The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS) has renamed their Global Outreach Program to the Michele Hertlein Global Outreach Program to honor the memory of Hertlein and her tireless work to help children battling cancer around the world.
The Michele Hertlein Global Outreach Program partners with pharmaceutical companies that donate pediatric oncology drugs and medical supplies which are then distributed to treatment centers outside of the United States. There is no charge to the facility or to the families who seek lifesaving treatment for their sick child. For 24 years, Hertlein was dedicated to securing and shipping these donations to pediatric treatment centers that needed them. Tragically, she lost her own battle with cancer on August 5, 2020, after fighting valiantly for more than 10 years.
“Michele made this unique program what it is today,” said President and CEO Mark Stolze. “We’re deeply grateful for all she accomplished. Michele gave thousands of kids battling cancer a shot at survival and gave hope to their families. She is greatly missed.”
“We renamed the program to honor her legacy and celebrate her commitment through the support and lifesaving treatment it will continue to bring to children around the world.”
It is estimated that approximately 80% or more of children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer in higher-income countries will survive. Unfortunately, the inverse is true for kids living in low-income countries—up to 80% will die from their disease due to the lack of resources to diagnose and treat their cancer. The Michele Hertlein Global Outreach Program addresses the inadequate or nonexistent medical care for children with cancer in developing countries at absolutely no cost to the family.
Since the inception of the program, the NCCS has distributed over $416 million in donated medical products to 65 children’s hospitals and clinics in 42 countries. More than 167,000 children have been assisted thanks to the generous support of the program’s corporate partners and donations. The program currently serves kids in need in Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Nicaragua and Zimbabwe, along with various countries in Africa through Group Franco-African d’Oncologie Pédiatrique based in France.