As a baby, Peter Zucca was pulled in a wagon through the halls of Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, during his treatment for stage IV embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, which included chemotherapy, radiation and multiple surgeries that began when he was diagnosed at 10 months old.
So when Peter, now 12, read on Facebook in March 2014 that the hospital didn’t have enough wagons to transport its patients and their belongings, he wanted to help. He decided to donate 100 wagons. To accomplish his goal, he needed to create a foundation.
A law firm and an advertising agency volunteered their time to help him establish a nonprofit and create a logo and website. In June 2014, he launched the Peter Powerhouse Foundation to help improve the lives of kids with cancer.
Organize a Fundraiser
Have fun while fundraising with your children or grandchildren.
Are your children or grandchildren interested in raising money to help cancer patients and survivors? With these kid-friendly ideas, you can have fun while fundraising.
Organize a soccer or kickball tournament at a park or school and ask for a small donation from each player or team. On the sidelines, sell refreshments and offer hair braiding, temporary tattoos or face painting.
Host a talent show or a battle of the bands. Hold a raffle or silent auction and ask students, teachers and others to donate services, such as leaf raking, baby-sitting or music lessons to auction off.
In fall 2014, the foundation organized a miniature golf tournament for elementary school children, held fundraising events at a bookstore and a restaurant, and brought in donations through its website. Peter Powerhouse raised $10,000 and donated 50 wagons to duPont Hospital in November 2014 and 50 more wagons in February 2015.
Peter says he started a foundation because he doesn’t want other kids to go through what he went through. He permanently lost hearing in both ears from chemotherapy and had his right leg amputated in May 2013 after he developed a desmoid tumor. Dawn Zucca says her son’s attitude while recovering from his amputation inspired the foundation’s name.
Learn more about childhood cancer research.
CureSearch for Children’s Cancer offers a mobile app that helps families manage and share schedules, track the child’s blood counts and side effects, and access resources from their mobile devices.
The National Children’s Cancer Society provides emotional and financial support, in addition to guides for parents, children, teens and friends.
Rock Against Cancer supports children and teens with cancer through music programs.
The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults 15 to 39 years old offers peer connections, college scholarships and books about living with cancer.
Peter’s next project is to raise enough money to buy and donate four pairs of Cinemavision goggles, which cost roughly $48,000 apiece, to help kids relax without sedation during MRI scans. Along with fundraising, the foundation has started hosting blood drives, and Peter speaks to kids about cancer. He also wrote a children’s book about hearing loss called Peter Learns to Listen. Eventually, he hopes to direct his fundraising efforts toward research on hearing loss among cancer survivors.
“I want to make [cancer treatment] better until they can find a cure,” he says.
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