About Us

The hope, dream and goal of the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation is to have a treasure chest in all pediatric oncology facilities in the nation. With your help and support, this dream will become reality.

The Treasure Chest program allows cancer patients (ranging in age from birth through 18 years) at {{{loc}}} children's cancer treatment centers to choose an age appropriate toy as a reward for having the courage to undergo painful but necessary procedures. Smaller toys are stored in a Treasure Chest and designated for children undergoing simple procedures like blood tests. Larger, more expensive gifts are stored in a cabinet and designated for those children experiencing extensive, painful procedures such as spinal taps and bone marrow aspirations. Currently, the Treasure Chest program comforts over {{{children}}} children and teens each month.

Our History

On February 15, 1993, seven-year-old Martin Kisel was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, commonly known as ALL. During the following three years, Martin -- like so many other young cancer patients -- experienced a series of painful procedures as well as intensive chemotherapy as part of his treatment protocol.

As Martin endured the seemingly endless procedures, his mother, Colleen Kisel, discovered that providing him with a small toy after each procedure resulted in a calming distraction from his pain. Colleen could see the joy these toys gave her son and believed this would be good for all children who were being treated for cancer. She began a letter writing campaign to solicit donations, and in August of 1996 her efforts paid off when she was honored with a large donation from Aramark Corporation. That donation officially launched the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation.

In the ensuing years, the Foundation has experienced phenomenal growth thanks to the caring support from hundreds of individual and corporate donors and benefactors. Today, we can proudly point to our {{{loc}}} locations spread across {{{states}}} states nationwide and know that more than {{{children}}} young children and teens are being comforted each month as they endure the hardships of cancer treatment. Annual fundraising events such as the Treasuring Our Kids Spring Fling have helped us accomplish our objective of providing toys and smiles to kids with cancer.

The following incident illustrates the program's positive impact on the lives of children with cancer:

On a recent visit to the clinic, Colleen and her son Marty heard a little boy about three or four years old crying in one of the treatment rooms. Marty turned to his mother and exclaimed, "He's getting a bone marrow, Mom!" Marty knew that having a bone marrow extracted from his hip would be a very painful procedure. Suddenly, the crying stopped and the young boy exclaimed, "Do I get my toy now?" The nurses happily said, "Follow us," and off the young boy went like a proud soldier to the treasure chest full of toys.