Category: Latest News


Addi’s Faith Foundation wins $25,000

In a test of endurance, first you’ve got to last.

And endure they did, the tens of thousands of runners from all 50 U.S. states and 47 countries pacing through the 26.2-mile course in the 2023 Chevron Houston Marathon.

“Chevron believes in the power of human energy,” Bruce Niemeyer, president of Americas Exploration and Production for Chevron, said before the race. There may be no better demonstration of that than the tens of thousands of runners, thousands of volunteers and a quarter of a million spectators at the event.


2023 marks the 18th year that we have served as the title sponsor for the Chevron Houston Marathon. More than 120 of our employees volunteered at this year’s event, helping at the event expo and passing out water along the course and medals to finishers.


In addition to lending support staff to the event, Chevron donated $75,000 to three charities through our Run for a Reason campaign. Receiving $25,000 donations each were The Arbor School, Houston Haven and Addi’s Faith Foundation.

The Arbor School helps enable special needs children to reach their full potential through education and empowerment. Houston Haven provides low-cost housing to out-of-town cancer patients and their families visiting the Houston Medical Center. Addi’s Faith Foundation is dedicated to ending childhood cancer through pediatric cancer research. The foundation also provides financial and emotional support to families caring for children with cancer.

“We have so many families in need that are coming to us during one of the most devastating times in their lives—they’re fighting for their child’s life,” said Amber Bender, co-founder and executive director of Addi’s Faith Foundation. “This time often comes with a lot of excess bills during a time when their income is reduced, because they are at treatment and spending time in the hospital. More and more families are coming to us in need, and this is really going to help us.”

Addi’s Faith Foundation was a recipient of Chevron’s Run for a Reason campaign donation.

Since 2013, Chevron has donated $700,000 through the Run for a Reason campaign, benefiting more than a hundred charities.


This year was the 51st anniversary of the Chevron Houston Marathon, the largest single-day spectator event in the city. Finishing first for the men was Dominic Ondoro of Kenya with a time of 2:10:36. Ondoro narrowly edged Ethiopia’s Tsedat Ayana at the finish line, who came in second place by just 1 second. Hitomi Niiya of Japan was the winning women’s runner, finishing with a time of 2:19:24.

For most of the marathoners, the day was about more than finishing first; it was also about the journey along the way.

“In 2019 I had a seizure, and the doctors found out that I had something in my brain called an AVM (arteriovenous malformation),” Tribo said. “It’s like a bundle of nerves that shouldn’t be there and kind of short-circuits your brain a little bit. In February of 2020 I had brain surgery. It was successful, but after I came out of that I thought, ‘I should do more things.’ When you come out of brain surgery, life becomes short real fast. I’ve always been a runner. So, I thought, I should run a marathon.”

Runners can choose to run in support of a nonprofit organization, and Tribo chose Addi’s Faith Foundation.

“I run every year for Addi’s Faith,” Tribo said. “I have three kids, and I have a couple of friends who have had children with pediatric cancer. And their organization is phenomenal, very near and dear to my heart.”

LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE  |  January 24, 2023  | Newsroom


Striking for Gold – Team Paige

More Info – Striking for Gold

Team Paige Facebook Page

“In January 2014, four words changed our lives: “Your child has cancer.” Our daughter, Paige, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. She battled the cancer beast three times in less than three years before stepping into Heaven in October 2016.

As we discovered throughout our journey, no family fights alone. We were blessed by the support we received during Paige’s treatment and will be donating proceeds from this year’s event to a few local childhood cancer organizations. Like always, Striking for Gold brings us together to make a difference in the lives of childhood cancer families!”

