Houston, TX, June 23, 2020 – Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Bender.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Amber. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It all started with my 16-month-old daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The only thing worse than hearing those four horrific words, “Your child has cancer” is then learning that there isn’t a whole lot they can do to treat it. We treated my baby girl with 40-year-old drugs that were designed for adults, extremely toxic and worse, ineffective. Despite the progress that has been made in some areas, there are still many types of pediatric cancers that have made little to no headway and some still with a zero percent survival rate. My husband and I wanted to change the story for the future kids who will be diagnosed. We envision a day when every child can be cured of cancer and go on to lead long healthy lives. Less than 4% of funding is allocated towards pediatric cancer research, which is simply not enough to make significant change anytime soon. So we decided to start Addi’s Faith Foundation in memory of Addi, but to impact all children. www.AddisFaith.org https://addisfaithfoundation.org/who-we-are/our-story/addis-story/

During Addi’s illness, we also learned first-hand just how difficult it is to care for a child with cancer. Not only is it emotionally devastating, it can also be financially draining. More often than not, a parent will need to quit their job in order to provide the necessary care. This reduction in income comes at the same time when bills are drastically increased, causing an immediate financial crisis. Medical bills, travel costs, medications, etc. pile on top of the standard bills and families get swamped quickly. We understand the toll this can take on the entire family and we want to help. In addition to funding critical pediatric cancer research, Addi’s Faith Foundation also supports families in their time of need. We will pay rent/mortgage, car notes, utilities, or whatever is needed most. We want to alleviate some of the financial burdens so parents can better focus on helping their child get better.

After 12 years, we are proud to say that we are still going strong and have no intentions of stopping. Thanks to our amazing supporters, Addi’s Faith Foundation has distributed over two million dollars towards our mission of funding research and helping families.

Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t think there is such a thing as a continuously smooth road. If you travel long enough, you’re bound to hit a bump or two. What’s important is how you deal with it. These bumps and struggles can actually be catalysts for change-making things better than ever. Hurricane Harvey was a difficult time for all Houstonians and the aftermath affected our revenue in a real way. We stood beside our flooded community and together put the pieces back in place. Slowly but surely, things returned to “normal,” and our faithful supporters were there for us. Currently, we find ourselves in another significant struggle with COVID-19. Multiple fundraising events have been cancelled, our revenue is down and we have no idea when and how things will change. So we’re looking at alternative ways to generate funds. We’re holding events virtually and we are pivoting in ways that will ensure our programming will continue. Change is never easy, but I’m convinced that, when embraced, it can cause great things to happen.

Please tell us about Addi’s Faith Foundation.
We are proud of the research that we’ve been able to fund at MD Anderson Cancer Center. They are the world’s leading institution when it comes to cancer and we couldn’t be happier with our partnership. We feel good about the funding we give them because we know that they will put it to the best use and that their goal is the same as our… ending cancer. The Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Research Lab has been named after Addi’s Faith Foundation. It’s gratifying and special knowing that life-saving research is being conducted in a lab that is supported by Addi’s Faith Foundation.

We’re also very proud of our Relief Project and how we offer help to families when they need it most. Month after month, families come to us with desperate situations. They might be months behind on a bill and days away from getting their electricity shut off or car repossessed. They don’t know how they are going to pay their rent this month. They’re trying to decide upon filling a prescription or buying groceries. Although we can’t solve all their problems, we can offer a little reprieve. One of my favorite ways to help is to catch a family up on a past due bill. Can you imagine the relief felt when that red PAST DUE bill gets paid? This simple act also helps families know that they aren’t alone. It allows them to see that people care about them. That bit of kindness not only alleviates stress but also brings light and hope into a time that can feel very dark and hopeless.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Houston is a.maz.ing!!! We have some of the most generous, caring individuals and businesses around. Almost everyone I come in contact with has been more than supportive and genuinely wants to help. Some give time and some give money and I’m beyond grateful to each of them. I’ve continuously surrounded by genuine love and it further fuels my passion for change. I’m blessed and proud to operate a non-profit, and live in this wonderful community.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Snapgirl photography

Link to original publication: VoyageHouston

About Addi’s Faith Foundation
Inspired by one little girl’s battle with brain cancer, Addi’s Faith Foundation was formed in hopes of freeing the world from childhood cancer. By funding critical pediatric research, AFF ensures advancements are made and that less toxic, yet more effective treatments are found. Until the cure is discovered, Addi’s Faith Foundation desires to provide emotional and financial support to parents as they care for their child with cancer. A registered 501(c)3 charity, Addi’s Faith Foundation has distributed over 1.5 million dollars since their inception in 2008.