POSTED: Feb 22, 2013 8:31 AM ET
This week, The V Foundation for Cancer Research and ESPN are teaming up with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the fight against pediatric cancer by raising awareness and funds to support lifesaving work for children.
Tipping off Sunday and continuing through March 4, the NBA and its partners -- led by Hoops for St. Jude ambassadors and ESPN commentators -- will engage fans through this unique relationship designed to advance cancer research and patient care benefiting children and families battling pediatric cancer. One hundred percent of donations to The V Foundation from this campaign will go directly to cancer research benefiting St. Jude's patients. Together they form a powerful force in pediatric cancer research.
"The work that St. Jude Children's Research Hospital does is nothing short of amazing," said Los Angeles Lakers forward and third-year Hoops for St. Jude Ambassador Pau Gasol. "I have visited the hospital many times and have witnessed first-hand the impact of the support it receives. Funding from The V Foundation makes our fight against cancer even stronger. St. Jude's lifesaving work wouldn't be possible without the generosity of others."
March 4, the final day of the campaign, marks the 20th anniversary of The V Foundation, which was founded in 1993 by ESPN and legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator, the late Jim Valvano. As a cancer patient, Valvano worked to eradicate the disease by championing investment in promising young cancer researchers. To date, with ESPN's leadership, The V Foundation has helped carry his dream forward by awarding more than $100 million in cancer research grants. This new endeavor will allow the organizations to work together to help make the shared vision of a world free of pediatric cancer a reality.
The NBA has committed to promoting the campaign within a slate of nationally televised games during Hoops for St. Jude week and via a new public service announcement that will air throughout the week on ESPN, TNT and NBA TV.
"Working in collaborations to eradicate cancer is more important now than ever before," said Susan Braun, CEO of The V Foundation. "Cancer is a complex and devastating disease. We dedicate this important collaboration to children facing cancer and their loved ones, and we are honored to take part."
The contributions of St. Jude supporters enable the hospital to treat the toughest cases of childhood cancer, with some of the best outcomes in the world. Best of all, no family ever pays St. Jude for anything. St. Jude has literally changed the way the world treats childhood cancer and has helped push overall survival rates from 20 to 80 percent since the hospital opened in 1962. St. Jude freely shares its research discoveries with doctors and scientists everywhere, so that one child saved at St. Jude means thousands more saved around the world.
"'Your child has cancer' may be the four scariest, most devastating words a parent could ever hear, and they mark the beginning of one of the most daunting battles children and their families could ever face," said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude. "St. Jude has made incredible progress in the fight against pediatric cancer, but it's a fight that wages on. We are blessed to have allies like The V Foundation, ESPN and the NBA in arming our doctors and scientists with the resources they need, introducing more people to our lifesaving work and inviting them to join us in our mission."
Fans will have the opportunity to support the pediatric cancer awareness campaign in a variety of ways, including donating at www.stjude.org/hoops or www.jimmyv.org/nba, or donating $10 by texting HOPE to 50333 or JIMMYV to 80888 (message and data rates may apply).
Schedule of Nationally Televised NBA Games: Feb. 24 -- March 4 (ET)
Sun., 2/24 MEM @ BKN; 7pm/ESPN
Sun., 2/24 CHI @ OKC; 9:30pm/ESPN
Mon., 2/25 BOS @ UTA; 9pm/NBATV
Tues., 2/26 FAN NIGHT/NBATV
Wed., 2/27 GSW @ NYK; 8pm/ESPN
Wed., 2/27 DEN @POR; 10:30pm/ESPN
Thurs., 2/28 MIN @ LAL; 10:30pm/TNT
Fri., 3/1 MEM @ MIA; 8pm/ESPN
Fri., 3/1 OKC@DEN; 10:30pm/ESPN
Sat., 3/2 GSW @ PHI; 7pm/NBATV
Sat., 3/2 MIN @ POR; 10pm/NBATV
Sun., 3/3 CHI @ IND; 8pm/ESPN
Mon., 3/4 MIA @ MIN; 8pm/NBATV
Schedule of Nationally Broadcast NBA Games on ESPN Radio: Feb. 24 -- March 3 (ET)
Sun., 2/24 LAL @ DAL; 1pm
Thurs., 2/28 PHI @CHI; 8pm
Sun., 3/3 MIA @ NYC; 1pm
Sun., 3/3 OKC @ LAC; 3:30pm