08.24.22 Houston Chronical Article

Huffman family whose child had eye cancer hosting fundraiser for Addi’s Faith, the nonprofit that helped them

David Taylor, Staff writer
Aug. 24, 2022


Little Wes McCauley is doing great and adapting to his new life and cancer free. He's with his family, Steven, Brooke, Whitney, Waverly, and Wimberly. - Steve McCauley
Little Wes McCauley is doing great and adapting to his new life and cancer free. He’s with his family, Steven, Brooke, Whitney, Waverly, and Wimberly. – Steve McCauley


Addi took the chemo and radiation after her diagnosis at 16 months but unfortunately, nothing worked. She died just before her second birthday. - Amber Bender
Addi took the chemo and radiation after her diagnosis at 16 months but unfortunately, nothing worked. She died just before her second birthday. – Amber Bender


The Bender family ready for one of the favorite activities--an Astros baseball game! From left, Riley, Amber, Trent, Tony, and Addi. - Amber Bender
The Bender family ready for one of the favorite activities–an Astros baseball game! From left, Riley, Amber, Trent, Tony, and Addi. – Amber Bender


Amber Bender and her daughter Addi enjoy a ride on a carousel in happier days. Addi was diagnosed with a brain tumor and passed away. Her mom and dad have created a foundation to raise money for pediatric cancer. - Amber Bender
Amber Bender and her daughter Addi enjoy a ride on a carousel in happier days. Addi was diagnosed with a brain tumor and passed away. Her mom and dad have created a foundation to raise money for pediatric cancer. – Amber Bender


One good turn deserves another. A grateful Huffman couple is showing their appreciation for help they received during the pandemic as their son bravely fought and beat a rare form of eye cancer. Now, Steven and Brooke McCauley are spearheading a fundraiser this Saturday for Addi’s Faith Foundation who stepped in and provided the family with financial, emotional, and spiritual help.

West McCauley was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma in January of 2020, just days after he turned 10 months old.

BUILDING AWARENESS: 10-year-old Houston cancer patient has been sworn in at over 100 police departments

His distraught father took to Facebook, and that Friday posted a letter he wrote to his son. By Sunday, he had over 20,000 comments on the post. Through the posts, they discovered a doctor in New York who many said could provide the best treatment for their son.

That following week, they flew to New York and began treatment while all around them, the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to rage.

“They removed his left eye immediately, did three rounds of chemo, and we made it one year cancer free,” his dad said.

Then the devastating news came that the cancer was back. Doctors were forced to remove his right eye.

“He can’t see. He’s lost both of his eyes but we’re cancer free,” Steven McCauley said.

McCauley said they are on pins and needles hoping the fight with cancer is over.

“Up until about five years old, they (doctors) told us that those cells can still mutate and develop,” he said. He’s still not out of the woods.

“Pediatric cancer patients are four times more likely to have a reoccurrence or a second type of cancer later in their life,” he said, but he’s taking it a day at a time.

The little guy is as happy as can be and learning to walk with a cane.

“He has a visual therapist. He’s enrolled in school at three years old and he’s doing great. He surprises and shocks us every day,” his dad said.

HALLIE’S HEROES: Surgery gives teen opportunity to help other kids with cancer

McCauley said West realizes he’s blind but was too young to have an in-depth conversation on the consequences.

One of the hardest parts for McCauley was last year when they were in New York to remove the second eye.

“I just remember crying. He was playing with the lamp, turn it on and off and would say, ‘Light.’ Now he asks, ‘Where’s the light?’ The hardest part was just knowing that your son was going to live in the dark the rest of his life,” his dad said.

During the entire ordeal, financial times were tough. They couldn’t work, had other children in the home, the expense of flying back and forth, and medical bills began to pile up.

“We reached out to Addi’s Faith for assistance, and they blessed us with the monetary help,” he said.

The phone never stopped ringing. The organization paid a mortgage one month, or a car note the next, and was always reaching out to them to help, even with the small things.

“We stayed in the hospital downtown and they would run dinner to the kids back at home and whoever in the family was watching them,” he said.

Tony and Amber Bender understand the struggle. The Kingwood family lost their daughter Addi to a brain tumor. She was diagnosed at 16 months old and endured the treatments from brain surgery to low radiation, and nothing really worked. She passed away a couple of weeks before her second birthday.

