Crowdfunding for Cancer Treatment: Fundraising Campaign Helps Family Go Extra Mile for Cure

She is an adventurous big sister who had her training wheels removed from her bicycle by age 4. She is sweet, sassy and pretty-much does what every father wants his kid to do. Except for the time eight-year-old Morgan had problems with her vision last summer, that’s when her father, Kenny Allen, said a visit to her pediatrician ended in the emergency room with a difficult-to-fathom diagnosis,

Morgan had brain stem cancer, a type called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma – and doctors weren’t optimistic. After exhausting all mainstream treatment options, Morgan’s parents learned of a form of immunotherapy in Mexico, but each treatment would cost $11,000 plus $2,000 for airfare from their home in Florida. The family went anyway, every three weeks to Monterrey and, after five treatments, Morgan’s tumor got smaller.

Now, the Allen family is preparing for Morgan’s next level of immunotherapy, also in Mexico, but much more expensive. To raise the money, her parents have turned to crowdfunding.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of the free crowdfunding site, said online platforms to solicit donations that help defray the cost of treatments can be a life-saver for many cancer patients. Crowdfunding for cancer treatment on YouHelp is not only a way to raise much-needed funds, she said, but campaigns can also serve as a stage to foster a sense of community and support during a difficult time.

You can read more about Morgan and contribute and view additional cancer treatment campaigns on YouHelp.

Unlike other crowdfunding platforms that charge a fee ranging from about 3 to 8 percent of each donation, YouHelp is free. How does YouHelp sustain itself? Donors have the option of adding a “tip”  for YouHelp, to their donation to defray the cost of maintaining this unique fundraising platform. Hikind said a YouHelp crowdfunding campaign for cancer treatment is easy to establish and the outreach to potential contributors is efficient, secure and direct.

Crowdfunding does not distract from the larger fundraising organizations, said Ben Kaplan, senior director of digital products at the American Cancer Society, He said ACS works with platforms, and some individual sites may contain an option to donate to the society as well.

Hikind said crowdfunding appeals to an innate desire to help.  As campaigns gain momentum, more donors want to get on board to contribute.

Ryan Callahan, a forward for the Tampa Bay Lighting NHL hockey team, and his family established a nonprofit organization to make memorable experiences a reality for kids who are battling, or who have survived cancer.

After a game this year at Amalie Arena, the National Hockey League star, like he does so often with other children with cancer, met Morgan Allen. Struck by her plight, Callahan, a father of three, offered to match up to $5,000 to her crowdfunding campaign.

The Ryan Callahan Foundation has also offered Morgan and her family one of the monthly make-a-wish trips, perhaps, to Disney World or to the beach where she can create memories with her five-year-old brother.

But, radiation treatments have decreased mobility in Morgan’s right arm and leg. For now, she gets around in a wheelchair. Her parents said, despite the treatments, she still laughs and giggles or does almost everything a father wants their kids to do., a free fundraising website, offers the best in crowdfunding capabilities to forward-thinking nonprofits, small businesses, entrepreneurs, individuals and families in crisis.. The YouHelp process is simple: create a profile, a fundraising goal, add high resolution images and a compelling message that prospects will find worthwhile — and launch. If the idea is deserving, and the campaign is promoted properly, contributors will pledge their support.

About the Author: Staff Writer for