Alison La Ferlita

NPP Spotlight: Children’s Leukemia Research Association

Tara Coleman

Senior Director of Patient Aid and Technology

Children’s Leukemia Research Association

NRH: Tara, welcome to the Nonprofit Resource Hub! We are really excited to have you and the Children’s Leukemia Research Association join our community. Can you tell us about your organization?

TC: CLRA was founded in 1965 by a group of concerned and dedicated volunteers living in the New York City area. Several of the founders had lost a loved one to leukemia.  Their mission became to find the cause and cure for childhood leukemia.  

We have continued our mission and continue to provide research grants to doctors who are conducting the most promising research into leukemia, in the hopes of isolating the causes and finding a cure for this dread disease.

In the early 2000s, many of our fellow blood cancer support organizations stopped providing financial assistance to patients. Our Patient Aid program was created to fulfill that need. Our program provides financial assistance to children and adults battling blood cancer across the United States. 

NRH: Tell us about yourself. How and why did you choose this organization to work with?

TC: I was a stay-at-home Mom for 10 years when I decided to go back into the workforce.  I was looking for an opportunity to work for an organization that really makes a difference. I found one when I found CLRA. 

Running the patient assistance program is amazingly fulfilling.  When a family member is diagnosed with blood cancer, it upends your entire life. One parent may have to give up work, sometimes adult patients are no longer able to work.  The assistance provided can help cover the costs of treatment and medication and enables families to still put food on the table. 

NRH: Tell us what your goals are for your organization this coming year?

TC: Our goals are to continue to spread the word about our organization, increase our donor base and stay true to our mission. 

NRH: Tell us about one success story you are really proud of.

TC: The successes definitely come from working with the patients and their families.  One patient recently told me that she could not afford the full 30 days of her medication. She had been ordering 10 days at a time because the co-pays were so high. She was extremely grateful for the financial support. 

NRH: What is the biggest challenge to working in the nonprofit industry (or with your organization in particular) since the start of the pandemic?

TC:  The biggest problem has been a decrease in donations across the board.  I think that can be said for most nonprofit organizations. 

NRH: What holiday program is the Children’s Leukemia Research Association rolling out? And how can the NRH community get involved to support you?

TC:   We do not offer any holiday programs. 

NRH: What are you most looking forward to as a new Nonprofit Partner with the NRH?

TC:   I am most looking forward to the networking opportunities.  It helps to hear that others are experiencing the same challenges.  It is great to learn what has worked and what hasn’t for others in the same situation. 

NRH: How can we get in touch with you?

TC:    You can reach us on our website at https://www.childrensleukemia.org/. Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChildrensLeukemiaResearchAssociation

By phone: (516)222-1944 or email at info@childrensleukemia.org

NRH: Is there anything else you would like to share with the NRH community?

Please check out our company’s story which can be found on our website or on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN-3cAFXC-U 

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