The Benders founded Addi’s Faith Foundation in honor of their daughter to help fund pediatric cancer research while assisting families like the McCauleys.

The relationship has blossomed between the two families. Now, the McCauleys and their supporters, who call themselves Warriors for West, are teaming up with AFF for a fundraising event this Saturday to give back to the organization that helped them in their darkest hour.

The “Kids Kicking Cancer” event is set for Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Crosby Fair and Rodeo grounds, 14920 FM 2100 in Crosby. Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for kids ages 6 to 17. Children five and under are admitted free. The fundraiser will feature boutique vendors, food trucks, a kid’s cooldown and play zone, a beer and wine garden, and live and silent auctions. There will be a lineup of bands playing throughout the day. Patrons can participate in the sanctioned BBQ cookoff, cornhole tournament, or the off-road vehicle show-n-shine contest.

“It is because of their mission, along with our desire to pay it forward, that Warriors for West is partnering with Addi’s Faith Foundation to host the Kids Kicking Cancer fundraiser to support pediatric cancer families and help fund pediatric cancer research,” McCauley said.

For more than 14 years, AFF has been diligently raising funds for childhood cancer research and helping families dealing with the cancer diagnosis. The nonprofit paid out a $1 million pledge recently and is increasing their next donation to $2 million.

The donations go directly to aid Vidya Gopalakrishnan, Ph.D., associate professor, pediatrics, at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“They are actually doing some of the research on the tumor cells from Addi’s actual tumor. They’ve been growing it in the lab and so that’s special,” she said.

The funds are helping expedite treatment in a segment of cancer research that is poorly funded because of its rarity, but funding is slowly increasing thanks to advocacy groups such as Addi’s Faith Foundation.

“Support from Addi’s Faith Foundation has allowed us to pursue early stage, basic and translational research, typically high-risk, high-reward, projects on pediatric brain tumors,” Gopalakrishnan said. “We have been able to study the chromatin architecture of pediatric brain tumors and show a connection with response to immunotherapy. We have succeeded not only in integrating basic science discoveries with a therapeutic application but have also gathered sufficient preliminary evidence to apply for federal and state research funding. This is funding that may not otherwise be received without those initial findings.”

For more information on Addi’s Foundation or the fundraiser, visit their website at

Written By
David Taylor

David Taylor is the reporter/photographer for Houston Community Newspapers / Houston Chronicle and writes news, sports and investigative pieces. He is a member of the Texas Press Association and has won numerous state awards.

He attended Rice University and the University of Houston and has led the news rooms of several newspapers including The Sentinel Newspapers, The Pasadena Citizen, The Examiner Newspapers, and The Observer Group.



Imagine this situation

I’d like you to imagine this situation. Cast yourself as the person in this story and picture this… You have 3 little children and life is good. You’re living the dream. You don’t have any real worries and most of your anxiety comes from the never-ending piles of laundry and toys littering the living room floor. One day, you notice your normal and healthy little girl keeps tilting her head to one side. It’s obvious enough that it causes you to worry, so you bring her to the pediatrician. He tries not to alarm you but when he sends you on for further testing your heart quickens. A few unsettling days pass before you meet with a specialist who takes x-rays yet can’t give you any explanations. Your daughter is going to need an MRI. At this point your initial concern has turned into full-fledged fear. More nerve-wracking days go by before the time comes to have the MRI. You leave your house well before the sun rises and drive downtown. You slip a little yellow hospital gown on your baby girl and try to hold it together as they wheel her down the corridor. Then you wait. And wait. And wait until a nurse comes and you’re finally led to a small room where the curtain is drawn around you. That’s when they deliver the blow…your daughter has a brain tumor. The weight of those words is crushing, and you can hardly breathe. An immediate whirlwind of admission paperwork, consents, doctors, images, swirl around and you struggle to keep up.

