You Are My Sunshine Foundation was established as a not-for-profit charity in Phillip Island by Jude Donahoo in September 2009. It is in memory of her beloved granddaughter Kahlilla who was a neuroblastoma sufferer. At that time, there was no dedicated funding for neuroblastoma in Australia.
Our focus is to fund research, with the aim of finding a cure for neuroblastoma, an aggressive and often deadly childhood cancer that affects very young children. Almost half of children diagnosed with advanced disease will die, despite aggressive treatment. The group 'Band of Parents' described this journey with such clarity …. "the treatments are extreme and painful for the children to undergo and emotionally devastating for parents to watch. Kids lose their hair and pink cheeks, and they become vulnerable to serious infections and viruses when chemotherapy destroys their immunity. They often cry in pain during countless invasive procedures. It is unbearable to know that 50% of these children will still die in their anguished parents' arms, their bodies overcome by a ruthless killer and their eyes full of fear and confusion, not undertanding why their parents and committed doctors could not make them better. This is the journey that is advanced neuroblastoma.
Whilst statistics have improved over the past couple of years, why is there still no effective treatment for advanced neuroblastoma? The answer is simple and devastating. There is not enough money for research either in Australia, or overseas. Children diagnosed with cancer are faced with woefully inadequate funding from government and there is a lack of interest from pharmaceutical industry because diseases like neuroblastoma promise little or no profit. Therefore, the funding provided by YAMS Foundation to the research community is significant in advancing neuroblastoma studies.
Children diagnosed with neuroblastoma deserve better odds of survival on par with most other cancers. Aren't our children our most precious resource? How can you put a price on a child's life?" We believe you can't.
Only through research can progress be made to increase survival rates. It is our hope that by funding this important research, by raising awareness and being an advocate for neuroblastoma kids, that we will find a cure that is so desperately needed. These little kids deserve nothing less.
Despite almost 3 years of harsh treatment, she passed away at just five years of age. Inspired by Kahlilla's courage and strength, people from all over the world were forever changed for the better as they learned from Kahlilla's love and zest for life. Kahlilla's struggle with neuroblastoma cannot be in vain, and it is our goal to try and find a cure for this insidious disease.
You Are My Sunshine Foundation is her legacy. Please honour this beautiful child and others who have lost their lives to this disease by supporting our research.
Our patron Matt Le Nevez recently met Rafael, one of our NB kids who has been fighting neuroblastoma for the last 5 years. He is an inspiration to all who meet him. Matt was with Rafael at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre for the announcement that YAMS Foundation was the Official Charity for the 2013 Tissot Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.