Landover, Maryland-based Giant Food, a greater Washington D.C. regional grocery chain, says it is launching the 16th annual fundraising program for pediatric cancer designed to support cancer research initiatives. Giant aims to raise at least $2 million throughout the eight-week program, running from Aug. 14 to Oct. 9 from the sale of $5 “Thank You” cards from Giant’s ambassadors.
All funds raised will be donated to Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and The Children’s Cancer Foundation (CCF) to support ongoing cancer research.
Since the program’s inception in 2005, Giant Food has raised more than $23.5 million for pediatric cancer research. During the campaign, Giant shoppers can participate by purchasing a $5 ‘Thank You’ card from one of Giant’s Pediatric Cancer ambassadors at their local store. The ‘Thank You’ card can be redeemed as a $5 coupon at all Giant locations for any purchase of $25 or more.
“Every year we are honored to support the Johns Hopkins Pediatric Oncology Department and The Children’s Cancer Foundation in furthering their pediatric cancer research efforts,” said Ira Kress, president of Giant Food. “The campaign has been a success each year, thanks to our amazing customers and store associates. The Giant family is excited to once again join with our community to raise awareness and funds to support these two local organizations which do an outstanding job researching and treating childhood cancer.”
This year, three young local cancer fighters serve as Giant Food Pediatric Cancer ambassadors. These children, and many others like them, have faced numerous challenges, but the treatments they have received as a result of Giant’s support have helped them lead healthier lives.
Riley Marshall, a 14-year-old dancer, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor at the age of 9. Since then, she has been passionately fighting back against cancer with her sister Reagan at her side.
After two years of chemo, Riley has been in remission for three years and taken up speaking engagements to share her story. When not giving a voice to the millions impacted by pediatric cancer, Riley enjoys eating spaghetti, bowling, watching The Fault In Our Stars and jamming out to Thomas Rhett. In the future, she also hopes to be a broadcaster and explore the media field.
Andrew Devin Oberle, a 10-year-old baseball athlete, will be officially declared a cancer survivor in November 2021 after battling B-cell Leukemia cancer from age four. Andrew has been a personal inspiration to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who was also battling cancer at the time, and the two have remained close friends. When not eating Ledo’s Pizza and hanging out with friends, Andrew hopes to continue to inspire others through his Pediatric Cancer Ambassadorship with Giant Food. In the future, Andrew plans to become an environmental engineer and help tackle issues of homelessness in his own backyard of Baltimore.
Simeon Schlaggar, a 14-year-old Chicago music fan, began a three-year-long chemotherapy regimen after a T-cell ALL diagnosis at the age of 10. Since July of 2019, when his port was removed, Simeon has been working on regaining his strength and getting ready for the start of his high school career.
Simeon enjoys creating art, excelling in math (his favorite subject), eating burgers and watching his favorite movie, 12 Angry Men. In the future, Simeon plans on attending medical school to become a pediatric doctor.
“We are humbled that Giant Food again included CCF in this year’s campaign, as they have since it launched 16 years ago,” said CCF President Tasha Museles. “The generosity of Giant Food and their shoppers and associates has translated to years of meaningful programs improving the lives of brave local children as well as innovative research that puts more cures within reach. We applaud Giant’s efforts to keep the focus on children’s cancer research and awareness.”
“This fundraiser is critical for providing our team with the resources that they need to continue research and develop improved treatments for children’s cancers,” said Dr. Donald Small, director of pediatric oncology at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. “The program helps us offer the children the expert care that they need, and we are thrilled to partner with Giant each year as they stand behind our ongoing efforts.”
Giant Food operates 163 supermarkets in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia with approximately 20,000 associates.