Our Story

Kids Beating Cancer’s Story

How One Boy Impacted the Lives of Thousands

The love for a child and the unspeakable sadness that comes from the loss of that child is the opening page of the Kids Beating Cancer Story. The following pages are all about how one little boy’s life has impacted over 10,000 children since 1992.  Five-year-old John was not able to understand the rare and highly fatal disease with which he had been stricken. John had Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), which had evolved into acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML), an almost universally fatal disease. His only hope for a cure was a bone marrow transplant. With no options close to home, his young mother, Margaret, had to leave Central Florida to seek treatment at a pediatric transplant center in Seattle, Washington. With slim chance for survival, the next four years consisted of hospital rooms, painful treatments and two bone marrow transplants. A cure was not to be; John was nine years old when he died.

John was not able to beat his disease, but the battle has continued for others like John, who deserve a chance at a cure. The John Voight Memorial Foundation, Inc. was established in 1992, just six months after John’s death, based on two objectives: to provide transplant treatment for children close to home without compromising the quality of care and to support the families throughout the journey. In 1996, the name was changed to Kids Beating Cancer, Inc.

The vision that inspired years of tenacious, unwavering effort was culminated in the opening of the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center at AdventHealth for Children in Orlando in 2012, an 8-bed state-of-the-art facility and the cutting edge Kids Beating Cellular Therapy Facility in 2024.

Margaret Guedes, CEO, President and Founder

The desire every parent prays for, a cure, and the hope for a family to stay intact throughout the long treatment process was born from one little boy’s question, “Mommy why do kids get leukemia?” Today, John’s question still can’t be answered, but the outcome of the efforts in his memory is changing thousands of children’s lives, offering them access to a cure without traveling far from home, at the Kids Beating Cancer Pediatric Transplant Center.

Because all a family should worry about is the joy and love of raising their child!

 

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