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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Cancer Research, Health

Mission: The mission of Arms Wide Open is to fund less toxic therapies for children with cancer so they can have a better quality of life as they battle the disease and to give families hope by bridging the funding gap and making available potentially life-saving clinical trials that would otherwise not be available. Since its inception in 2009, Arms Wide Open has funded over 50 research grants for clinical trials. Through its many programs, Arms Wide Open also helps families throughout the United States both financially and emotionally who are suffering hardship due to their child’s diagnosis of cancer, providing them with support during the most difficult time of their lives. Through their Emmy-Award winning documentaries and awareness campaign, The Truth 365, Arms Wide Open is committed to educating the general public on the truth about childhood cancer, raising awareness on a global level, uniting the childhood cancer community, starting a movement through CureFest and giving children with cancer a voice so that they will see change in their lifetime.

Results: On July 6, 2008, the lives of Dena and Billy Sherwood changed forever when their then 13-month-old son, Billy Jr., was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma, a very aggressive cancer of the sympathetic nervous system that most commonly occurs in infants and children under the age of five. After witnessing the lack of research funding, the lack of treatment options and experiencing firsthand the devastating effects of childhood cancer on an entire family, in August of 2009, in the midst of their son’s aggressive treatment, Dena and Billy founded Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation. Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation is working closely with scientists, researchers and doctors at top cancer centers throughout the United States; who are pioneers in the pediatric cancer field, who are on the forefront of bringing many alternative therapies into clinic which could prolong the lives of children diagnosed with cancer until a cure is funded. Right now there are 40,000 children being treated for childhood cancer but research funding is limited as pharmaceutical companies do not see the efforts as profitable. Recognizing that children should not be viewed as a profit, but, rather, our investment, Arms Wide Open raises money for less toxic therapies and actual treatments these children so desperately need in order to survive. The mission of Arms Wide Open is to fund less toxic therapies for children with cancer so they can have a better quality of life as they battle the disease and to give families hope by bridging the funding gap and making available potentially life-saving clinical trials that would otherwise not be available. Since its inception in 2008, Arms Wide Open has funded over 40 research grants and clinical trials. Through its many programs, Arms Wide Open also helps families throughout the United States both financially and emotionally who are suffering hardship due to their child’s diagnosis of cancer, providing them with support during the most difficult time of their lives. Through their Emmy-Award winning documentaries and awareness campaign, The Truth 365, Arms Wide Open is committed to educating the general public on the truth about childhood cancer, raising awareness on a global level, uniting the childhood cancer community, starting a national movement and giving children with cancer a voice so that they will see change in their lifetime. Through Curefest USA, held in September in Washington, D.C. annually, Arms Wide Open has begun to unite the childhood cancer community, which has resulted in the start of a National Movement!

Target demographics: children with cancer and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: hundreds of children and their families

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: Funding Research, Family Grants. Hope & Healing Bereavement Retreat, The Truth 365 Awareness Campaign, Curefest USA

Community Stories

85 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3 Joe B.14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a childhood cancer advocate for the past 7 years, I can attest that children with cancer and their families have benefitted greatly from Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation programs and vision. I have worked with them to lobby Congress to pass legislation that is vital to obtaining research funds for pediatric cancers and funding to help survivors. I have witnessed their work in helping families who are struggling with problems due to the financial burden they must bear when they lose income, and or have extra travel expenses due to their child's cancer. The families are also helped with bereavement programs when they have a child taken by cancer. AWOCCF is the glue to the fabric of our childhood cancer community through CureFest, a huge September event, held in Washington, DC each year that brings thousands of people together to bring awareness to address the needs of childhood cancer. In addition, they fund one of the largest voices in the country, The Truth365, which has over 150,000 followers that are united and strengthened because of the information, help, and direction they receive as followers. I do not know what our community would do without such a great organization. Joe Baber

Donor

Rating: 5

AWOCCF is a beautifully run non profit organization that helps families and their children. AWOCCF is committed to starting a national movement to give children with cancer & their families a voice, to give them hope, & to raise awareness globally. Dena Sherwood provides loving support for all who are suffering with childhood cancer. She is a remarkable dedicated woman & I am so proud to know her !

