The mission of the Ready Or Not Foundation is to promote a national and international awareness of pediatric brain cancer, and to raise research dollars in search for better treatments and a cure of pediatric brain cancer. Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer death in children under the age of nineteen (19), and this is a scarcely known fact. There are approximately one hundred twenty (120) different types of brain tumors. The Foundation's focus will be upon the high grade malignant brain cancers in children, as these tumors are the most lethal and these tumors carry the most significant late term effects for survivors.
Our goal is to make people more aware that brain cancer is taking more children's lives than any other in the cancer arena, and that there have been relatively few breakthroughs in the search for better treatments and cure of this deadly disease process (in the past thirty (30) years). The Ready or Not Foundation will endeavor to raise awareness of these important facts about pediatric brain cancer, and will succeed in its fundraising for leading research institutions seeking improved treatments and a cure. At this time, we are committed to funding Texas Children's Cancer Center Glioma Research program.
Our Story
The Ready or Not Foundation was inspired by Jacqueline (a/k/a “Jackie”), my daughter. In January of 2006, Jackie (at age 6) was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Soon thereafter, the doctors had discovered it was a high grade (grade 3) anaplastic astrocytoma, and the treatments included surgeries, radiation therapy, and extended chemotherapy. Today, Jackie is in remission after living with the most lethal of diseases for children. From day one, our goal was for Jackie to be a survivor. Now, our goal is to not only survive, but to also help others.

The symbol for the Ready or Not Foundation is a tree with a child’s hands wrapped around it. This logo represents the day that Jackie’s life changed (the day that so many of our lives were changed). On this day, Jackie was playing hide-and-seek tag at her school’s playground when she bumped her head on an oak tree. The ensuing trip to the pediatrician and a quick CAT scan soon revealed that a large tumor was hiding in the back of Jackie’s brain. The tree saved Jackie’s life (as there would have been no other way for this early diagnosis to occur since Jackie was completely asymptomatic).

At the time of the diagnosis, Jackie was receiving her care through the Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas. Thereafter, Jackie’s care was placed in the capable hands of so many trained physicians and health care providers at the Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) and Texas Children’s Cancer Center (TCCC) in Houston, Texas. At TCH/TCCC, Jackie underwent two (2) major brain surgeries in an effort to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Radiation therapy was then appropriate, and Jackie submitted to six (6) weeks of proton radiation therapy at the Proton Treatment Center at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, California. Jackie has since completed a year of chemotherapy (administered via TCCC and Driscoll Children’s Hospital).

By the time I had walked my daughter into the radiation chamber for the thirty-third (33rd) time, I was READY to do something about brain cancer in children. Thus, the Ready or Not Foundation was formed. There are dedicated medical researchers who are ready to make a difference, and this Foundation has been set up to help these researches have the tools to make the scientific advances that are so desperately needed. In the past thirty (30) years, brain cancer has remained an enigma as research efforts have been poorly funded. To unlock its mystery, substantial funds must be dedicated to better treatments and a cure for pediatric brain cancer. I will not be satisfied until such time that the odds favor the child over the cancer.

Nobody is ready for cancer to come into their family. No parent can be ready to hear the terrible statistics that accompany high grade pediatric brain cancer. Whether you are ready or not, one out of every three hundred thirty (330) parents will find themselves facing a cancer battle with their own child.

With your help today, one hundred percent (100%) of every dollar donated to the Ready or Not Foundation will be contributed directly to pediatric brain cancer research. Today, we are currently matched by The Lester and Susan Smith Foundation ( Houston, Texas ) so that every dollar raised turns into two dollars, With all that I am, I thank you for your support. Statistics reveal that high grade tumors have a high incidence of recurring. We need to get to work, and now! We celebrate today, and we will (our families, friends, volunteers, and others) be READY for what tomorrow might bring.


Barbara Canales
Founder of Ready or Not Foundation