With-Purpose Foundation: Kid-Power in Awareness and Fundraising

The charitable organization With Purpose, in Minneapolis MN, was founded by Erin Benson in loving memory and trust of her son Sam Lee who perished to brain cancer at a very young age, and who exhibited exceptional clarity and faith in our ability to create and enjoy our own happiness, together.  The organization is dedicated to inspiring today's youth and engaging their creativity through education about the realities of childhood cancer and the challenges to adequate treatment, support, and funding for pediatric research.  Truly, With Purpose is, in its public engagement, is part of the solution to the general lack of research funding for pediatrics in our medical research system today, especially for cancer, which is the leading disease-related cause of childhood death in the United States.  Featured are Catherine Thibault, and twins Nicole and Rachel Olson, who have exhibited outstanding leadership in event organizing and fundraising totally over $40,000 to date in just the last 3 years.

Launched in 2015, the direction of With Purpose was shaped by the young people who spontaneously took up the cause of creating a world where kids with cancer have access to safe and effective treatments.  Catherine, Nicole and Rachel have led the way as new young people are featured each month for taking action in their communities to help affect change for their peers with cancer.  For more information about With Purpose, please visit www.with-purpose.org.



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About Janet

Blessed with varied interests and an artistic and musical upbringing, Janet had health challenges throughout her young adult life. Despite these she graduated Cum Laude from Wellesley College with an award of distinction for acting, and had also been a champion equestrian. She began a family with her husband Barry later in life, and had finally found happiness with daughter Sophie-Marie (3/12/06) and then baby (Jack 8/30/08). Five weeks after his birth, the family escaped a wildfire in which all worldly possessions were lost. The family relocated in December of 2008 to Agua Dulce CA where they currently reside.

Jack began to have unsettling symptoms at the age of 3; he was taken to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and was diagnosed with DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, on Friday Oct. 28, 2011, indisputably the darkest experience of Janet's life. The outrage of it made her determined to find the good in the situation, and she asked God to "Put me to work!" After Jack's death, she remained determined to start working to find solutions to DIPG and incorporated Jack's Angels at the end of 2012; the Foundation began its work in 2013. Despite the fact that DIPG is responsible for the majority of brain tumor deaths in children, she had been told there were no solutions for Jack because "the numbers aren't great enough for investors." This remains the primary motivation in her advocacy work, to prioritize children's lives in our medical system in the United States.