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

AWOcc is a beautifully run charity organization which helps so many families. It needs more funding.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’m so glad I found them. In the darkest days of our grief over the loss of our precious son, a random social media post led me to Arms wide open and to a phone call with Dena Sherwood. With her encouragement and connections to the pediatric cancer research realm, Dena gave us the most wonderful gift...a way to honor our son. After that fateful call, our family organized an annual 5K in memory of our son and we have since raised $80k for the benefit of pediatric cancer research via AWO. Because of her encouragement and connections, we were able to rise up out of our grief and do something positive in his precious name. I don’t even want to think about where I’d be if Arms Wide Open hadn’t given us this amazing opportunity to remember our son. Our precious Cooper fought multiple cancers for 6 long years and, thanks to AWO, his battle against pediatric cancer continues.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the opportunity to work with many childhood cancer advocates and foundations over the past ten years and Arms Wide Open CCF ranks up there at the top. They commit and they follow through always. They have been instrumental in helping so many families, kids battling cancer, foundations and tenacious in their desire to create change that will result in cures for children battling cancer. In addition to supporting research, families and kids they have also been a major participant in spreading awareness about the needs of childhood cancer research. Curefest will be 10 years old in 2021 and Arms Wide Open is the reason that it will see that 10th Anniversary. It has grown bigger each year and gives foundations and families the chance to work together and know they are not alone in this battle to change the picture for kids and to make childhood cancer research a #nationalpriority! Thank you Arms Wide Open for all you do each day to change this picture for kids battling cancer.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dena Sherwood and Arms Wide Open was one of the first organizations who helped us when our daughter Brooke was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma a childhood cancer. When we were thrown into the unknown, Dena came to our rescue with her love, experience, guidance and support. She gave us hope. Arm Wide Open advocates for our children. The money they raise provided my child as well as so many children with new trials that would otherwise not be at our disposal. Our hearts will always be grateful for this woman who has a heart of gold and this organization who whenever we were in need, didn’t hesitate to help.

1 jessica_hester

Client Served

Rating: 5

Through it all.. Arms Wide Open was there for our daughter Brooke... and our family. Our baby girl fought cancer for nearly 5 years and AWOCCF was there for her. Family financial support, Mom self care, help with flights, resources, helping advocate on Capitol Hill... and even family bereavement services 5 years after our baby girl went to be in the arms of Jesus.... Arms Wide Open has been there for us through it all.

We
Love
AWOCCF

and remain forever grateful.

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1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

AWOCCF is an organization with MORE heart and compassion than any other organization I know. They provide families of kids with cancer loving support and endless hope with the pediatric cancer trials they fund. If you don’t know where to give to make a difference, look here first. They will not stop until cancer stops taking our babies too soon. We are proud to have been able to partner with them indefinitely.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a part of Arms Wide Open since the beginning, both as a donor and prior board member. The inception of this foundation has been to raise money for research and to help families experiencing financial hardship while dealing with watching their child suffer from cancer. I have seen first hand how many families and children have benefited from the hard work and determination of it’s founder. Everything they do is from her heart ❤️

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I got to know Dena by reading the story of her son Billy, "No Retreat, No Surrender". I reached out to her to learn more about what she was doing with Arms Wide Open and became a donor. They fund research and grants, generate awareness for childhood cancer and help struggling families financially. They create care packages and are a supportive community for families. When a friend's granddaughter was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, Dena was there to help that family. This is an altruistic organization run with love, compassion and support. They do good by children and families and continue to have an impact. They have my vote and support as one of the best non-profits out there.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Awoccf is an amazing foundation that raises so much awareness and funds and helps so many children and families impacted by childhood cancer! Including ours , with its support of grieving siblings and families with their bereavement retreats. God bless all they do!

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3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation is a wholeheartedly dedicated foundation that truly cares about each and every child and their families, and work so hard in raising money to find research to help find cures and bring comfort to families affected by cancer and for families that have lost a child to cancer. Dena Sherwood has a heart of gold. My son Evan passed away from Medullomyoblastoma brain cancer 10 days after his fifth birthday, Dena and her foundation have offered a bereavement remembrance weekend to families that have lost a child. We all comfort eachother and the support is huge. This foundation is a blessing and I know they go above and beyond to help fund treatments bring awareness and give support to those in need. Thank you Arms wide open.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am inspired, humbled, and grateful, for every ounce, of everything this foundation is, and stands for! I’ve never been more impressed! The honor, integrity, and Love that shines forth from Arms Wide Open, is second to none! I’m honored to be an active supporter of this amazing cause!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I found out about Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation several years ago when I met Dena Sherwood at the Curefest event in Washington, D.C. The tireless effort that this organization expends to support a greatly underserved population, children and families tragically impacted by childhood cancer, is a model of compassionate outreach and grace. Whether providing direct, tangible, practical relief and emotional support to families or lobbying our nation’s leaders to raise awareness of the needs of these precious children, Arms Wide Open is at the forefront of the battle for the lives of our children. They are such a huge blessing for so many who are fighting through this unimaginable struggle. Five stars is not enough.

