Nothing can prepare you for the words “your child has cancer.” It’s not natural, it’s not fair, but it is real. Children do get cancer and a family’s life is turned upside down.

The numbers add up so quickly – about 500 children each month are treated at the ASK Pediatric Hematology/Oncology clinic. Each one of them, along with their families, needs help dealing with the complex and stressful issues of cancer treatment. Fortunately, a network of support is already waiting for them through ASK.

ASK was founded in 1975 by a small group of parents of pediatric cancer patients at MCV Hospital, Richmond, VA. They joined together to provide mutual support, to search for answers and to deal with the devastating diagnoses. These parents searched for simple pleasures for their children and support for themselves. They started with small changes like books, toys and games for the little ones to help alleviate the anxiety and pain of treatment, and small parent gatherings in the hospital waiting rooms to help reduce their own stress. These parents became the founding members of ASK. Their mission was simple and remains unchanged today as we continue to search for ways to make life better for children with cancer.