Max Cure KidsThere are 200,000 preventable deaths from cancer in this country every year. Each year 13,500 children (19 and under) in the United States are diagnosed with cancer.  At any one time, there are approximately 40,000 children in this country in active treatment for the disease. Pediatric Cancer is the number one leading cause of disease related death among our children. Twenty percent of those diagnosed each year will die within five years of diagnosis, with those surviving the five year period having a ten times greater mortality rate due to heart and liver disease or to re-occurrence of the cancer. There are about 350,000 pediatric cancer survivors in the United States. Children with cancer are typically treated with adult drugs in that the number of cancer drugs developed for children is limited. In fact, there are many forms of pediatric cancers where no drugs are currently available given the lack of resources being spent to develop such drugs. Pediatric cancer is the most underfunded of all cancers and is in dire need of funds to assist in the development of less toxic drugs to treat  children with cancer, and to fund research into cures for the children.

The mission of The Max Cure Foundation is to advance cures for pediatric cancers, fund the development of less toxic treatments for children, including the funding of an immune cell therapy laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center dedicated to alternative treatments for children battling the disease.  MCF also provides emotional and financial support to both low-income families and military families who are battling pediatric cancers, while inspiring children and their families to be courageous and brave.

DYK sneakers for pediatric cancerIt is estimated that 200 million pairs of athletic shoes (Sneakers) are discarded in landfills in this country each year.  The impact on the environment from the chemical breakdown of the Sneakers into the earth over the years is significant.  Sneakers consist of about 80% petroleum products, including adhesives and other by – products of petroleum.  Scientists have opined that the Sneakers in the landfill will begin to break down into its chemical components after fifty years.  Benzene and certain other of the chemical components have been identified as carcinogens. These chemicals inevitably find their way into ground water, the soil and the atmosphere.

With the help of an international recycler, The Max Cure Foundation collects and then resell them to merchants in developing countries/emerging markets.  The recylcer then sell the sneakers in bazaars and flea markets in those countries as part of the Affordable Clothing Market. This process allows those in need of footwear to purchase the sneakers at affordable prices, while also creating jobs. Dunk Your Kicks is an economic stimulus for developing countries through investment, market creation and distribution of recycled affordable footwear. The markets primarily serviced by the international recycler include, but are not limited to, Africa, Caribbean, Central America, Middle East and South America.

kids walking barefootBy providing sneakers to those in developing nations, the risk of certain diseases is reduced.  Wearing footwear greatly reduces the risk of diseases such as; Podoconiosis; Schistosomiasis; Tungiasis; Hookworm; and Kaposi’s sarcoma. Footwear is important in order to reduce trauma and parasitic diseases that enter the bare foot.  It is also important to minimize foot infections in the diabetic population as well.

The markets to which the sneakers are sold exist because the sneakers being sold are affordable. It seeks the best prices available.

Max at 10 The Max Cure Foundation, a 501 ( c) ( 3 ) non – profit corporation which was established by the Plotkin family in December 2008, seeks to make a difference in the area of pediatric cancer. MCF was inspired by Max Plotkin who, at age 4, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and who now, at age 10, is a survivor.  Max overcame the disease exhibiting both bravery and courage, giving hope to those afflicted with the disease and their families.

Monies received by MCF through Dunk Your Kicks goes towards advancing their mission to fight pediatric cancer, through research and its Roar Beyond Barriers program, which gives financial assistance to low- income families battling pediatric cancer in their children and who are on Medicaid.  MCF also provides assistance to military families who have a child with cancer as well.  The financial assistance given to families by MCF through its Roar Beyond Barriers program is in the form of gift cards for necessities of life such as food and clothing.

You can support the cause through events at schools, religious institutions, local communities, and summer camps. Running events have proved to be great opportunities to collect sneakers.