2 momto2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great NFP- great fundraising and use of funds! Always quick to respond and seek out how they can help families and fund research!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Arms Wide Open is an amazing foundation that helps so many families fighting the childhood cancer beast. In addition they are collaborative with many other foundations working to raise awareness and fund childhood cancer research.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Working with Dena on the Southwest Hope and Healing Retreat for the past two years has been a joy! Unfortunately, due to COVID, we had to postpone this year’s retreat to Aug, 2021. Dena is very genuine, caring, and works hard to help families who have children being treated for cancer. Arms Wide Open also finds much needed research for neuroblastoma. Dena is an inspiration to me, as I lost my daughter in 1999 to neuroblastoma, and have a non-profit in Tucson, helping childhood cancer patients and their families.

1 LauraEicher

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation, Inc. is an outstanding foundation supporting children and families who face childhood cancer. Their collaborative approach sets an example of what can be done when we work together to conquer an important issue. The American Cancer Society #GoldTogether for childhood cancer initiative is proud to be a supporter and participant in the annual national CureFest USA event in Washington D.C. The mission to make childhood cancer research a national priority by uniting the childhood cancer community, the general public, the medical community, and our elected leaders is fully embraced during this national event founded and executed by Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation.

1 Caryn F.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I witnessed my dear friend start this foundation. Her heart, grit and determination have made this group what it is today. Putting families and survival and grief support all in one. Proud yo call her my friend ❤️

1 Amber J.3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have witnessed first hand the incredible work AWOCCF does for bereaved families and the difference they make in their lives. It is with love, dedication and hard work they are changing the coarse of people’s lives and making a difference in the study and research of pediatric cancers.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I reached out to Dena about my son Sergio. She was very helpful and gave me great advice. I love this foundation because it helps inspire cancer kids and families that need help. It is a wonderful organization.

1 Maya L.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Arms Wide Open welcomes pediatric cancer families in need with "open arms". Supporting families at all stages of cancer, including families who may be grieving. I'm grateful to be able to collaborate with Dena and Arms Wide Open to to support childhood cancer families. A truly amazing partner!

1 Virginia R.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Arms Wide Open Is always there for The Warriors to lend Support in EVERY Way They were there for My Grandson Austin as he battled Neuroblastoma. Thanks to Dena Sherwood who guided My Family to the Best care at MSKCC. Austin has been in REMISSION going on 2 Years July25. For This We are Forever Grateful

1 Wendy159

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spoke with Dena Sherwood from Arms Wide Open shortly after my 16 year old son died from leukemia. Finding a charity that focuses on pediatric cancer research wasn’t hard but finding one that would allow 100% of donations to go to research and was personally overseen by the most caring woman I’ve ever met was. I felt so comfortable with Dena and AWOCCF’s mission that I’ve been fundraising for them for five years now to help fulfill my sons wish for a cure to pediatric cancer. AWOCCF is a wonderful organization led by a compassionate, determined and committed team who put kids and their families first. I can’t thank them enough for allowing me the opportunity to help others in my sons memory.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I lost my 16-year-old son to leukemia last year. Always thinking of others, he told me of his wish for a cure for childhood cancer. I wasn't sure where to start but knew that my mission in life was now to fulfill my son's wish. I heard about Arms Wide Open from a friend and contacted Dena Sherwood about how I could help them raise money for pediatric cancer research.

Dena called me right away and I felt like I was talking to a long-lost friend. She helped me understand what AWOCCF does to support children and their families and how I can make a difference in memory of my son. I knew from the moment that we spoke that this amazing woman was a compassionate champion for our children. Having known her now for over a year, I am even more impressed with her commitment, leadership and desire to make childhood cancer a national priority.

I can't tell you how rewarding it is to know that the funds we raise in memory of my son are helping researchers discover new and less destructive therapies and will ultimately lead to a cure for all childhood cancers. AWOCCF lets me know exactly what research grants they are funding right down to the type of cancer, the name of the doctor and the hospital where the research is being done. Amazing!

