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History Of The Hope & Heroes
Children's Cancer Fund

Hope & Heroes was founded so all children in New York could access the best possible cancer care, regardless of their insurance or family’s ability to pay.


Dr. Michael Weiner, the former director of pediatric oncology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, founded Hope & Heroes in 1996. He envisioned a first-class research enterprise and treatment center for children with cancer and serious blood diseases throughout New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. But the charity needed a name, an identity.

A year later, in 1997, a teenage patient with Hodgkin’s disease, Beth Maria, wrote to her childhood hero, baseball player Tino Martinez, a New York Yankees’ first baseman. They struck up a friendship, and Martinez made Beth a pledge. For every RBI he recorded, he would donate to help fight childhood cancer.

Mike Lupica, a New York Daily News sportswriter, covered the story and wrote an article titled “Hope & Heroes.” When Dr. Weiner read the story, he knew he’d found a name for his newly created charity, The Hope & Heroes Children’s Cancer Fund.

Since its inception, Hope & Heroes has supported programs and services for patients and their families, and underwritten medical and academic research, ensuring the work of the most highly qualified pediatric oncologists in the long term.

Your generosity helps to ensure that children with cancer and blood disorders get the help they need and reaffirms the belief that we all have the capacity to make a difference.