Thank God, your loving spouse is by your side to help you navigate this nightmare. Time has stopped, yet somehow accelerated at the same time. You have other children who need to be picked up from school. Thank God for grandparents you can call upon for help. Finally, you get to see your daughter who has yet to waken from the procedure. You are not prepared for what you see. She is intubated and covered from head to toe in wires and monitors. Clearly, you won’t be leaving this place anytime soon. You weren’t prepared to spend the night and your other kids need you so you make the decision to send your spouse home while you stay the night in the pediatric intensive care unit. Thank God for friends who come running and bring you a change of clothes and a toothbrush and spend a sleepless night with you so you don’t have to be alone. That long day, turns into weeks, turns into months. Your daughter isn’t healthy enough to return home, so you alternate home and hospital with your spouse, ships passing in the night. Thank God the travel to and from the hospital is less than an hour. You’re not like the other families you meet who have come from across the country and don’t get to alternate between home and hospital like you do. Families who don’t see each other for months at a time. Thank God for friends who come visit. The hospital can be a very lonely place. Your daughter is approaching her 3rd month in intensive care and the bills are piling up quickly. Thank God you have good insurance and a flexible job that allows you to keep earning your paycheck. That never-ending pile of laundry and all the other everyday tasks that were hard before are virtually impossible now. Thank God you have neighbors who let your dog out and cut your grass when you don’t even need to ask. Thank God for meals delivered. There’s no time to go to the grocery store much less cook a decent meal. It helps and you feel better knowing that your family doesn’t have to eat fast food 3 meals a day. Thank God for your church community. These diligent prayer warriors who lift you up so faithfully that you literally feel their power.

In case you haven’t figured it out, that’s our story and that’s the beginning of Addi’s Faith Foundation. Throughout that story, you heard “Thank God” repeated many times. Even in our darkest hour there was still so much to be thankful for. So many opportunities to thank God for good even in the bad. Most of those blessings came to us from friends, family, and our community. These people were acting as the hands and feet of Christ and what they taught me is the true meaning of love thy neighbor.

This, my friends, is how Addi’s Faith Foundation was born. We saw then, and still see all the time today, so many families who are struggling beyond what is bearable. Having a child with cancer is devastating but it’s even harder when you’re a single parent, or you were barely making ends meet before the diagnosis, or you don’t live in a community who rallies around you, or you have to travel great distances to get the proper treatment, or you don’t have the knowledge that people are lifting you up in prayer and loving you along the way.

Those are the issues that Addi’s faith Foundation is trying to address. Sure, we offer great support by paying off an overdue electric bill or providing a month’s mortgage payment. But it’s so much more than that! Along with that financial support comes love and prayers and it’s making their journey a little less lonely. A little more bearable. Addi’s Faith Foundation gets to be the hands and feet of Christ and I know, both from experience and because so many tell me that it makes all the difference in the world.

So, thank you for taking an active role in spreading this love. Your gifts of time and money allows us to have an impact on so many and we simply couldn’t do it without you.

Amber Bender
Executive Director
Addi’s Faith Foundation


Houston Medical Center Childhood Cancer Hospitals

Addi’s Faith Foundation works with social workers from all over the country to provide financial assistance for families. We receive the most referrals, though, from three local Houston area hospitals which are in the Texas Medical Center.

The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical city in the world and there are over 106,000 employees that work there.

(Photo from

Texas Children’s Hospital – Cancer and Hematology Centers

Texas Children’s Hospital – Cancer and Hematology Centers has 4 locations and sees patients from each of the 50 states and from 56 different countries. The four Texas locations are: Houston, Katy, The Woodlands, and McAllen. An average of 95 children are inpatient at TCH each day.

MD Anderson – Children’s Cancer Hospital

MD Anderson – Children’s Cancer Hospital has five main locations specifically for young people and their families. MD Anderson’s Research Building also houses the pediatric neuro-oncology lab that is dedicated to AFF’s namesake, Addison Faith Bender.

Read more about the lab here.

Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital

Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital prides itself in care that continues seamlessly into adulthood. Memorial Hermann works in collaboration with MD Anderson to offer new ways to diagnose childhood brain and spinal tumors.