Cancer robbed my son of his life and our family of one of the most kindhearted and loving kids ever to walk the face of this earth. AWOCCF has given me a way to channel my grief into action, honor my son's memory, and help to fulfill his wish to end childhood cancer.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became involved with this foundation when it first began after my cousin was diagnosed with cancer. Arms Wide Open has been such a blessing. I have met so many incredible individuals, families, children and doctors. I have met childhood cancer warriors who advocate while still fighting and some who have unfortunately passed away, but regardless their voices still resonate daily. This foundation changes lives of so many. Knowing all of those involved and that I have crossed paths with and being able to play a role in AWOCCF has changed my life for the better.

1 Beau H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization that makes a real difference in the fight against childhood cancer; providing funding for cures, creating awareness, helping families and being a voice for the youngest of our citizens.

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2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Arms Wide Open is an amazing nonprofit...from funding innovative clinical trials, to spreading awareness through the Truth365 or uniting the childhood cancer community at CureFest...this is a mission driven foundation. My family and I have seen and felt the profound effect that this wonderful organization has on families as they fight and heal. Thank you Arms Wide Open and Dena Sherwood for all that you do.
Beau Hester

1 CandlelightersNYC

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

There are many charities out there...know which to choose...I would choose Arms Wide open because they truly care for the families they take care of ...they are honest and caring...Everyone is included, the siblings and mom and dad...all so important...Dena Sherwood is a true blessing in this world, we need more like her.
God Bless you Dena and Arms Wide Open, keep making a positive change in this world of Childhood Cancer. we are blessed to have you

1 Sandy B.3

Donor

Rating: 5

Dena and her family, work tirelessly and with valor, to ensure no family has to go through childhood cancer alone......Her Faith, Compassion, Dedication, and Commitment are second to none! In a world full of so much ugly, Dena is Light, and an inspiration to all! Keep up the good work my priceless friend! BRAVO!

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

Where do I begin? I have the Honor of being the Sherwood’s neighbor around the corner. The Sherwood’s are living proof of What Faith, Vallor, Dignity and Honor are all about. Truly Hero’s that took their family’s unimaginable pain and suffering and turned it into one of the most successful organizations providing not only financial funding but also genuine kindness and emotional support during family’s deepest nightmares.......I could never adequately put into words how this organization has touched my heart, and the lives of so many families..... I can only repeat my sentiments, that this is the stuff that True HEROS are made of! God Bless the Arms Wide Open Foindation.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

When we were in the middle of a financially devastating time, after our daughter was diagnosed with cancer for the 2nd time, we reached out to Arms Open Wide. They were so compassionate and quick to respond. We appreciated their generosity more than we could ever explain. ❤️ Our daughter is healthy once again. Thank you!!

1 Carla V.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such an important foundation for children battling cancer. Arms Wide Open Children’s Cancer Foundation a VOICE for our children and an amazing support system helping these children and their family’s get through and fight the fight.

1 Bethany Annette O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This charity goes above and beyond not just to get the message out about Childhood Cancers but to support the childhood cancer community as well as research. I love them and will always be there for them.

1 Amy M.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Full of love, support and educational. Professional yet and personal enough to know they care about us.

Previous Stories
2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Incredibley friendly.
Heart of gold.
Care for EVERYONE
no one is alone

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have benefited from the amazing outreach to bereaved parents and families. After my teenaged son passed away from his cancer, my daughter managed to find out about a weekend put on for bereaved families run by AWOCCF. I didn't want to go, didn't want to be there, BUT I felt so supported and loved throughout the weekend. Amazing group that truly cares about childhood cancer patients and their families.

1 Traci K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an amazing foundation headed by an even more amazing woman!

As a Bereaved Parent who lost my daughter to Childhood Cancer, I’ve been to 3 of their Bereavement Retreats.
Dena does a fabulous job of not only promoting awareness and helping to find cancer research but she does amazing things for us bereaved parents also!
I can’t say enough about this organization and how helpful it’s been to me and my family.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We lost our baby girl to Childhood Cancer a little over a year ago. Shortly after she passed we went to an Arms Wide Open Bereavement Retreat. We felt such love and support. They care so much about the families impacted by Childhood Cancer and do so much for people who are still fighting as well as those of us who lost our children. I truly cannot give enough praise and thanks to this foundation.

1 Julie Messal M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

So grateful for the constant love, compassion and support of this organization. It makes us all a part of something bigger and we are better together!

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing foundation! Helped us out so much when we felt isolated, alone and afraid. Arms Wide Open gave us HOPE and a family!

