Our Vision

Solving Kids’ Cancer is not just our name, it’s our mission. We focus on aggressive childhood cancers with low survival rates—because Every Kid Deserves to Grow Up. Solving Kids' Cancer helps accelerate new, next-generation treatments, including immunotherapy, cancer vaccines, and new drugs by applying an understanding of the entire childhood cancer research landscape to wisely invest in innovative projects.

We extend our reach globally to fully understand the research landscape so that we may influence and strengthen the science, resulting in more cures for children.  Solving Kids' Cancer fosters the development of innovative clinical trials that bring more effective treatments to children both in the U.S., Europe and beyond.

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Solving Kids’ Cancer finds, funds, and advocates for breakthrough treatment options to cure children with the most fatal childhood cancers.

Family Founded

Founded by two fathers who lost their children to cancer, Solving Kids’ Cancer identifies and addresses the areas of greatest need in childhood cancer research. Our proactive agenda puts the child at the center of everything we do. We collaborate with researchers and institutions nationally and internationally to ensure that we fund the most promising research, reach more children, and solve kids’ cancer sooner.

Our Founders

John London

The inspiration for John London in co-founding Solving Kids' Cancer belongs solely to his daughter, Penelope, who once told him "I want no one to feel yucky, Daddy." Those words drove both John and his wife, Catherine, to make sure that no other families suffer the loss his family had to endure with the passing of Penelope. As Chairman of the Board of Directors, John has primary responsibilities with SKC that include leadership and overall management of organizational governance, compliance, donor cultivation, and fundraising. John also serves as a strategic advisor in all areas of therapeutic development. He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University.

Scott Kennedy

Scott co-founded SKC in 2007 as a tribute to his son, Hazen Kennedy, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age three. Hazen was Scott's inspiration for creating Solving Kids' Cancer in part because Hazen wanted to become a scientist when he grew up in order to help people by creating new medicines. As Executive Director, Scott is integrally involved in the identification, funding, and management of the organization's scientific programs. Before co-founding SKC, Scott worked in marketing at CDW in Chicago and then at Pfizer in New York City. He also founded a New York City theatre and sightseeing business called Manfreakinhattan. Scott has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Psychology from Indiana University and a MBA from the Asian Institute of Management

Our Inspiration

Penelope London

Penelope was born a very healthy, beautiful, playful, extraordinary, and happy baby. Hindsight doesn’t give us the privilege of knowing where things went wrong. But they did. They went terribly, terribly wrong when, at 16 months, she was diagnosed with a very rare form of pediatric cancer. Up until then there was absolutely no indication whatsoever that she was sick, not from the pediatricians’ perspective, nor from the keen eye of an experienced parent. It was like watching those television commercials about horrible diseases that strike other children, but you just know in your gut, and you thank God, that it will never happen to your child. But it did.

And that is all that will be said about her illness in this portion of the website -- that it can strike any child, at any time, and in the most surreptitious of ways. After all, this page is about Penelope, as she would have wanted it to be; not about her illness and subsequent death short of her 5th birthday. The illness did not define her; but her strength and courage during her life is what will drive and define the momentum to ultimately find a cure.

Penelope was the strongest life force we have ever felt. She practically glowed. No person was more radiant, beautiful, courageous, or loving. To know her was to have your soul penetrated by pure goodness. Life was her canvas for us to watch her display such joy and beauty; it was a wondrous rainbow of colors, life, determination, energy, intelligence, and love.

Penelope brightened every room she entered both with the sparkle in her eyes and the corners of her mouth that would always rise just so into that amazing smile that took over her face. Her thirst for life truly permeated her every move and engaged everyone around her. Whether it was putting on big girl make-up with her older sister Isabelle, or jumping the waves and riding bikes with her little brother Oliver, baking cupcakes and making whipped cream -- always insisting on licking the spoon. She just wanted to play, learn, have fun, and to be made to laugh. She taught us and everyone around her how to live life to its fullest, how to stay in the moment, and how to make the best of every single part of every day, even when she was feeling deeply “yucky.”

Our greatest gift is that we will forever be Penelope’s parents. Her nearly five years were a blessing, and in her short time, her smile, laugh, determination, and absolute love for life affected so many who came in contact with her or followed her story. Our inspiration for co-founding Solving Kids' Cancer belongs solely to our amazing daughter who once told us, "I don’t want anybody to ever feel yucky.” Our hope is to make her wish come true.