Addi’s Faith Foundation works hard to place itself in pathways of families and patient advocates in the Houston Medical Center. Our hope is to be supportive of families that are in childhood cancer treatment and to further enable brilliant researchers to improve childhood cancer treatments and ultimately end childhood cancer.


Family Financial Assistance Process

Applications are received through our website HERE, and are accepted from parents directly and from parents through their social workers.

Along with the application, required documents are a recent bill that can be used to make a payment and a diagnosis/treatment confirmation letter form a social worker or oncologist on letterhead. Beginning in 2022, AFF will consider requests up to $2,500.

Our Family Financial Assistance committee meets on the 3rd Monday of the month via video chat to review the applications and approve a grant amount. Each member of the committee uses a rubric to score the application, with preference being given to Houston area families and brain cancer patients.

Following the committee meeting, our Director of Family Relief pays the bills directly and contacts the family or social worker to let them know that a payment has been made or is on the way!

Requirements for a family to apply for financial assistance:
    • A cancer diagnosis of any type or stage
    • Patient under the age of 18
    • Patient currently in treatment for cancer
    • Patient currently in the United States

In 2023, AFF surpassed
that was given as financial assistance for families!

Tips for applying for Family Financial Assistance:

    • Include a photo of your child or family! The FFA committee loves to see sweet faces and really connects to applications that include the personal touch!
    • Attach your most expensive bill(s). Most often, AFF applies the total grant amount to one bill. We are also not able to make advance payments past 3 months in the future, so a smaller bill might “cap out” at 3 months when a larger grant amount could have been given.

Family Financial Assistance FAQs:

Can families re-apply for financial assistance?
  • Yes! Families may apply once per calendar year, up to three times, while the child is still in still in treatment.
How long after an application is submitted will a payment be made?
  • Complete applications that are submitted by second Monday of each month will be reviewed that month. FFA committee meetings are on the third Monday of the month and payments are made within the following two weeks.
I really need help with hospital parking or groceries, does AFF help with those costs?
  • Gift cards are occasionally available, but please apply and include one of your current bills! We hope to make room in your budget for those costs by taking care of a larger, reoccurring bill.

Childhood Cancer Diet

Foods to try:

    • Eggs are filled with protein and can be cooked with as much or as little seasonings as the patient would like
    • Nuts can be taken on the go and are packed with protein
    • Protein powder can be added to homemade shakes or to a bottle of water
    • Cream cheese and nut butters can be added to fruit or crackers and are filled with protein as well as calories
    • Granola or oat flour can be used in baking to add calories to most batters
    • Avocados are filled with good calories and can be eaten on toast, mixed in a shake, or even mashed up for babies to eat

Foods to avoid:

    • Unpasteurized dairy
    • Unwashed fruits and veggies
    • Raw or undercooked meat
    • Cold or undercooked deli meats and hot dogs

These foods can cause foodborne illnesses, and people with suppressed immune systems are at a higher risk of this.

General tips:

    • Avoid “fat free” alternatives
    • Pack healthy snacks for hospital visits
    • Try using the grocery pick up option at a local grocery store to get fresh food while avoiding large crowds
    • Pack or serve food in fun/colorful containers to make the child excited to eat

Recipes to try:

Studies show that breastmilk can protect against childhood cancer. Other studies also show that breastmilk contains a protein-lipid that causes death to cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unaffected. Combined with health benefits for mom and emotional benefits for both the child and mother, breastfeeding is a great choice for those that are able. The nutritious milk can also be added to baby food and baked goods to increase their nutritional content!

Addi’s Faith Foundation works to support families in their efforts to feed their children healthy foods during cancer treatment. While inpatient, hospitals usually do not provide a meal for the parent or guardian. Families can request a mead delivery gift card HERE. AFF also caters freshly made meals each month to Texas Children’s Hospital and MD Anderson in Houston.



Surprise! Happy Birthday to Elimia!