1 Jenny I.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization goes above and beyond, every time. I have experienced a night for mom's at the RMDHNYC, Curefest, and two Bereavement Retreats. The details that go into everything they do means the world to us. The love and support is always abundant and the connections made between families through these events will last a lifetime. Thank you for all that you do Dena and Arms Wide Open!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have participated in programming sponsored by this foundation for the last 4 years. I recently was able to take advantage of a bereavement retreat for families impacted by Childhood Cancer. It was elegant, compassionate, caring and full of love.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Before my son passed away from leukemia in 2015, he expressed to me his desire for there to be a cure for childhood cancer. In his memory, I wanted to find a way to make his wish a reality in the only way I knew I could and that is to fundraise for pediatric cancer research.

I researched many non-profits to raise money for but was disappointed that a good chunk of fundraising money went to administrative costs. A friend told me about AWOCCF and I reached out. Dena spent an hour on the phone with me sharing her story, her foundation mission and encouraging me to do what I was comfortable doing. It was a great match! I can now fundraise and be confident that the donations from our supportive community are going to research -100% and Dena makes sure of that. She's amazing and tremendously supportive.

AWOCCF and it's founder, Dena, have hearts of gold. I've met so many supportive people that have helped me navigate this new reality I find myself in.

1 estein

Client Served

Rating: 5

We just returned from a bereaved parents retreat put on by Arms Wide Open. I didn't want to be there because of the reason I was there but it was just what I needed. A chance to connect with other grieving families without judgement and with understanding and compassion. We are so grateful to have been there and hope we can attend in the future.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to attend two bereavement retreats hosted by Arms Wide Open foundation, and the impact on me has been immeasurable. All that this foundation and it’s volunteers give so humbly and graciously to those of us who have lost children to cancer is gratefully accepted and treasured. I am so grateful for the connections i have made with other grieving mamas through the work of this foundation. They provide so much needed Goodness ❤️.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter and I have attended the Arms Wide Open Bereavement Retreat a few times. It has given us the opportunity to meet families who understand and create friendships with these families. Dena and the whole crew do such an amazing job!

2 Mary Vinnie S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They are one of the best. They come along parents, support them both physically as well as spiritually. They walk the course with those they come alongside and get to know every person they support. Outstanding group.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

AWOCC is an organization run by people who are heaven sent...angels on earth who have hearts of gold!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I decided to write this review because I am so impressed by and grateful for the way AWOCCF has really focused in on the work needed to improve outcomes and quality of life for children with cancer. First, AWOCCF is funding the types of clinical trials that lead to more effective therapies and less toxic therapies – so crucial, because such new therapies are the only way more children can survive and also have healthy future lives. And not only does AWOCCF do its own fundraising, but it's communicating this desperate need to a much wider population with its very powerful Truth 365 media campaign. In addition, by co-hosting the annual Curefest event in DC, AWOCC brings pediatric cancer stakeholders together and facilitates more effective, more coordinated advocacy for the cause. Finally, and equally important, AWOCCF is giving direct support to the families actually going through pediatric cancer, with its financial assistance and variety of wellness programs. Keep up the excellent work, AWOCCF, and many, many thanks from a "cancer mom"!!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization dedicated to eradicating childhood cancer.

2 Maidie S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing! They are trying to get better , less toxic, cancer treatments for children..

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Arms Wide Open has been there through thick and thin when ever a family fighting cancer is in need. Dena Sherwood and her volunteers are truly angels on earth...God Bless you all.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my Grandson was first Diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma not only did Dena reach out to our family but she contacted doctors at sloan and was able to get us in contact with the doctors who ultimately saved his life with their protocols . Arms wide open childhood cancer foundation also provided us with some financial assistance as well as a place to go for information on new and existing options out there that might benefit our grandson.
I found A.W.O.C.C.F to be more than a foundation that help meet the needs of many cancer families through their many outreaches but a foundation with a human touch .

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dena is an incredible support to families that are going through and living out neuroblastoma diagnosis. She was our life line when our son was first diagnosed feeding us with hope and helping us make connections to get the best care possible. We are eternally grateful for her and all this foundation does to help families in crisis.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my nephew was diagnosed with neuroblastoma we were lost. Arms Wide Open literally forced themselves into his parents life and helped them overcome the shock of the diagnosis and move forward. It would have been neatly impossible without them. Thank you...

