Laura Thrall Named Chief Executive Officer
of National Children's Cancer Organization

CureSearch for Children’s Cancer Appoints New CEO at Time of Rapid Growth

For Immediate Release  Contact 
September 19, 2012 Shelby Gosnell 
  (240) 235-2201

Bethesda, MD – The national nonprofit CureSearch for Children's Cancer today announced the appointment of Laura Thrall as the organization's new President and Chief Executive Officer.  Thrall takes the helm of CureSearch at a time when the Foundation is experiencing tremendous growth in grassroots fundraising and expanding the type of children's cancer research it supports.

Thrall brings more than 25 years of fundraising experience to CureSearch, most recently as CEO of the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago where she focused on improving the organization's fundraising strategies, increasing year-over-year earned revenue for the first time in two decades.

"On behalf of the Board of Directors of CureSearch, we are delighted Laura is joining CureSearch as our new CEO. She comes to us with a wonderful mix of leadership experience with major health and community non-profit organizations, as well as serving as a consultant with a firm specializing in the non-profit area, and as a Board member of a large national non-profit health-related charity," said Stuart E. Siegel, MD, director, Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Chair of the Board of Directors at CureSearch for Children's Cancer. "We are looking forward to the energy, creativity, and enthusiasm Laura will bring to the Foundation's efforts to support research to improve the cure rate and quality of life for children, adolescents and young adults with cancer," Dr. Siegel continued.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to work towards advancing the CureSearch mission to find a cure for children's cancer. At this pivotal time of transition for the organization, I look forward to working with the many dedicated Board members, staff, and supporters to collectively do all we can to assist children and their families by supporting cutting edge research and providing the tools and the resources they need to navigate treatment," said Thrall.

Ongoing children's cancer research is essential in moving the needle to enhance outcomes for these children. While the overall cure rate is 80%, for many of the more rare types of children's cancer, cure rates are much lower and have remained virtually unchanged for decades.

Therefore, under Thrall, CureSearch will continue to fund clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and conducted by more than 180 Children's Oncology Group member hospitals so that children across the country have access to global expertise at hospitals close to home.  Thrall will also work with the Foundation's recently established Scientific Advisory Council, led by Joe Simone, MD, to develop and guide scientific strategy and subsequent funding of children's cancer research which is vital to improving survival rates for the 13,500 children diagnosed with cancer and the 40,000 children undergoing cancer treatment each year.

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Laura Thrall Biographical Information
Prior to joining CureSearch for Children's Cancer, Thrall was President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. There, she lead the region's largest non-governmental funder of health and human services and focused on improving the organization's fundraising strategies, increasing year-over-year earned revenue for the first time in two decades. Prior to joining United Way in 2009, Thrall served as Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, leading its transformation, developing the concept for the "Model YWCA," opening the first of three new centers, launching its first capital campaign in 40 years and creating an infrastructure for sustained legislative advocacy. She has also served as a division director of Campbell & Company, a leading national consulting firm specializing in providing counsel to large nonprofits and as senior director at Los Angeles-based Starlight Children's Foundation International.

About CureSearch for Children's Cancer
CureSearch for Children's Cancer is a national non-profit foundation whose mission is to fund and support children's cancer research and provide information and resources to all those affected by children's cancer. CureSearch raises funds for promising research conducted at more than 180 hospitals in the United States, participating in National Cancer Institute sponsored clinical trials conducted by the Children's Oncology Group. Through the CureSearch Investigational Research Initiative, CureSearch also funds basic and translational research that offers the greatest potential to design treatments and improve outcomes for children with difficult-to-treat cancers.

Christine Bork
Email Christine
(800) 458-6223

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