CHANTILLY, Va. (WDVM) — Many of today’s cancer treatment drugs are developed for adults, but 16,000 kids are diagnosed with cancer each year. Six million canines die from cancer every year, and Canines-N-Kids President Ulrike Szalay says some scientific studies have shown that kids and dogs have similar experiences with the disease.

Canines-N-Kids is a Northern Virginia nonprofit that’s raising awareness about comparative cancer research and funding innovative and transformative cancer research by sending care packages with a stuffed black lab named Brave and a picture book to pediatric cancer patients in hospitals across the country.

Pediatric patients are becoming more isolated as hospitals battle the coronavirus and regulate their operations (by limiting visitors, canceling events and activities, and closing off play areas). Canines-N-Kids has been overwhelmed by the amount of requests for care packages it’s getting and it’s asking for more donations to fill the need.

“COVID-19 is racing forward. It’s an epidemic – it thinks it’s unstoppable, but we will stop it. I know science will. But so does cancer,” Szalay said. “Every two minutes a child is diagnosed with cancer. Every two minutes 17 dogs are diagnosed with cancer. That continues. So for that reason we as an organization, Canines-N-Kids Foundation, needs to be unstoppable.”

Donate Project Hearts and Tails care packages online for $30 at