By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE issued the following press release on Tuesday regarding its charitable relationship with The V Foundation.
Cary, NC [September 1, 2020] – The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a top-rated cancer research charity, is recognizing Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month by increasing awareness of the disease and calling for more funds to support pediatric cancer research. Just four percent of federal cancer research funding is dedicated to pediatric cancer, and more than 15,000 new cases of cancer were diagnosed among children in 2018 (the most recently available National Cancer Institute data). The month-long campaign, in conjunction with long-time partners Dick Vitale and WWE®, highlights the critical need to fund research for children with cancer. Throughout September, the V Foundation will spotlight pediatric thrivers and the researchers who work tirelessly to stop childhood cancers. The V Foundation has funded nearly $50 million in research for pediatric cancer.
“Parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles – we all feel the pain of a child diagnosed with cancer,” said Susan Braun, CEO of the V Foundation. “And we all recognize the incredible power of hope. It is the excellent research into cures for pediatric cancer that fuels that hope. The V Foundation, with champion Dick Vitale, strives to make more of that life-saving research a reality until the disease is totally cured.”
Kicking off the month, Dick and Loraine Vitale will present the Annual Dick Vitale Gala, “Passion 4 Pediatrics,” virtually on September 4. Vitale is a champion for pediatric cancer research, raising nearly $30 million through his Gala for the pediatric fund in his name at the V Foundation. Private funding is critical to propelling research for the leading disease-related cause of death for American children over 1 year old. For more information or to participate in the Virtual Gala, please call the Mary Kenealy Events Gala Office at (941) 350-0580. To donate, visit v.org/donateforkids.
The V Foundation and WWE are in the fifth year of their partnership to raise money for pediatric cancer research through Connor’s Cure. During September, WWE is hosting the Connor’s Cure Superstar Challenge, a virtual challenge to honor Connor Michalek, an 8-year-old WWE fan who battled medulloblastoma, a rare tumor that affects the brain and spinal cord. No set distance or donation is required, and participants can run/walk anytime during the month. To learn more or to register, visit v.org/superstarchallenge. Additionally, to support children fighting cancer, WWE produced the “Support Tomorrow’s Superstars” campaign for pediatric patients undergoing treatment. To learn more about Connor’s Cure, visit v.org/connor.
Vitale and WWE have combined their efforts this year to fund three pediatric V Foundation Translational Grants totaling $1.8 million, with $900,000 being contributed by Vitale and WWE. Translational Grants are three-year awards of $600,000 total and support bench-to-bedside research. Two of the grants will fund studies related to DIPG, a universally fatal brain cancer, and the third grant will fund research for solid tumors in children.
“We are thrilled to team with Dick Vitale to help further critical research and studies that are necessary in the fight against pediatric cancer,” said Stephanie McMahon, WWE Chief Brand Officer. “Through WWE’s partnership with the V Foundation, and in honor of Connor Michalek, we are committed to continue helping find a cure and will not stop until we do.”
“Words cannot describe the excitement and joy I am feeling learning that Stephanie McMahon and her WWE team have united with us in providing funding that will play a vital role in battling pediatric cancer,” said Vitale. “It is simply amazing what they are doing to attack the cancers that have caused nightmares for many youngsters and their families. These grants are made possible by the generosity of WWE and the kindness and generosity of those who have donated to our Gala. We feel confident that these research grants will make a difference in the outcome for children with cancer.”
The V Foundation has proudly awarded more than $250 million for cutting-edge cancer research. The V Foundation holds a 4-star (highest) rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest evaluator of charities, and is among the top 3% of all charities evaluated. The V Foundation is a GuideStar platinum-rated charity.
About the V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach and ESPN commentator. The Foundation has funded more than $250 million in cancer research grants nationwide. Event proceeds benefit cancer research funded by the V Foundation. The Foundation awards peer-reviewed grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Committee. For more information on the V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit v.org.
Powell’s POV: It’s great that WWE is working with the charity, but just know that I’ll be cringing if this leads to Dick Vitale repeatedly yelling “baby” on WWE television.