A woman and man hugging to celebrate a gift given.
Tara Simkins, one of the co-founders for the Press On Fund, celebrates with Dr. David Munn and Dr. Ted Johnson after announcing a $1 million gift for pediatric cancer programs.

Press On Fund to give $1 million to support pediatric cancer programs at Augusta University

They are the littlest patients facing one of life’s biggest battles from a disease that can be deadly. However, children undergoing treatment for brain cancer and other forms of cancer have an ally in their fight. It is a team of families coming together to provide a $1 million gift to fund research and new treatment options.

“As parents who have experienced this fight first-hand, we know how important hope is for families,” said Tara Simkins, co-founder of the Press On Fund and mother to Brennan, a childhood cancer survivor. “We are extraordinarily hopeful about this groundbreaking pediatric immunotherapy research being done right here in Augusta, treating children from around the world and offering promise for less toxic and more effective treatment options for children battling cancer.”

A woman standing between two men.
Tara Simkins, with Press On Fund, talks about how the money her organization donated will be used to help advance pediatric cancer research being done by Drs. David Munn (R) and Ted Johnson (L).

The $1 million gift will create the Press On Pediatric Cancer Fund at the Georgia Cancer Center and will support the Pediatric Immunotherapy Program, including expenses related to research and essential needs, specifically those associated with a pediatric bone marrow transplant program. Press On is a field of interest fund held by the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area.

“Supporting pediatric cancer research happening at the Georgia Cancer Center and Children’s Hospital of Georgia is critical for improving the health of future generations,” said Shell Berry, president and CEO of The Community Foundation. “It is our privilege to partner with the Press On Fund so they can distribute monies to efforts that have the potential to change the littlest of lives here at home and across the globe.”

Drs. Theodore Johnson and David Munn are the physician-scientists behind the promising pediatric immunotherapy research Press On is supporting. Immunotherapy is a treatment approach to cancer that harnesses the power of the patient’s own immune system to attack cancer, making possible less toxic and more effective therapies. The Georgia Cancer Center is the first program to integrate chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation to treat children with relapsed brain tumors.

A man and woman standing to pose for a picture.
Dr. Brooks A. Keel shares a heartfelt thank you to Tara Simkins and the team at the Press On Fund for their $1 million gift to benefit pediatric cancer programs

“We are honored to receive this generous gift from our friends at the Press On Fund,” said Dr. Brooks A. Keel, president of Augusta University. “The support of community partners allows us to continue the work of Drs. Johnson and Munn in offering a complete array of clinical trials for families searching for immunotherapy options for their children with relapsed cancer.”

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Written by
Chris Curry

Chris Curry is the Communications Coordinator for the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-799-8841 or chrcurry@augusta.edu.

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Avatar photo Written by Chris Curry

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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