Nonprofit of the Month: Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children

According to its president and founder Chrisie Funari, Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children “helps kids with cancer.” Though put simply, the nonprofit’s impact on local families going through the unimaginable hardship of having a loved one with pediatric cancer is tremendous. Here, Funari shares how the foundation came to be and ways readers can give back during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

What is the mission of Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children? To provide social, emotional and financial support directly to families managing the health and well-being of a loved one with pediatric cancer.

What prompted the start of Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children? I started ACFC after losing my daughter, Ava, to cancer at the age of 5. She fought for three and a half years and during that time my family was extremely isolated and only received support from family and friends. Having a child with cancer is not only financially devastating it is emotionally and socially difficult as well.

What is the greatest reward in being involved with the nonprofit? To be able to give back and serve families going through exactly what my family did is so important. To be able to provide critical programs and services to families on the front lines of cancer is truly a rewarding and personal experience.

Chrisie Funari with daughter, Ava

What is the biggest challenge the nonprofit faces? Has the pandemic affected the needs of Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children? The pandemic forced ACFC to strategically pivot our programs over night, and I am proud to say we did a good job adapting and continuing to offer support to families. ACFC is constrained by funding. Our programs and services are dependent on the support from our community of donors. The amount of funding that is received enables ACFC to provide our services to more families.

What are your goals for the remainder of 2022? ACFC has goals to advance our capital campaign for our facility, Ava’s Tree House. We are looking to the community to support the much-needed and critical renovations to help us better serve families.

How can readers help? There are many ways to get involved and support Arizona families who have a child with cancer. Become an ACFC monthly donor to support a family in need, host a toy/gift card drive, volunteer your time and/or talents, and follow us on social media. For more information on how to get involved or inquiries on naming opportunities for Ava’s Tree House, visit

Are there certain events or fundraisers to partake in during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month? We are grateful to have partnered with Koibito Poke this month. They will be donating $2 from every signature bowl sold in September. So go enjoy some poke and give back! We also have our Third Annual Ava’s Tree House Gala next month (Oct. 21). We hope to see you there.

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