A BIG THANKS to Houston Police Department and Humble Police Department for making Emilia’s birthday so special! I hope you’ll share this post. Our world could use an extra dose of positivity and love.

Emilia is battling Leukemia.
She wants to be a police officer when she grows up!


Meet Amber Bender of Addi’s Faith Foundation in Kingwood

Houston, TX, June 23, 2020 – Today we’d like to introduce you to Amber Bender.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Amber. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It all started with my 16-month-old daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The only thing worse than hearing those four horrific words, “Your child has cancer” is then learning that there isn’t a whole lot they can do to treat it. We treated my baby girl with 40-year-old drugs that were designed for adults, extremely toxic and worse, ineffective. Despite the progress that has been made in some areas, there are still many types of pediatric cancers that have made little to no headway and some still with a zero percent survival rate. My husband and I wanted to change the story for the future kids who will be diagnosed. We envision a day when every child can be cured of cancer and go on to lead long healthy lives. Less than 4% of funding is allocated towards pediatric cancer research, which is simply not enough to make significant change anytime soon. So we decided to start Addi’s Faith Foundation in memory of Addi, but to impact all children.

During Addi’s illness, we also learned first-hand just how difficult it is to care for a child with cancer. Not only is it emotionally devastating, it can also be financially draining. More often than not, a parent will need to quit their job in order to provide the necessary care. This reduction in income comes at the same time when bills are drastically increased, causing an immediate financial crisis. Medical bills, travel costs, medications, etc. pile on top of the standard bills and families get swamped quickly. We understand the toll this can take on the entire family and we want to help. In addition to funding critical pediatric cancer research, Addi’s Faith Foundation also supports families in their time of need. We will pay rent/mortgage, car notes, utilities, or whatever is needed most. We want to alleviate some of the financial burdens so parents can better focus on helping their child get better.

After 12 years, we are proud to say that we are still going strong and have no intentions of stopping. Thanks to our amazing supporters, Addi’s Faith Foundation has distributed over two million dollars towards our mission of funding research and helping families.

Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t think there is such a thing as a continuously smooth road. If you travel long enough, you’re bound to hit a bump or two. What’s important is how you deal with it. These bumps and struggles can actually be catalysts for change-making things better than ever. Hurricane Harvey was a difficult time for all Houstonians and the aftermath affected our revenue in a real way. We stood beside our flooded community and together put the pieces back in place. Slowly but surely, things returned to “normal,” and our faithful supporters were there for us. Currently, we find ourselves in another significant struggle with COVID-19. Multiple fundraising events have been cancelled, our revenue is down and we have no idea when and how things will change. So we’re looking at alternative ways to generate funds. We’re holding events virtually and we are pivoting in ways that will ensure our programming will continue. Change is never easy, but I’m convinced that, when embraced, it can cause great things to happen.

Please tell us about Addi’s Faith Foundation.
We are proud of the research that we’ve been able to fund at MD Anderson Cancer Center. They are the world’s leading institution when it comes to cancer and we couldn’t be happier with our partnership. We feel good about the funding we give them because we know that they will put it to the best use and that their goal is the same as our… ending cancer. The Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Research Lab has been named after Addi’s Faith Foundation. It’s gratifying and special knowing that life-saving research is being conducted in a lab that is supported by Addi’s Faith Foundation.

We’re also very proud of our Relief Project and how we offer help to families when they need it most. Month after month, families come to us with desperate situations. They might be months behind on a bill and days away from getting their electricity shut off or car repossessed. They don’t know how they are going to pay their rent this month. They’re trying to decide upon filling a prescription or buying groceries. Although we can’t solve all their problems, we can offer a little reprieve. One of my favorite ways to help is to catch a family up on a past due bill. Can you imagine the relief felt when that red PAST DUE bill gets paid? This simple act also helps families know that they aren’t alone. It allows them to see that people care about them. That bit of kindness not only alleviates stress but also brings light and hope into a time that can feel very dark and hopeless.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Houston is!!! We have some of the most generous, caring individuals and businesses around. Almost everyone I come in contact with has been more than supportive and genuinely wants to help. Some give time and some give money and I’m beyond grateful to each of them. I’ve continuously surrounded by genuine love and it further fuels my passion for change. I’m blessed and proud to operate a non-profit, and live in this wonderful community.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Snapgirl photography

