The Founder

The Founder

Cindy Brinker Simmons

Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer (WOKC) was founded in 1980 by Cindy Brinker Simmons in memory of her mother, the late great international tennis champion Maureen “Little Mo” Connolly Brinker, who died of cancer at the young age of 34. Little Mo was the winner of 9 Grand Slam tennis titles, and the first woman to win all 4 Grand Slam tournaments in a single year (1953).

For 40 years, WOKC has been dedicated to eradicating cancer through funding innovative research, education and advancing treatment with fewer side effects, while providing hope to children and their families diagnosed with cancer with programs for the whole family.

1980's
Incorporated a non-profit organization with the goal of supporting novel groundbreaking pediatric cancer research.
1983
The first major project funded focused on Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), most common disease killer of children under 18. Paved the way for Children’s Medical Center Dallas to have the worldwide prominence.
1985
Launched the annual Tom Thumb Run for the Children at Oktoberfest in Addison. 34 years later it is still running!! In 2019, renamed to the Warrior Run and Dash to Smash Kid’s Cancer.
1987
Launched the Ambassador Program, which provides fun events for children with cancer, their siblings and parents.
1990s
Initial funding of the “After the Care Experience” program at Children’s, one of the first programs in the world to offer a continuum of follow-up care to cancer patients and monitor the late effects of cancer and its treatment. Funded studies in supportive cancer care, leukemia and brain tumors.
1998
The organization was renamed to Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer (WOKC).
2000s
Funded research in bone tumors, leukemia and neuroblastoma
2003
Funded the Visiting Professor Endowment Fund at Children’s for hematology/oncology; and hosted the first WOKC Golf Classic
2004
Texas Ranger Michael Young and wife Cristina supported WOKC programs for children with cancer. WOKC committed to 5-year funding of Spanish Translator for Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
2008
Launched the Buddy Bag Program, a rolling suitcase filled with comfort and hygiene items delivered to children on their first day of admission to the hospital for cancer diagnosis. The Buddy Bag Program is WOKC signature program.
2010
Funded 5-hospital collaboration study “Metabolic Syndrome in Childhood Brain Tumor Survivors Relapse Study on Medulloblastoma” between Cook Children’s (Fort Worth), Children’s Medical Central (Dallas), MD Anderson (Houston), Tx Children’s (Houston), Children’s Hospital (Ok City), resulted in Cook Children’s CPRIT Grant of $1.9 million and participation in joint trail with St. Jude’s (Memphis).
2014
Expanded the Ambassador program to Cook Children’s; expanded the Buddy Bag Program to Medical City.
2015
Provided seed funding of $135,000 to Dr. Michael Hogarty at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), for study “Mechanisms of Polyaminins Depletion Anti-Tumor Activity in Neuroblastoma” producing additional NIH funding of $1.5 million (2018)
2016
Expanded the Ambassador Program to Medical City Children’s Dallas.
2018
Luke Laufenberg became the Run Marshall for the 33rd Run for the Children at Oktoberfest; Luke valiantly fought Burkitt’s Leukemia until earning his Angel Wings August, 2019. Jersey Mike’s 10-year Corporate-Community Partnership exceeds $1 million!!
2019
Contributed to the largest pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia (TpAML) genetic study (Whole Genome Sequencing) in U.S. by supporting a computational biologist to analyze biobanked genetic information. Ambassador Program renamed the Warrior Family Program; expanded corporate supporters to include the Texas Roughriders, Cleburne Railroaders, and Dallas Rattlers along with Texas Legends.
2020
40th Anniversary (1980 – 2020) of Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer, created by visionary founder Cindy Brinker Simmons
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