Sister Hazel’s Lyrics for Life Foundation and Stop Children’s Cancer team up for research

Sister Hazel lead singer Ken Block presents a check to UF Health

Press release from UF Health

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Lyrics for Life Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by the platinum-selling band Sister Hazel, and Stop Children’s Cancer, Inc. presented a $100,000 check to UF Health officials on Tuesday morning.

The donation to the Lyrics for Life/Stop Children’s Cancer Jeffrey A. Block research award supports Paul Castillo, M.D., an assistant professor in the division of pediatric hematology and oncology at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Castillo’s research develops personalized, targeted immunotherapy for T-cell lymphoma and leukemia.

“Childhood cancer is overwhelming,” said Sister Hazel lead singer Ken Block. “We’re dealing with spinal taps, radiation, and chemotherapy.”

When Block was 16 years old, his brother Jeffrey was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma. Jeffrey, who was two years younger than Ken, passed away after a four-year battle with the blood cancer. At that moment, Block knew he wanted to build a platform to create awareness and support for cancer research. Since 2019, Block and his bandmates – through the Lyrics for Life Foundation – have donated a total of $400,000 to Stop Children’s Cancer. The Lyrics for Life Foundation is committed to supporting the research award over the next several years.

“What this is about is creating the tools,” Block said. “It is a privilege and an honor to support the work that you’re doing.”

Stop Children’s Cancer, Inc. also renewed its ongoing support toward pediatric cancer research at UF Health. The organization once again pledged $1 million over the next five years. Honoring Bonnie Freeman’s dream to find cures for children with cancer, Stop Children’s Cancer is committed to the prevention, control, and cure of childhood cancers.

“Everyone has had cancer touch their lives in some way,” said David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at the University of Florida and president of UF Health. “It really starts with those who help our scientists and clinicians develop new care to improve kids’ lives.”