Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer
Press Release

MACC Fund Receives Largest Personal Gift from Professional Athlete

Wisconsin-born NBA star Wesley Matthews proves commitment to advancing pediatric cancer research and patient experience with two major donations

By - Sep 28th, 2020 08:03 am

MILWAUKEE – Today, Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc. (MACC Fund) announced the acceptance of the largest personal gift from a professional athlete in the organization’s history. Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard and Madison native Wesley Matthews has committed to the MACC Fund to advance its mission to find a cure for childhood cancer and related blood disorders.  In conjunction with this commitment two gifts will be made to benefit both the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison and Children’s Wisconsin in Milwaukee and are dedicated specifically to improving the patient, caregiver, and family experience.

Despite progress overall, pediatric cancer still causes over 1,800 deaths each year in the United States, making it the leading disease-related cause of death among children.

Matthews approached MACC Fund with the desire to make a major impact and connect the state and the two cities he calls home. He is an alumnus of James Madison Memorial High School in Madison and Marquette University in Milwaukee, and currently starts for the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks. Matthews has committed one component of his charitable focus to curing childhood cancer in his home state by partnering with the MACC Fund.

“As a professional athlete, I feel a responsibility to use my platform to make a significant impact on the communities around me,” said Wesley Matthews. “Wisconsin is my home. The communities in Madison and Milwaukee have shaped me to be the man who I am today. Working to help improve the lives of these children means so much to me because they are the future of our community and of the state of Wisconsin. I want to support them not only financially, but through my actions. I hope I can inspire them just as much as they inspire me.”

The donations will enable MACC Fund to advance the goal of a world free of pediatric cancer by accelerating medical discovery and clinical care advancements to continue to improve survival rates and the patient experience for kids diagnosed with cancer or a blood disorder.

The Matthews gifts will provide direct benefits to hospital patients, families and staff. Specific areas of focus for the contributed funds are:

  1. Research: The gift will fund research efforts at both institutions and help staff doctors and scientists treat and ultimately, cure cancer. In addition, the gift will provide opportunities for researchers to advance their work in blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia, which disproportionately affects African American communities.
  2. Patient Experience: The gift will allow for the purchase of items that will create a safe, enjoyable space for patients, including iPads, gaming systems and books.
  3. Wesley Matthews Family Fund: The gift will create a fund to support families while their child is going through a cancer care journey.

“Our kids are our future. This historic gift by Wesley Matthews is a signal to the state of Wisconsin that we are all on the same team fighting for a cure,” said Becky Pinter, President and CEO of the MACC Fund. “We are inspired by and grateful for his generous gift, especially with the additional challenges posed by COVID-19 to families that need support through a pediatric cancer journey. Only by working in collaboration can we make an impact, and I am confident that, together, we will impact the lives of countless children and their families.”

About the MACC Fund:

Since its inception in 1976, the MACC Fund has contributed over $70 million for pediatric cancer and related blood disorders research like aplastic anemia and sickle cell. MACC Fund supported research in Wisconsin benefits the treatment of children throughout the state, the nation and the world playing an important role in helping the overall cure rate for childhood cancer to rise from 20% to over 80% over the past 43 years. Yet, children can relapse and can have “late effect” issues which require more research. The MACC Fund supports research at the Medical College of Wisconsin in the MACC Fund Research Center, in the MACC Fund Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Wisconsin, UW Carbone Cancer Center MACC Fund Childhood Cancer Research Wing and at the Marshfield Clinic. Learn more at www.maccfund.org.

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