Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Awarded $15,000 Grant from Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation

January 26, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - January 26, 2012 - Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation’s Promise Circle has awarded the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC a grant to fund general programming and events throughout the year. The AYA Oncology Program serves adolescents and young adults who are being treated for cancer at Children’s Hospital.

The AYA Oncology program was established to provide the best multidisciplinary care for patients aged 15-22, a traditionally underserved population at pediatric hospitals in terms of age-appropriate programming and activities. In addition to cutting-edge oncology care, AYA physicians and staff offer psychosocial support, fertility counseling, and peer support networks, by sponsoring support groups, gatherings, parties, and weekend getaways. By creating a welcoming and supportive environment, the AYA Oncology Program is therefore able to provide focused attention to the unique social, emotional, and physical needs of adolescents and young adults.

The $15,000 grant will help enable Children’s AYA program to offer various events and programming throughout the year, including the annual “Getaway Weekend”, in which patients and medical staff travel to a local ski resort in the region for bonding and fun outside a medical context, as well as other reunions and parties during the year. Through these outings, patients get a chance to socialize and have fun with other teens and young adults going through similar struggles. These activities take them out of their home, school, and medical environments, giving them the opportunity to form strong bonds and support systems with each other.

“With the generous support from Jeff Gordon’s Children’s Foundation, we look forward to continuing our events and programs, at no cost to the patients, so that all can participate,” said Peter Shaw, M.D., director, Children’s AYA program. “These patients are often overlooked because of their age range, but we strive to provide them with the support, information, sense of community and fun they so desperately need during this challenging time.”

“The Promise Circle of the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation is proud to have Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC as one of their 2011 Grant Recipients. This organization was selected because we felt their mission closely aligned with the Promise Circle’s mission to provide patient support to children with cancer,” said the grant committee of the Promise Circle. “Many times the social, emotional and physical needs of adolescents and young adults going through treatment are overlooked. Activities that take these cancer patients out of their home, school and medical environments help to build self esteem and a great support system with each other.”

About the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation 
Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation was established as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 1999 by the four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion. The Foundation supports children battling cancer by funding programs that improve patients’ quality of life, treatment programs that increase survivorship, and pediatric medical research dedicated to finding a cure.  The Foundation also supports the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital in Concord, N.C.  Visit to learn more.

About The Promise Circle
The Promise Circle is a volunteer group comprised of women dedicated to maximizing outcomes for patient support programs funded or administered by the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation. The Promise Circle works on behalf of the foundation as advocates for children with cancer and their families. Visit to learn more.

For more information on The Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program at Children's Hospital, please visit

Andrea Kunicky, 412-692-6254,
Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-7919,