13 Reasons to Dunk Your Kicks

Max Cure KidsThere are 200,000 preventable deaths from cancer in this country every year, which Max Cure Foundation (sometimes referred to as MCF) speculates includes a disproportionate number of children from low-income families. These families battling cancer in their children are generally in need of financial assistance.  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.  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 and due 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.  Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease among children in this country. 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 for children with cancer (which would increase the survival rate of those children who survive the five year period) and indeed, to fund research into cures for pediatric cancers.

The mission of 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 at the same time inspiring children with the disease to confront it with courage and bravery.

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 in the landfill 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.

Whitehouse & Schapiro, LLC, (W & S), a family owned business with roots in the recycling business back to 1907, whose principal office is located in Baltimore, Maryland, has established a distribution chain through distributors and exporters to sell the Sneakers to merchants in developing countries/emerging markets who, in turn, sell the Sneakers in bazaars and flea markets in those countries as part of the Affordable Clothing Market, creating thousands of jobs and allowing those in need of footwear to purchase the Sneakers at affordable prices. W & S is thus a significant economic stimulas for developing countries through investment, market creation and distribution of recycled affordable footwear. The markets primarily serviced by W & S include, but are not limited to, Africa, Caribbean, Central America, Middle East and South America. The owner of a clothing business in New York had described W & S  as “the Tiffany’s of the used clothing industry.”  That description applies with equal force to its recycling of Sneakers.

kids walking barefootBy providing Sneakers to those in developing nations, the risk of certain diseases is reduced.  Medical professionals have opined that wearing footwear greatly reduces the risk of the following diseases prevalent in developing countries where citizens often go barefoot, not able to afford appropriate footwear: 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 and to lower the risk of the referenced diseases.

The markets to which the Sneakers are sold by W & S exist because the Sneakers being sold are affordable. In selling to these markets, it seeks the best prices available, recognizing it has established a successful business (not only with Sneakers but also other sorts of used textile clothing) that allows it to provide funds to The Max Cure Foundation from the sale of Sneakers received by MCF as part of its Dunk Your Kicks program.  As noted in paragraph 4, above, from a market analysis perspective, W & S prides itself on creating jobs in this country and abroad and equally important, provides funds for its philanthropic endeavor through MCF.

Max at 10W & S in partnership with The Max Cure Foundation, a 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) non – profit corporation which was established by the Plotkin family in December 2008, seek to make a difference in the area of pediatric cancer.  The creation of 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. W & S, as noted, pays MCF for the Sneakers obtained by it.

MCF uses the monies received from W & S to advance its mission to fund research and through its Roar Beyond Barriers program, to give financial assistance to low- income families battling pediatric cancer who are on Medicaid, who receive charitable medical care (unreimbursed care) from providers, including pediatric cancer hospitals, and who otherwise demonstrate the substantial need for financial help in obtaining the necessities of life. MCF also provides assistance to military families.  The financial assistance given to families by MCF through its Roar Beyond Barriers program does not include medical expenses – those, as noted, who are characterized as low-income, are either covered by Medicaid or by the providers as part of their unreimbursed medical care programs.

Those providing Sneakers are not only helping the environment (see paragraph 3, above) but also helping the world markets (see paragraphs 4, 5 and 6, above), lowering the risk in developing countries of diseases caused by those who cannot afford footwear and therefore go barefoot, exposing themselves to bacteria that causes the diseases identified in paragraph 4, above, and assisting MCF in advancing the cause of pediatric cancer both as to funding of research and to helping low income and military families facing a parent’s worst nightmare (a child with cancer).  The financial stress on these families is sought to be somewhat alleviated by providing gift cards for necessities of life such as food and clothing.

W & S and MCF are asking folks to support the cause through events at schools, religious institutions, local communities, summer camps and the like, including 3 x 3 basketball tournaments, and are asking for support from, among others, those organizing mud races and other races (obstacle races, marathons, 10 K’s, 5 K’s and the like).

All involved benefit from the process of collecting used and unwanted Sneakers that would otherwise end up in landfills, fill closets in homes, or are ground up and incorporated into other products sold on the market.  Those in this country can band together to help the environment; advance the cause of pediatric cancer through funding research and assisting low-income and military families battling the disease; help the world markets through the Affordable Footwear program; lower the risk of disease in third world countries where citizens often go barefoot; and as a result, bring a smile to the faces of those in need not only in this country, but worldwide – to accomplish these results, W & S and MCF are not asking individuals or corporations to go into their pockets or intrude in their corporate budgets, respectively, for monies, but instead are asking for Sneakers!

Those involved with W & S and MCF have a dream – not to accomplish world peace; or to reduce global warming, if it in fact exists; but rather to give a second and third life to all Sneakers for the good causes referenced above and through MCF’s Roar Beyond Barriers program, to financially assist as many low-income and military families in this country battling cancer in their children as possible.

W & S and MCF invite the entire country to join them in their efforts and become, in one sense, “a band of brothers” – fighting together as one to allow The Max Cure Foundation to accomplish its missions described above.