Our Research Priorities

The Sam Day Foundation funds medical and nutritional research for rare childhood, adolescent and young adult cancers. SDF recognizes the deficit in resources and attention toward rare childhood cancers and subsequently, the very limited treatment options for young people diagnosed with rare cancer.

Sam Day Foundation is interested in innovative research projects with a high likelihood of moving exciting discoveries forward into clinical trials. SDF gravitates toward translational and clinical research on solid tumor cancers (such as sarcomas and brain cancers) that are less toxic than standard chemotherapy regimens. SDF seeks to fund research with reasonable potential to improve survival rates for young people with rare and aggressive cancers.  Researchers who are driven to provide better treatment for young people who have little to no curative options are prioritized.

Grants range from $20,000 to $150,000 per year.

Our Impact

$ 0 K

In January of 2019, Sam Day Foundation granted $150,000 to the Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute for an innovative and comprehensive tumor bank program. The program will be managed and overseen by Scientific Director Dr. Charles Keller, and researcher Andy Woods.

A shortage of mouse models and cancer cell lines is one reason why rare cancer groups struggle to make progress in research. The CuReFAST program enables patients to donate their tumor to the scientific community for advancements in research to occur, by developing new mouse models and cancer cell lines representive of the aggressive tumors kids are dealing with today.  In addition, cc-TDI will screen the tissue for potential impact with 60 existing drugs, collect medical information (such as what drugs the tumor has been exposed to), and run DNA and RNA sequencing on each live tissue donation. Once processed, the information and materials will be available for researchers both locally and around the world to move basic science discoveries through to the next phase of research. The comprehensive nature of this tumor bank, combined with advocacy from rare cancer groups will open doors for a world of possibilities and reasons to hope.

For more information on cc-TDI and the CuReFAST program, click here.  

For cc-TDI researcher bio’s click here

The Sam Day Foundation has awarded $77,000 to Oregon Health Science and University’s Pediatric Sarcoma Researcher Dr. Monika Davare! The Davare Lab has been investigating an interesting small molecule which has demonstrated potential to become an effective targeted treatment for Ewing’s Sarcoma. Since existing treatments for Ewing’s Sarcoma consist of high dose chemotherapy, which is terribly toxic and not always curative, more effective options are desperately needed. Kids deserve our effort to make this cancer more tolerable and survivable.

Believe it or not, Sam had an influence on the early stages of this project. In January 2016, when Sam was the Doernbecher Ambassador for Sunset High School’s Cram the Stands event, donations were given to OHSU/Doernbecher for sarcoma specific research.  This is the project they were beginning to explore at that time. Today, there is compelling evidence worth taking it to the next level of translational research. We are honored to be a source of funding that will push this research forward with the hope that it will One Day help more kids with Ewing’s Sarcoma survive and live well.

Thanks to the donations of the Sam Day Community and a generous gift from the 1Million4Anna Foundation, research for Ewing’s Sarcoma will move forward in the Pacific Northwest

SDF Experiences

Kids with cancer not only need support to survive, they need support to live well. This is why Sam Day Foundation contributes a small amount of funding to experiences for kids with cancer and cancer related impairments by creating opportunities for smiles, comfort, and better nutrition for their compromised bodies.

We take two approaches to offering experiences:

  1. Partner with other organizations to enhance their efforts to help kids live well. Previous partnerships have included Camp Ukandu and the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
  2. Create comfort packages for older kids to improve their experience in the hospital.

Sam Day Foundation is currently exploring new program possibilities which will nurture the physical and emotional well-being of kids with cancer and cancer related impairments.

SDF Scholarships

Sam Day Foundation awards scholarships to Sunset High School students in Beaverton Oregon, who have endured chronic illness or physical disability and choose to live well despite their challenges. Read here for more information and contact the Sunset High School Career Center for application details. 

Applications are due April 15th of each year