The Bear Fund

Nick, heather, and their two kids sitting on a dock

Fight Cancer Like a Bear

In the fall of 2019, Nick and Heather Baker's youngest child Barrett ("Bear") was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare liver cancer. Bear endured over 2 years of chemotherapy and 8 surgeries, including a liver transplant, to help him reach remission. His resiliency is a source of inspiration for the family and their legion of friends. 

In 2021, Nick and Heather joined with the Cancer Support Community to establish The Bear Fund to provide navigation resource services and financial assistance so every child can Fight Cancer Like a Bear. 

The Need for the Bear Fund

In 2023, about 10,500 children in the United States under the age of 18 will be diagnosed with cancer, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncologists.

  • The average cost associated with childhood cancer is over $800,000 for one child for medical costs and lost parental wages (2018 data).
  • 1 in 3 families faces work disruptions, such as having to quit work or change jobs, because of childhood cancer treatment.
  • Siblings of children with cancer experience more depression and anxiety and worse peer relationships than siblings without a chronically ill brother or sister.

Carla is a 17-year-old cancer patient who was admitted to the hospital last fall due to a relapse of her leukemia, necessitating a bone marrow transplant (BMT). Carla and her family (mother, father and 10-year old sibling) relocated to Los Angeles for Carla to receive the BMT. Carla faced multiple complications from the treatment, making it impossible for her mother to work. Her mother spent time between Carla's bedside and caring for Carla's sibling while Carla's father took odd jobs. Through support from The Bear Fund, CSC was able to help them put food on the table, buy a meal from our cafeteria, and meet other basic needs.

A social worker at Children's Hospital Los Angeles

The 3 most common cancers faced by families applying for The Bear Fund:

Leukemia, Brain tumors, and Sarcoma

Donate to the Bear Fund

The Impact of the Bear Fund

People's faces on a scale

757 Families Supported

757 children & families have received grants, including 270 Hispanic and Latino families.

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$1,000,000+ Raised

In less than 2 years, the Bear Fund has raised more than $1,000,000.

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100% Acceptance

Certified applications have a 100% acceptance rate, & funds processed within 48 hours.

I wanted to take a moment to thank the Bear Fund. Thank you for being there for this family in our time of need. Things are really hard right now, I'm not able to work right now because of the care my son needs plus all the hospital visits and just my family as a whole. You all stepped in and made sure our rent and utilities were paid and we appreciate it so very much!

A grateful family
A mother with her arm around her son
Duration: 2 min

Impact of The Bear Fund

Hear from one of our hospital partners: Kami Runzo, Clinical Manager at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, talks about the impact of The Bear Fund for families facing cancer. 

Logo of the Bear Fund
The Baker Family

Support the Bear Fund

Your support makes it possible to provide pediatric services for children like Emma and for other families across the country.

Donate Today