A $2 million donation from the Fresno Truck Center will give Valley Children’s cancer survivors a leg up on remaining cancer-free.
The donation provides the Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program Endowment with long-term funding to help improve the quality of care.
In recognition of the gift, which was announced Thursday, the program will be renamed “The Fresno Truck Center Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program.”
Dr. Vinod Balasa, who is the director of the hospital’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, says the program addresses a huge need.
“The support provided by Fresno Truck Center is extremely valuable and very much appreciated,” said Balasa.
Fresno Truck Center’s Long History of Support
The Fresno Truck Center has been owned and operated by the Howard family for more than 90 years serving as a Freightliner and Western Star commercial truck dealership.
The family has supported Valley Children’s for more than 50 years. For example, it annually buys vital medical equipment for the hospital’s clinical teams.
“It is our privilege to make this financial commitment on behalf of our loyal customers,” said Doug Howard, president of Fresno Truck Center.
“Together, we will improve the quality of care available to cancer survivors and make a positive impact in the lives of hundreds of survivors of pediatric cancer and their families.”
Valley Children’s Program One of a Kind in the Valley
According to hospital officials, 65% of cancer survivors experience later effects and remain unaware of their health risks or how to reduce them.
The program is the only one of its kind in the region, working with cancer-free patients from Valley Children’s and other facilities who are three years from completion of treatment by providing education, support, and health maintenance.
Through the program, Valley Children’s offers academic and vocational scholarships to members, holds an annual conference in partnership with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and promotes events for childhood cancer survivors, their family members, and health care professionals.
There are 1,800 members in the program, which is led by Dr. John Gates.