A $1M gift from the Kids Cancer Care Foundation to the University of Calgary will see the establishment of a chair in the Faculty of Nursing to look at the emotional impact of the disease on children and their families.

The chair will focus on psychosocial oncology and address the impact of cancer on things like marital and family relationships, employment and financial difficulties, stress management and emotional exhaustion.

"This is the first chair in the Faculty of Nursing that is completely externally funded," says Dianne Tapp, dean, Faculty of Nursing. "We are grateful to Kids Cancer Care for this amazing gift and their continued partnership in improving the quality of life for children and their families who are in the midst of this crisis."

Nancy Moules is a registered nurse, scholar, teacher and researcher and has been awarded the inaugural Kids Cancer Care Foundation Chair.

Moules says natural science research has had a significant impact on reducing mortality rates, decreasing side effects, developing new cures and saving lives.

"The research we do speaks to experiences such as the worries and efforts of grandparents, the impact on the parental relationship, the experiences of boyfriends and girlfriends of adolescents with cancer, the impact of kids cancer camps, just to name a few," said Moules. “A story hasn’t been told that needs to be told and so people volunteer for this kind of research because they need to speak about it so it’s my responsibility as a researcher then to not just hear the story but to figure out what it is that we could have done that would diminished their suffering in that experience. How can we be more helpful as health care professionals?”

"Nancy is a gifted and respected researcher and as with many nurses, she is filled with compassion for the children and families she serves. Her research and expertise will not only help nurses but will help all health care practitioners to better understand the needs of families," Christine McIver, founder and chief executive officer of Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta.

The Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta has donated more than $10M in research funding to University of Calgary cancer researchers and students over the last 15 years.

In Canada, childhood cancer is responsible for more deaths than any other disease in children between age one and adolescence.