Link to original publication: VoyageHouston

About Addi’s Faith Foundation
Inspired by one little girl’s battle with brain cancer, Addi’s Faith Foundation was formed in hopes of freeing the world from childhood cancer. By funding critical pediatric research, AFF ensures advancements are made and that less toxic, yet more effective treatments are found. Until the cure is discovered, Addi’s Faith Foundation desires to provide emotional and financial support to parents as they care for their child with cancer. A registered 501(c)3 charity, Addi’s Faith Foundation has distributed over 1.5 million dollars since their inception in 2008.



Panera Bread® in Houston Presents Check to Addi’s Faith Foundation for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Fundraiser

Houston, TX, November 14, 2019 – Panera Bread® teamed up with Addi’s Faith Foundation for the second year in a row to join in the fight against childhood cancer. On Sunday, November 10th, Rolling Dough, Ltd., and The EYM Group; the two Panera Bread® franchisees in Houston, College Station, Lake Jackson & Beaumont, Texas; presented a check totaling $24,422.36 to Addi’s Faith Foundation. The EYM Group raised $2,714.43, and Rolling Dough, Ltd. raised $20,409.18, from the sale of Addi’s Faith Ribbon Cookies sold during the month of September, which is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. In addition, Sandi Rideaux, the Training Manager of the Panera Bread locations in Pearland and Lake Jackson, Texas; as well as her husband Chris Rideaux, who owns a trucking company in Lake Jackson, committed to match all donations coming out of those two locations in honor of their nephew, who is currently battling cancer. Their family donated $1,298.75.

Fundraising efforts like these are part of Panera Bread’s Community Giving™ program, where a portion of the sales from certain items are put into action through Panera’s partnership with organizations like Addi’s Faith Foundation; in order to assist them in their mission. In this case, to find a cure for childhood cancer and provide family support.
“These donations are fueled by our amazing customers, and are a clear indication that they stand with us in our commitment to those in need,” said Mark York, Vice President of Operations for Rolling Dough, Ltd. “Panera Bread is honored to work alongside our customers to support Addi’s Faith Foundation and their mission”.

“We are always looking for new and exciting ways to raise funds and awareness for the fight against childhood cancer. Everyone loves Panera and we knew the Addi’s Faith Cookie would be a great way to observe Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September. It’s really a no-brainer when you take a great cookie and a great cause and create a product that people can feel good about purchasing. Less than 4% of research funding is allocated to pediatric cancers so it’s crucial that organizations like Addi’s Faith step up and fill some of the gap. We’re really grateful to Panera Bread for joining us in our mission for the second year,” said Amber Bender, Founder and Executive Director of Addi’s Faith Foundation.

(From Left to Right; Tony Bender, Founder & Executive Committee – Addi’s Faith Foundation; Mark York, Vice President of Operations – Rolling Dough, Ltd.; Kirk Doughty, Director of Human Resources – Rolling Dough, Ltd.; Sandi Rideaux, Training Manager – Rolling Dough, Ltd., and her husband Chris Rideaux; Amber Bender; Founder & Executive Director – Addi’s Faith Foundation; Shanna Doherty, Associate Director – Addi’s Faith Foundation)

About Rolling Dough, Ltd. and Panera Bread®
30 years ago, at a time when quick service meant low quality, Panera set out to challenge this expectation. We believed that food that was good and that you could feel good about, served in a warm and welcoming environment by people who cared, could bring out the best in all of us. To us, that is food as it should be and that is why we exist. So we began with a simple commitment: to bake fresh bread from fresh dough in every bakery-cafe, every day. Each night, any unsold bread and baked goods were shared with neighbors in need. These traditions carry on today, as we have continued to find ways to be an ally to our guests. That means crafting a menu of soups, salads and sandwiches that we are proud to feed our families. A commitment to transparency and options that empower our guests to eat the way they want. And a commitment to removing artificial additives (flavors, colors, sweeteners and preservatives) from the food on our menu. We think that simpler is better and we believe in serving food as it should be. Because when you don’t have to compromise to eat well, all that is left is the joy of eating.