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Absolutely incredible pediatric cancer organization that supports not only research but the families directly affected by this insidious disease. Our family is so grateful for all that they do to support pediatric cancer research!

2 Joe W.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My favorite charity! Helpful, willing, called, responsive, supportive, loving and overall amazing. Arms Wide Open has helped countless families and given them HOPE. I love them and everything they stand for.

2 Kerri Y.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

An amazing charity doing God’s work, run by His angels on Earth.

1 Silvia Dominguez V.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation has been the driving force in uniting Childhood Cancer organizations across the country and around the word to to come together to raise awareness of this devastating disease. Their passion and commitment is like no other. It is through them and the vision of Dena Sherwood that Curefest in Washington, DC came to life. This is now the largest Childhood Cancer event in the nation every year, bringing together tens of thousands of people together with one goal, to raise awareness and educate the public of the need to find a cure for children everywhere. All of this along with funding vital research and supporting families with children in the battle as well as those who have lost their beloved child makes Arms Wide Open a 5 Star foundation.

1 Vanessa Forte A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation was there for us so that we could be there for our child. They lifted a financial burden to allow us to focus only on getting Luke the best possible care. Not only did they support us financially but they also helped to fund the clinical trials that saved his life. AWOCCF were there for us in two very different ways, both of which were instrumental in my son’s healing. The personal financial support was quick and tangible but the clinical trial funding helped us in a way that can never be repayed and for that we will always be grateful.

1 Chad M.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Beautiful people running a very important charity for a worthy cause!

1 William J L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Have always been informative to my son, Bill. Our grandson, Luke, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in late January, 2018

1 scassabria

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son, Nico, passed away after a 7 year battle with childhood cancer. It rocked our family to the core and left us feeling alone in our grief. Losing a child after watching them go through things no one should have to endure is traumatizing. A few months after he passed we attended AWO's Hope and Healing Bereavement Retreat where my husband and I met other parents who experienced that same loss and that same trauma. Not only that but our girls met other siblings who had the same experience in losing a sibling. Our family was able to connect with others we could truly relate to and spend time as a family and honor our son and brother. Thank you AWO for that priceless gift.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Arms Wide Open is a complete collaborative nonprofit. Without any credit wanted, they work with so many others to advance childhood cancer causes. They are very active in creating legislative changes by going through the halls of the Capitol to talk to legislators. They provide a huge voice for the childhood cancer community and act as a gathering point for the various other organizations.

1 Stacey Light L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My sisters and I are childhood friends of Dena Sherwood (Founder of Arms Wide Open). This woman is selfless, helping everyone and anyone that needs it. Her charity has raised MILLIONS of dollars for cancer research. I can’t imagine a better charity to support.

1 ginamcd

Donor

Rating: 5

I witnessed the start of this organization from the very beginning when Dena Sherwood's son Billy was diagnosed with cancer. Not only has Dena and her organization raised money for childhood cancer, but she has inspired her community to do more, to be more, and to care more. When we open our hearts and arms and minds to helping others, particularly those most vulnerable, we change our world. Dean and Arms Wide Open have done that with great enthusiasm, laser focus, and an unrelenting commitment to serving children who most need our help. Praise their work!

Previous Stories
3

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization, founded by Dena Sherwood, does incredible work in raising funds and educating the public about nueroblastoma. But as important for me is her unwavering faith. Her life is a testament to what faith can accomplish. Simply in her presence, I understand the divinity in all of us. Her faith has strengthened mine, and I am grateful that I know her.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

From pediatric cancer awareness to research funding to practical support to hope and healing in the wake of the loss, this organization is fueled by pure love and passion and has help available every step of the way.

1 Michelle A.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer when I can.... I have known the founder of this foundation for at least 8 years now.... I used to volunteer for the Wellness Night at The Ronald McDonald House in NYC...... Dena has and continues to help so many children with cancer... the founder of this foundation is an incredible person who lives for these kids!!!!!! This foundation deserves nothing but the best bc they are the best!!!!!!

1 Kira Lynn Pavitt L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Arms wide open brought us on a bereavement retreat that helped us begin working through losing our 8 year old son, Dominic, to brain cancer. We are looking forward to returning to the retreat which felt like a safe place with others that understand our heartache.

1 Bill L.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Dena goes above and beyond to provide support to families affected by childhood cancer. She truly cares about the kids and families involved. Outstanding foundation.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization has done some truly amazing things for children battling cancer and their families! The founder and her family has lived through what other families who have children with cancer are living through, so they completely understand what they are going through.