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Diana and Norm Hageboeck (middle) began donating to Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF) in honor of their daughter Katie, who passed away in 1979 after a 16-month battle with leukemia. Today, CCRF has contributed over $100 million to the pediatric cancer program at the University of Minnesota and M Health Fairview, helping to advance global innovation and discovery in pediatric cancer care.

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Pediatric specialty clinic renaming honors teen leukemia patient, decades of community support

Children’s Cancer Research Fund and M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital have named Katie Hageboeck Children’s Cancer Research Fund Clinic in honor of Katie and the fund’s contributions toward cancer research and care.

  • September 23, 2021
  • By Staff Writer

Back in 1979, 13-year-old Katie Hageboeck was saving up for a red 10-speed bike. She was also nearing the end of her 16-month battle with leukemia. So the Wayzata, Minn., teen asked her parents to donate her bike money to help other children who have cancer.

Norm and Diana Hageboeck made Katie’s gift to Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF), then a little-known fund held at the University of Minnesota. Today CCRF is an independent fundraising organization whose donors have contributed more than $100 million to the pediatric cancer program at the University of Minnesota and M Health Fairview, helping to advance global innovation and discovery in pediatric cancer care, research, and education.

Together, CCRF and M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital are honoring Katie’s memory. The M Health Fairview Pediatric Specialty Clinic - Journey at Masonic Children’s Hospital, which provides world-class care to children and families facing childhood cancer and other illnesses, will now be called the Katie Hageboeck Children’s Cancer Research Fund Clinic.

Children’s Cancer Research Fund has been a transformational partner to M Health Fairview and the University of Minnesota as we boldly pursue new standards of care for childhood cancer for children in our region and around the world,” said Joseph P. Neglia, MD, MPH, physician-in-chief at M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital and professor and head of the University of Minnesota Medical School Department of Pediatrics. “Their support continues to drive promising research that will save and transform many young lives.”

Norm and Diana Hageboeck are proud that their daughter’s desire to help other children is being fulfilled through the groundbreaking research happening at the University of Minnesota and compassionate care provided at Masonic Children’s Hospital.

“Our mission has always been to raise money for childhood cancer research, and we are so proud of Katie’s significant impact on the progress of treating and curing all kids with cancer,” Norm Hageboeck said. “Her wish over 40 years ago is providing hope for families today.”

“We’re extremely moved and grateful to have this clinic named for Katie,” added Diana Hageboeck. “It’s an enduring testament to her memory, and an amazing outcome of her wish, that we can serve and support childhood cancer patients and survivors in such a strong capacity.”

Designed to speed the translation of research into treatments for childhood cancer and adjacent to M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital, the Katie Hageboeck Children’s Cancer Research Fund Clinic sees some of the sickest children with cancer and other illnesses in the region.

Healthcare professionals at Masonic Children’s Hospital offer the highest quality treatment along with personalized care based on each child’s needs. The clinic services more than 10,300 exam visits and more than 5,500 infusion visits each year.

Bolstered by support from CCRF and the world-renowned work of researchers at the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, the five-year survival rate for childhood cancers has grown from 60 percent in 1980 to more than 80 percent today.

“We believe in a world without childhood cancer,” said Daniel Gumnit, CCRF’s chief executive officer. “Thanks to incredible support from donors, our research partners are delivering on groundbreaking advances that are benefiting thousands of children and their families around the globe.”

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The M Health Fairview Pediatric Specialty Clinic - Journey at Masonic Children’s Hospital will now be called the Katie Hageboeck Children’s Cancer Research Fund Clinic.

CCRF is one of the University’s largest donors and its largest funder of pediatric cancer research. Many research discoveries funded by CCRF have revolutionized the way childhood cancer is treated, including:

  • The double cord blood transplant, known globally as the “Minneapolis Regimen,” which was developed at the University of Minnesota Medical School and has dramatically increased leukemia survival rates in both children and adults.
  • A brain tumor vaccine, developed by University pediatric cancer researchers, that prompts the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells and is now in clinical studies in adults only through M Health Fairview.
  • Survivor care innovations, spurred by the largest study of childhood cancer survivors – who now number more than 350,000 in the U.S. alone – that began at the University in 1994.
  • Better understanding of the cause of osteosarcoma and how to treat it, funded by the legacy of another Masonic Children’s Hospital patient, Zach Sobiech.

The existing Katie Hageboeck Children’s Cancer Research Fund Clinic space will be expanded in the coming months to incorporate more infusion bays and other improvements.