The cure rate for most childhood brain tumors is significantly lower than that for many other types of cancer, and the public remains unaware of the magnitude of this disease.

Currently, childhood glioma research is grossly underfunded. The glioma family of tumors accounts for almost 45% of all tumors. They are the second-highest cause of cancer deaths among young people. 85-95% of children who are diagnosed with a malignant glioma die within five years. Over 97% of children with the worst of gliomas, diffuse pontine gliomas, die within three years.

This news is devastating to families who are newly diagnosed. In today's world, no child should have to suffer from such a horrible disease. No family should have to endure the pain of standing by helplessly as they watch their beautiful, innocent child slowly die from an illness that takes away everything they love in life. Prayers from Maria was built out of love and compassion for these children and their families and the dire need for research.

Prayers From Maria is dedicated to funding global research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for the deadliest childhood brain tumors known as gliomas; raising public awareness about gliomas and bringing hope to children and their families who deal with the hardships of this disease.

Read Maria's Story

Co-Founder Megan McNamara on CCAirwaves Podcast
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Why the Sunflower

After Maria was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor the Sunflower became her symbol. The Sunflower beautifully represents the Prayers From Maria Foundation.

  • In the language of flowers, the Sunflower is the Flower of Hope.
  • Like a child, the Sunflower in full bloom radiates beauty and happiness to all who encounter it.
  • The Sunflower is a spiritual flower – it follows and turns to face the Sun. It derives its energy from the Sun. It mirrors the Sun.
  • The Sunflower stands through the dark of night waiting for the Sun to rise. Like the Sunflower we are confident “the sun will rise” and we will bring an end to childhood cancer.
  • The Sunflower seems to be with us for too short a time; taken from us too soon. 
  • Like these children, the Sunflower, though it dies, continues to give life through the seeds it leaves behind. The weary Sunflower bows its head to the Sun. Its seeds fall to the ground to produce more flowers and nourishment for others.
  • The Sunflower detoxifies and enriches the soil that it grows in. 
  • The golden color of the sunflower is reminiscent of the gold ribbon for childhood cancer awareness.

See our story featured on the Today Show

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Our Partners

The Prayers From Maria Foundation welcomes families to partner with us in the fight against pediatric brain tumors.

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Where the Money Goes

We care about where our funding goes. With very little funds available for research, it matters where each of our grants is awarded. It is of the utmost importance that our funding supports the most promising research being conducted on brain tumors -- wherever that may be. The foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board consists of some of the top doctors and researchers in the world for children's brain tumors. Funding is awarded based on their professional expertise, experience, and evaluation of grant applications received.

Thanks to the generous support of so many, Prayers From Maria's efforts have resulted in a total of over 12 million going to the fight against childhood brain cancer. 

Learn More About Our Grants   Apply for a Grant