ve heard stories about how people in and out of the organization have gotten involved.

We can’t solve problems like childhood cancer without involvement by others. Whether you are involved with childhood cancer or another cause, spending your time and resources toward a cause is so important. And, it’s rewarding and inspiring.

In the first two-plus years, our commitment has exceeded $6 million. We have funded more than 35,000 hours of pediatric cancer research. We have touched the lives of more than 3,000 families. We have funded the creation of the Northwestern Mutual Day Hospital at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin—providing an attractive and comforting space for children and their families receiving outpatient treatment for cancer and blood disorders. We have sponsored research grants and symposiums for promising young researchers through Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. And this is just the start.

This cause is personal to us. Childhood cancer affects the families of our employees, financial representatives, and their staff. And, many of you may have been touched by childhood cancer in some way.

As we tell our story about why our involvement with childhood cancer is so important, some of our families shared their stories:

If you are interested in getting involved in the cause, visit

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