Hess Cancer Foundation

Our Story

John & LexiThe Hess Cancer Foundation, www.HessCancer.org, founded by the late Travis P. Hess in 2005, has since helped 24 families during the most difficult times of their lives. Travis passed away April 5, 2013, but the foundation continues in his name.

The HCF was founded:

  • To provide financial assistance to those families who have lost a young child to cancer and aren’t financially prepared to address funeral and burial costs.
  • To help the community see that there is a real need for this type of help.
  • To encourage fitness as a way to fight and prevent cancer. Our slogan is, “fitness for the fight.”

HCF was founded by Travis because of the impact of cancer on his and his family’s lives. Over the years, he watched grandparents, aunts, and uncles die of cancer. He watched his younger sister successfully battle breast cancer at 32 and a brain cancer at age 39. He lost his father, who was 49 at the time, and one of his brothers at age 19; both dying very young with cancer.

Hitting even closer to home, three of his five children have been diagnosed with cancer at very young ages. His daughter Alexis died at age three with a rare childhood cancer. When she died, Travis didn’t have life insurance for her, and was financially unprepared. He was still making payments on medical bills, and wondered how he would ever pay for the funeral and burial of his little girl. It was then that Travis began receiving donations from friends and family. He received $1,000 from an anonymous donor.

Travis was overcome with a feeling of gratitude; he wanted to help others in need, just like others had helped him. Soon after that, Travis decided to establish a public charity called the Hess Cancer Foundation, Inc., or “HCF.” The primary purpose of HCF is to provide financial assistance to families who have lost a child to cancer and can’t afford a proper funeral. As of May 2013, HCF has successfully helped 24 families who have lost a child to cancer and needed financial help.


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