The Mullin family and friends began investing in pediatric cancer research in the fall of 2006 when Ted’s parents, Mary Henry and Rick Mullin, established the Ted Mullin Fund for Pediatric Sarcoma Research at the University of Chicago Medicine (UCM) Comer Children’s Hospital where Ted was treated for sarcoma, a rare cancer. Over the past 16 years the Fund contributed over $1.5 million for research efforts in science and medicine, making it the most successful third-party fundraising group at UCM.

What began as a memorial fund quickly gained momentum when the 2006 Carleton College Swimming and Diving teams created the Ted Mullin “Hour of Power Relay” for Sarcoma Research. Inspired to honor their teammate Ted and take action against the disease that took his life, the Carleton athletes invited other collegiate swimming and diving teams in Minnesota and New England to take part in the Hour of Power event. Now in its 18th year, involving thousands of athletes annually, the Hour of Power has raised over $1,000,000 for the Ted Mullin Fund.

At Comer Children’s the Ted Mullin Fund is investing in:

  • Basic and clinical research into the cancer biology of sarcoma and other rare pediatric malignancies.
  • The expansion of the big-data Pediatric Cancer Data Commons (PCDC), at Data for the Common Good, to include data on sarcoma patients, enabling physician-scientists at other institutions to draw from and upload to the PCDC.
  • Ted Mullin Scholar Program in which four undergraduate Hour of Power participants are selected to spend ten weeks in an intensive, hands-on laboratory research experience.

The Ted Mullin Fund has invested seed money in promising new initiatives such as the UChicago Medicine Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology Program to meet the unique needs of cancer patients between the ages of 15 and 39.

Philanthropy, in the form of private donations to funds like the Ted Mullin Fund, is essential in ultimately understanding and finding improved treatments for rare pediatric cancers like sarcoma. Unlike research in other more common types of cancer, where large-scale clinical trials involving thousands of patients have enabled investigators to gain insights into risk factors and effective treatments, breakthroughs for sarcoma patients will come from basic and translational research like the kind taking place at the University of Chicago.

Tomorrow’s top pediatric cancer treatments depend on generous investments in research today.

The Ted Mullin Fund is a fund within FJC’s Fiscal Sponsorship Program. FJC is an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) organization and, as such, all donations made to the Ted Mullin Fund are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.