The history of the Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund

Our fight against childhood cancer began in 1979. Concerned parents and healthcare professionals joined forces to prevent the closure of Sweden's only pediatric oncology department. This initiative laid the foundation for the Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund, established in 1982.

Every day, a child is diagnosed with cancer, and some of them face grim odds. Yet, there is hope. Today, thanks to donations from individuals and businesses, over 85 percent of children diagnosed with cancer survive. In the late 1970s, the survival rate was only 50 percent.

The Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund is the largest single financier of childhood cancer research in Sweden. Through hundreds of research projects each year, we strive to discover new and better methods to alleviate and cure childhood cancer. Our ultimate goal is to solve the puzzle of childhood cancer. Additionally, we provide crucial support to children and families affected by cancer, and advocate for their needs in society. We also educate about childhood cancer in schools and other forums to raise awareness about our efforts to combat it.

Our fight against childhood cancer began in 1979 when the very first childhood cancer association was formed under the name "Association for Children with Blood and Tumor Diseases." Using the term "childhood cancer" was not permissible as it was deemed too emotionally charged.

In February 1979, a hundred people gathered for a pivotal meeting aimed at persuading politicians to recognize the need for a dedicated pediatric oncology department at Karolinska University Hospital. This initiative was driven by concerned parents and healthcare professionals, leading to the formation of the first childhood cancer association. After two months of advocacy, hospital management and politicians were convinced, and the pediatric oncology department became a reality.

The idea of forming local childhood cancer associations spread from Stockholm to other major hospitals across Sweden. These associations aimed to provide a unified platform where all resources could be pooled to advocate for and represent the voices of children with cancer. This initiative culminated in the establishment of the Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund on January 1, 1982. Today, the Swedish Childhood Cancer Fund's greatest wish and primary goal is for all children diagnosed with cancer to survive and live a good life. However, achieving this goal requires continued dedication and effort.