Hazen Kennedy

“I don’t want anybody to ever feel yucky.”

Penelope London

Our Impact:

Learning that nifurtimox, an anti-parasitic drug, put a child with neuroblastoma into remission, SKC quickly launched a clinical trial which has extended the lives of children with this deadly cancer.

Meet the Team

Staff

Scott Kennedy
Executive Director 

Scott Kennedy co-founded Solving Kids’ Cancer as a tribute to his son Hazen, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age 3. As Executive Director, Scott is integrally involved in the identification, funding, and management of the organization's scientific programs. He has a BS in Chemistry and Psychology from Indiana University and an MBA from the Asian Institute of Management.

 

 

Donna Ludwinski
Director of Research Advocacy

Admiration for the SKC mission and method noted while her son Erik battled neuroblastoma led to a productive collaboration after his death in 2010. Donna is a voracious consumer of pediatric oncology research literature and attends major oncology meetings and presents at conferences. She is an FDA Patient Representative and on the NCI Central Review Board for COG clinical trials. In frequent contact with researchers and families globally, she stays abreast of the global patient and research landscape. She assists in identifying, analyzing, cultivating, and reviewing exciting therapeutic leads with the hope of quickly bringing the most promising therapies to the clinic. Donna has a BS in Chemical Engineering.

 

Kristi McKay
Director of Operations

Kristi came to Solving Kids' Cancer in 2011.  She brings 25 years of not-for-profit administrative experience in management, operations, development, event planning, and marketing. Prior to SKC, Kristi managed the visual and performing arts center at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.

Email: kristi@solvingkidscancer.org

 

 

Pia Rhiner
Communications Manager

Pia came to Solving Kids' Cancer in 2016 with a strong interest in health care and a love for helping children. Having a brother who passed away from a brain tumor at the age of 8, she feels that fate led her to SKC. Pia has a BA in Mathematics from Hunter College and a MPA in Health Care Policy from Baruch. 

Email: pia@solvingkidscancer.org

 

 

 

Natalie Agudo
Administrative Assistant

Natalie joined Solving Kids' Cancer in 2019 with the hope of making a difference for children. She has experience in digital marketing, social media management, and PR/ Media Outreach. Some of her passions include live music, traveling, and helping others. Natalie recently received her BS in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University.

Email: nataliea@solvingkidscancer.org

Board of Directors

Scientific Advisory Board

Hearn
Hearn Jay Cho, MD, PhD

Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation

DeRenzo
Christopher DeRenzo, MD

St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital

Andras
Andras Heczey, MD

Baylor College of Medicine
Texas Children's Hospital

Kieran
Mark Kieran, MD, PhD

Day One Biopharmaceuticals
VP, Clinical Development

Rimas
Rimas J. Orentas, PhD

Seattle Children's Research Institute
Director of Scientific Integration

Stephen
Stephen S. Roberts, MD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Pediatric Oncologist

Charity Project Partners

The Andrew McDonough Family Foundation
Wilmington, DE

The Catherine Elizabeth Blair Memorial Foundation
Washington DC


The EVAN Foundation
Germantown, MD






Fishin' For the Cure
Phoenix, AZ




Fitzgerald Cancer Fund
Danvers, MA







Solving Kids' Cancer UK
London, England



Wade's Army
Skillman, NJ



Joining Against Cancer in Kids
Hertfordshire, England, UK






The James Fund
Toronto, Canada



Make Some Noise Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation
Morristown, NJ






Pierce Phillips Charity
Tulsa, OK





Ronan Thompson Foundation
Phoenix, AZ






Band of Parents
Dewittville, NY










A Kids' Brain Tumor Cure
Needham, MA





Ty Louis Campbell Foundation
Carmel, NY





Imagine for Margo
Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France







The Bibi Fund
London, England, UK

Wylie's Day Foundation
Ambler, PA





Carson Leslie Foundation
Dallas, Texas






Swifty Foundation
Woodridge, IL








Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation
Bloomingdale, IL

Advocacy Partners








Coalition Against Childhood Cancer


The Max Cure Foundation
New York City, NY











Momcology
Saint Johns, FL








Friends of Karen
New York State

For all media inquiries, please contact info@solvingkidscancer.org.