Zac’s History

While Zackery Carlson was enduring his many treatments for cancer, his parents, John and Sara, were spending a lot of time in the hospital. Doctors and staff assured John the best thing a parent can do for their child is to be there for them. Research shows that a child’s survival rate is much greater if the family is there to love and support the child. Many a night they slept in recliners next to their son.

Other parents were there with their children, too. After a while, John and Sara got to know them well. They were so touched by how the most important thing in the world to these families was their child. Most employers will grant a leave of absence but usually without pay. Because of their dedication to their children, John heard of families losing their homes, parents not having money to travel with their child, families not having money to eat with and so many more things. John’s heart went out to them.

After Zackery lost his battle with cancer, in John’s heart he needed to do something to assure that each and every precious child diagnosed with cancer received all the love and support they could. The first and foremost thing on John’s mind was the recovery of the child, so he sat down and compiled everything the doctors had told him along with the needs he recognized from the families at the hospitals. Zac’s Legacy Childhood Cancer Fund was founded.

The whole reason for this Foundation is for the child’s recovery. To achieve that, Zac’s Legacy provides financial assistance to Colorado families enduring the struggles of a dependent child going through cancer treatment. By making mortgage/rent payments, utility payments, travel and meal expenses, this will free up the families so that they can spend that precious time with their children.

On February 3, 2000, 2-½ year old Zackery Allen Carlson lost his battle with cancer.

On October 19, 2000, the Articles of Incorporation and the By-Laws were filed.

On April 9, 2001, the IRS started the 501 (c)(3) Advanced Ruling Period.

On May 23, 2001, the first fundraiser for the Foundation was held (a bowl-a-thon).

On May 24, 2001, the first family was helped so they could spend more time with their child.

On September 29, 2005, the IRS gave us continued 501 (c)(3) and Public Charity 170 (b)(1)(a)(vi) status.

On September 7, 2012 we were confirmed for our current status as 501 (c)(3) and Public Charity 170 (b)(1)(a)(vi) by the IRS.

In 2016, Zac's Legacy Foundation changed its name to Zac's Legacy Childhood Cancer Fund, representing a change in our Mission and Vision for families in Colorado. 

In our 15-year existence, Zac’s Legacy has helped over 200 families numerous times, helped with over A Million Dollars in mortgage/rent payments, utilities, travel expenses, food, and most importantly helped parents spend precious time with their children.

Although we receive some grants, the majority of funding comes from donations and fundraisers.

Fundraisers like the Annual Black Hawk Blast Poker Run, the VetteFest, the Bulldog Bash bowl-a-thons, the many car shows, the Polar Bear Jump, the GirlFriends C.A.R.E. event, the SweetHearts Dart event.

People who help support us like Mr. And Mrs. Kemble. Each year, Mr. and Mrs. Kemble donate Christmas toys to Zac's Legacy so our families will have Christmas presents for their children. Each year, Morning Fresh Farms gives a sizable donation. We have had a family donate a manufactured home to us which we were able to sell and help several families.

Childhood cancers make up less than 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year. About 10,380 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2016.

According to the American Cancer Society, 1% of all cancers diagnosed each year are in children, and about 10,380 children in the United States under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2016. (cite)

Our goal is to help each and every Colorado family that needs our assistance.

We do need your help. Please join us and share your knowledge as a volunteer, Board member, sponsor an event, or simply donate what you can.