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Behind The Neuroblastoma Children’s Cancer Society.

Michael James Sexton’s courageous effort in his fight against neuroblastoma cancer ended in September 1993 at the age of three. During his nine months of intense treatment, he faced each day with determination, purpose and his smile!

“We were shocked by the inability of the medical profession to combat the disease and that no major organization was funding significant research to promote a frontline treatment or cure for neuroblastoma cancer.” – Founders of NCCS and parents of Michael.

Founded in 1994, the Neuroblastoma Children’s Cancer Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting research and providing support to the children (and their families) diagnosed with neuroblastoma.

Our organization is dedicated to raising funds for neuroblastoma research, to change the outcome for all children diagnosed with this disease.

Our Accomplishments

  • Local funding of over $2 million for neuroblastoma cancer research grants. While the National Cancer Institute has nearly doubled its investment in childhood cancer research in recent years due to greater advocacy and awareness, more research funding is needed to develop new, safe therapies for kids. Currently, funding decisions are based on number of incidents instead of life years saved. For more information, see our compelling statistics that mandate increasing pediatric cancer research!
  • Update and distribute nationally hundreds of Neuroblastoma Cancer Family Resource “Survival” Guides. This includes invaluable information for families with children diagnosed with neuroblastoma. This resource guide includes the latest treatment and information on clinical studies, national and local resources, pertinent health care forms and assistance, neuroblastoma terms and childhood cancer publications, etc. This handbook has been recently updated and is available online or for download thanks to our wonderful volunteers.
  • Distribution of Holiday & Valentine presents and toys to oncology patients at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (formerly Children’s Memorial Hospital) and The University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital for over twenty years.
  • Supplying toys to the hospital’s oncology treasure chest where children pick a “treasure” after a difficult procedure like a bone marrow aspirate. Knowing they can pick out something special helps many of the children get through a difficult procedure.
  • Setup and moderation of a Facebook support group for over 10 years. Setup and maintenance of our website for over twenty years. Both exist for families with children with neuroblastoma, patients and survivors as a forum to exchange ideas, share advice of current treatments and resources available, and to promote fundraising, research, etc. Our Facebook support group helps families connect with other families and patients affected by this disease.
  • Distribution of our neuroblastoma fact and organization postcard to hospitals and doctors to promote our organization, website, and Facebook group and to help educate about neuroblastoma cancer and resources available to families. When neuroblastoma is detected in stage I, there is a greater than 80% long-term survival rate; however, the majority of children are detected in stage IV, which has a much lower long-term survival rate. Many families have pointed out that their pediatricians took weeks, or even months to detect their child’s illness, if they were able to do so at all. It is our hope as well, that this can be a helpful lifeline for any newly diagnosed patients.

Our NCCS Families

If you have been affected by neuroblastoma, you are not alone.
Please feel welcome to join our support network of other parents, families, caregivers, patients, and survivors at our Facebook support group.

Meet the Volunteers Behind NCCS

Board of Directors

  • James F. Sexton
    • Chairman and co-founder of NCCS with his spouse Dori Sexton. “When our son passed away in 1993 from neuroblastoma, we were devastated that the major funders of cancer research gave pediatric and neuroblastoma cancer a shockingly low priority! We formed NCCS as an all-volunteer organization. The purpose was (and still is) to advocate, provide support for families with children having neuroblastoma cancer, and to raise awareness and research for neuroblastoma. Since its inception, NCCS has raised and supported over $2 million to neuroblastoma cancer research!” Jim Sexton is president of James F. Sexton & Associates, Ltd, a full service Public Accounting firm in Schaumburg IL serving small to medium size businesses with taxes and management consulting for 35 years. Jim has served on various nonprofit organizations over his career including Schaumburg Jaycees, Schaumburg Hoffman Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus and various other nonprofit organizations. Jim and his wife Dori are proud parents of four children and four awesome grandchildren!
  • Dori Sexton
    • Dori Sexton is the co-founder of NCCS along with Jim Sexton. They lost their son Michael to neuroblastoma in 1993. (8/21/90 – 9/24/93) After going through this tragedy, and realizing there was no research being done at that time, they founded The Neuroblastoma Children’s Cancer Society in 1994 to raise funds for much-needed research of the disease, and to promote much-needed public awareness. It is in loving memory of our son Michael that we fight for a cure.
  • Mariah Forster Olson
    • Mariah Forster Olson was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 1980 at the age of one, with a tumor growing out of her spine, wrapping around a portion of her heart, and occupying almost the entire right side of her chest. At that time, there were very few treatment options, and Mariah had them all – multiple surgeries, many radiation treatments, and two years of a new chemotherapy clinical trial, including cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, and vincristine, which are still being used today! Outdated therapeutics and the location of her tumor have left Mariah with a number of complex medical conditions and late effects that greatly impact her life, but she strives to focus on hope, optimism, and positivity. Mariah is the Director of Survivor, Family, and Resource Services for NCCS, and she also serves on the NCCS Board and is the co-administrator of the “Neuroblastoma Family Support Group” on Facebook. Mariah also represents NCCS in the Coalition Against Childhood Cancer (CAC2), where she is the survivorship interest group liaison and the co-lead of the Leadership Transition Planning Team, and she also serves on the Board of Directors and on the Executive Committee. Mariah’s work truly fulfills her and gives her a sense of purpose, and she truly hopes to help others and provide hope, understanding, support, and encouragement. Mariah lives in La Crosse, Wisconsin with her husband, Troy, and their Siamese cat, and in her spare time, Mariah volunteers for several additional nonprofit cancer organizations, is writing a book about her life, and plays the oboe professionally.
  • Monica Faucheux
    • Monica Faucheux, daughter of Jim and Dori Sexton, has been a volunteer for NCCS since it started in 1994. She lost her brother to neuroblastoma and it is in his memory that she dedicates a part of her life to fighting for a cure. As a mom of 2, she also fights for a cure for every child out there who is told that they have cancer. Monica moderates and manages social media accounts, this website and general email correspondence for NCCS. She has helped out with many fundraisers through the years, since she was 8 years old. In her free time she enjoys creating art and is a small business owner.
  • Cathy Crivellone
    • Cathy Crivellone is a retired Human Resources generalist and mom of 2. She has been a volunteer for NCCS since it was founded in 1994. She was honored when Jim and Dori Sexton asked her to help when they began the organization. Cathy has worked hard and enjoyed every fundraiser, silent auction, 5K, mailing, etc that she has been a part of. She feels fortunate to be a part of helping in the fight for a cure for neuroblastoma. She plans to continue to help in any way she can to continue in the mighty mission of our fight against cancer. 


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