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Our Story


Who is Jacob?

In 1998, one little boy was given a 5% chance to survive cancer. Jacob, now 27, taught us what sick children need most are supported, informed families. He showed us the difference that an empowered family can make in the life of an ill child. Because of him, we've supported 3,367 children and family members through the unimaginable.

Founder Lori Butterworth

Jacob’s Heart Children's Cancer Support Services was born as founder Lori Butterworth, MEd, MA sat at her kitchen table with Jacob’s mom. Lori knew instinctively that children with cancer needed strong, empowered families to advocate for their care. From that day forward, Lori dedicated her time, resources and energy to supporting families as they navigate the heartbreak and isolation that accompanies a pediatric cancer diagnosis.


National Recognition

As Jacob’s Heart grew, so did the needs of the families it served. In 2001, Lori Butterworth appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and was awarded the “Use Your Life Award” to buy the first ever Jacob’s Heart van, launching the Heart on Wheels medical transportation program.

Her efforts on behalf of seriously ill children went far beyond the Central Coast birthplace of Jacob’s Heart. In 1999, Lori Butterworth led a grassroots efforts which established the month of September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in the State of California. Now, more than 22 years later, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated across the country every September, with an annual proclamation by the President of the United States.

Until there's a cure, Jacob's Heart is here

Lori’s tenacity, grit and commitment to seriously ill children were instrumental in supporting countless families through the unimaginable for the past two decades. Forever our founder, Lori created a legacy of love that will continue to empower families for years to come. 

Jacob’s Heart staff continues to grow and adapt to the needs of our families. We ensure that until there’s a cure, our strong and supportive team will be here.

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