September 12, 2018 – Bite Me Cancer, a national nonprofit organization based in Fairfax, Va., announced today that it has raised more than $800,00 to support teenagers with all cancers and fund thyroid cancer research grants, and has personally reached out to more than 5,200 teens hospitalized with cancer providing them with much needed teen support bags during their stays.
Now celebrating its eighth anniversary, the foundation was formed in September 2010 by Nikki Ferraro, just months after she was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer. Ferraro, then 17, quickly realized there was a void when it came to the support offered to teens battling cancer.
“Teenage cancer patients have specific needs and interests though often they are grouped with younger children in pediatric wards or with adults who are much older,” said Bite Me Cancer Foundation founder Nikki Ferraro. “I am so proud of our work to fill a void and to make the hospital experience for teens with cancer more pleasant. We help them feel less alone.”
Through the Foundation’s Teen Support Bag program, she set out to fill that need. Each Bite Me Cancer Teen Support Bag includes a stress ball, a Bite Me Cancer baseball cap, a journal for writing and drawing, a water bottle, an Amazon gift card, an adult coloring book, a game book, a Bite Me Cancer car magnet and more.
Nikki also realized that Thyroid Cancer was also a growing problem in the country with little awareness or research funds. She wanted her new foundation to focus on both issues.
“I am continually amazed at the dedication of our volunteers who want to help Bite Me Cancer succeed which includes our awesome board of directors and the members of all of our committees! Also, I am so very grateful for all the financial support we’ve received from our sponsors, individual donors, those who have held fundraisers, and to all who have attended our events.” Ferraro shared.
The Bite Me Cancer Foundation milestones over the past eight years include:
• Bite Me Cancer has served almost 5,200 teenagers across the country by giving each of them a Teen Support Bag.
• Bite Me Cancer distributes the bags through its large hospital partner network of almost 110 hospitals in 43 states and DC.
• Bite Me Cancer has raised almost $812,000 in funds to keep meeting the foundation’s goals.
• Bite Me Cancer has directly funded five thyroid cancer research grants so far, with a sixth one being the focus for 2018, for a total of almost $295,000.
• As an all-volunteer organization, Bite Me Cancer has utilized the skills and dedication of at last 600 volunteers.
• For the last five years, Bite Me Cancer has continued to grow its annual fundraising/celebration dinner from a beginning of 50 guests in 2014 to over 200 guests in 2018.
• In 2014, Bite Me Cancer successfully received a Virginia statewide resolution from the General Assembly that every year, the 3rd week of January, would be Teen Cancer Awareness Week to help bring attention to the challenges of teens dealing with cancer.
• Bite Me Cancer Foundation’s Eight Anniversary Celebration will be held Thursday, September 27, at the Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill, 2424 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA (6 p.m.)
In addition to celebrating the foundation’s eighth anniversary, Bite Me Cancer is also actively observing Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month which also fall in September. Thyroid Cancer is the 2nd fastest-increasing cancer in both men and women and the 8th leading cancer in the US.
About Bite Me Cancer:
Bite Me Cancer was born out of an identified gap in support for teens fighting cancer by Nikki Ferraro when she found herself in treatment for a rare form of thyroid cancer at just 17 years old. To learn more about Bite Me Cancer to or find out how you can support the foundation, visit www.bitemecancer.org.
Nikki Ferraro, Founder
Bite Me Cancer Foundation
4400 Fair Lakes Court, Suite 40
Fairfax, VA 22033