As of November 1, 2019, Rolling Dough, Ltd. owns and operates 21 bakery-cafes in the South & East areas of Houston, TX; as well as Beaumont, College Station & Lake Jackson, TX, all under the Panera Bread® name. As of November 1, 2019, The EYM Group owns and operates 19 bakery-cafes in Northwest Houston, as well as Lubbock and Midland, TX, all under the Panera Bread® name.

About Addi’s Faith Foundation
Inspired by one little girl’s battle with brain cancer, Addi’s Faith Foundation was formed in hopes of freeing the world from childhood cancer. By funding critical pediatric research, AFF ensures advancements are made and that less toxic, yet more effective treatments are found. Until the cure is discovered, Addi’s Faith Foundation desires to provide emotional and financial support to parents as they care for their child with cancer. A registered 501(c)3 charity, Addi’s Faith Foundation has distributed over 1.5 million dollars since their inception in 2008.



Quad Citians walk and donate hair to support kids with cancer

Coal Valley, Ill. (KWQC) – A childhood cancer foundation held a walk at Niabi Zoo on Sunday to raise money for families whose children have been diagnosed with cancer.


The Addi’s Faith Foundation put on the “Walk By Faith” event where people could also donate their hair to Locks of Love.

Addi’s parents said they lost their daughter 12 years ago to an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor in her brain. She was almost 2-years-old when she passed away.

Quad Citians walked and donated hair at the Walk By Faith event to raise money for local families touched by childhood cancer. (KWQC)

“In her honor, we started Addi’s Faith Foundation to support pediatric cancer research and also help families dealing with a cancer diagnosis during that difficult time,” said Addi’s mom Amber Bender.

Amber and Tony Bender used to live in the Quad Cities. They traveled all the way from Houston to give back to QCA families dealing with a childhood cancer diagnosis.

“It’s not as rare as people like to think. One in 300 children will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime,” said Amber.

She said Addi was a sweet girl who always had a smile on her face despite her challenges.

“She went through a lot in her short little life — multiple surgeries, brain surgeries, spine surgeries and chemotherapy. The treatments she was treated with were extremely toxic and really harsh. That’s why we are trying to fund research. So not only we can find that cure, but we want safer treatments for these children because they are extremely toxic.”

September is an important month to the Benders because it is childhood cancer awareness month.

“We want September to go gold everywhere in the United States and in the world so everyone recognizes how important childhood cancer awareness month is for the month of September,” said Tony. “Let’s get the ball rolling and raise more money.”

People at the event were able to raise over $20,000. The Benders said the money that was raised will stay local and go towards families touched by childhood cancer in the Quad Cities.

Brandi Dixon raised $1,000 by volunteering to donate her hair at the event.

“I’ve had long hair for quite a few years. This is probably my third time donating my hair for kids wigs,” Dixon said. “This was a new thing that came up and they wanted to do it for Addi’s Faith. Right away everyone said you have to do it. And I did it.”

Dixon said her father passed away from a cancer similar to Addi’s.

“To watch your child go through it… I can’t even imagine,” she said. “I watched my father go through it. His tumor was very similar to Addi’s. It took his life within less than three months.”

Addi’s parents said they want everyone to gold for childhood cancer awareness.

“We want to make the same amount of progress that breast cancer has made over the years. They’ve done a great job and have very successful treatments now. A lot of that started with awareness.”

This is the second year the Benders put on the Walk By Faith event. Addi’s parents hope to come back and continue it every year for the community.

By Angela Rose | Posted: Sun 12:06 PM, Sep 22, 2019 | Updated: Wed 11:06 PM, Sep 25, 2019