L3 Foundation bolsters childhood cancer research with gift

Shawn Neisteadt
Sanford Health Media Relations

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Feb. 15, 2021 — The L3 Foundation — short for Live, Love, Landon — has made a significant gift of $250,000 through the Sanford Health Foundation. The donation will go directly to childhood cancer research in an effort to find more effective treatments for young patients facing cancer.

The L3 Foundation was formed to honor Landon Ahrendt’s final wishes before he lost his life to cancer. At just 10 years old, Landon asked his parents, Scott and Jaymi, to help other kids and families in their battles against cancer. Since Landon passed away in 2014, L3 has rallied passionate support and raised funds to advance pediatric cancer research and programs, like Camp Bring It On!, for kids and families. Along with the generosity of Scott’s brother, Jason Ahrendt, and his wife, Heather, L3 and the Ahrendt family have given nearly $1 million to honor Landon’s final wish.

“Our team at Sanford is humbled by this chance to partner with the L3 Foundation and help give new hope to kids and families fighting pediatric cancer,” said Sharon Hunt, vice president of research operations for Sanford. “These dollars will help drive progress in pediatric soft tissue cancer research, an area of research that deserves more attention and funding. We’re committed to driving collaboration and making sure the momentum continues through all phases of research.”

The Texas-based L3 Foundation chose to work with Sanford because of the organization’s access and participation in innovative phase 1 clinical trials. These studies are the first in a four-phase process of testing treatments in people. Sanford has invested in the staff and infrastructure to support these complex studies in effort to accelerate more effective, accessible and less toxic treatments to patients, especially those with the fewest options for treatment.

In conjunction with the gift from the L3 Foundation, Sanford is launching a larger program of pilot trials through its oncology research program. Researchers and teams can now apply for grants to advance treatment or research cures for various types of cancer. Program organizers hope to work through two or three trials annually, with at least one of those trials focused on pediatric soft tissue cancer.

Grant recipients do not need to be employed by Sanford, but will collaborate with Sanford physicians and researchers.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States, is dedicated to the integrated delivery of health care, genomic medicine, senior care and services, global clinics, research and affordable insurance. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization includes 46 hospitals, 1,400 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and 10 countries. Learn more about Sanford Health’s transformative work to improve the human condition at sanfordhealth.org or Sanford Health News.

About the Sanford Health Foundation

The Sanford Health Foundation is a nonprofit organization on a mission to improve the human condition by building human connection and inspiring philanthropy to power Sanford Health’s work of health, healing and comfort.

Every dollar raised helps deliver compassionate patient-centered care and drive medical research, education and collaboration to accelerate bold solutions for a healthier tomorrow. Learn more and join us at sanfordhealthfoundation.org.