• pr@wokc.org
  • 214-987-4662

Our History

  • 1980s
  • 1990s
  • 2000s
  • 2010s
  • 2020s

1980s – Incorporated a non-profit organization intending to support novel groundbreaking pediatric cancer research.

1983 – The first major project funded focused on Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), the most common disease killer of children under 18. Paved the way for Children’s Medical Center Dallas to have worldwide prominence.

1985 – Launched the annual Tom Thumb Run for the Children at Oktoberfest in Addison. 34 years later it is still running!!

1987 – Launched the Ambassador Program, which provides fun events for children with cancer, their siblings, and parents.

1990s – Funded a research project at Children’s Medical Center Dallas (Children’s Dallas) on the long-term follow-up of the child cured of cancer that helped inspire and launch the “After Cancer Experience” program at Children’s Dallas, one of the first programs ever offered globally on the continuum of follow-up care to monitor the late effects of cancer and its treatment on the child cured of cancer.

1998 – The organization was renamed to Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer (WOKC).

2000s – Funded research in bone tumors, leukemia, and neuroblastoma.

2003 – Funded the Visiting Professor Endowment Fund at Children’s for hematology/oncology and hosted the first WOKC Golf Classic.

2004 – Texas Ranger Michael Young and wife Cristina supported WOKC programs for children with cancer. WOKC committed to 5-year funding of Spanish translator for Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

2007 – Constructed the D Tower playroom on the oncology floor for the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders for Children’s Health.

2008 – Launched the Buddy Bag Program, a rolling suitcase filled with comfort and hygiene items delivered to children on their first day of admission to the hospital for cancer diagnosis. The Buddy Bag Program is a WOKC signature program.

2010 – Jersey Mike’s Day of Giving – adopted it as its corporate philanthropy nationally.

2010 – Funded 5-hospital collaboration study “Metabolic Syndrome in Childhood Brain Tumor Survivors Relapse Study on Medulloblastoma” between Cook Children’s (Fort Worth), Children’s Medical Central (Dallas), MD Anderson (Houston), TX Children’s (Houston), Children’s Hospital (Ok City) resulted in Cook Children’s CPRIT Grant of $1.9 million and participation in the joint trial with St. Jude’s (Memphis).

2014 – Expanded the Ambassador program to Cook Children’s; expanded the Buddy Bag Program to Medical City.

2015 – Provided seed funding of $135,000 to Dr. Michael Hogarty at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), for the study “Mechanisms of Polyaminins Depletion Anti-Tumor Activity in Neuroblastoma” producing additional NIH funding of $1.5 million (2018).

2016 – Expanded the Ambassador Program to Medical City Children’s Dallas.

2018 – Luke Laufenberg became the Run Marshall for the 33rd Run for the Children at Oktoberfest; Luke valiantly fought Burkitt’s Leukemia until earning his Angel Wings in August 2019.

2019 – Contributed to the largest pediatric Acute Myeloid Leukemia (TpAML) genetic study (Whole Genome Sequencing) in the U.S. by supporting a computational biologist to analyze biobank genetic information. Ambassador Program renamed the Warrior Family Program for active members, reserving Ambassador status for those that have graduated from the program. WOKC expanded corporate supporters to include the Texas Roughriders, Cleburne Railroaders, and Dallas Rattlers along with Texas Legends.

2020 – 40th Anniversary (1980 – 2020) of Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer (deferred to 2021 due to COVID)

Cindy Brinker Simmons

Meet the Founder

Cindy Brinker Simmons

Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer (WOKC) was founded in 1980 by Cindy Brinker Simmons in memory of her mother, the late great tennis world champion Maureen “Little Mo” Connolly Brinker, who died of cancer at the age of 34.   Cindy was 12.  “Little Mo” was the winner of nine Grand Slam singles tennis titles, and the first woman to win all four Grand Slam tournaments in a calendar year (1953).  Cindy chose pediatric cancer to be the recipient of WOKC’s funds over these many decades because she cherishes the joy of children and recognized the devastation of a parent hearing the four haunting words, “Your child has cancer.”  Cindy and all those associated with WOKC are relentless in their pursuit to eradicate this disease and to provide hope for mighty young heroes with cancer and their families.

For more than 35 years, Cindy was a partner and principal in the public relations, strategic communications, and integrated marketing industry.  She retired to pursue writing and is currently completing her second book.  Cindy is president of the Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation, a global junior tennis foundation established in 1968 and the namesake of her mother.  Cindy has devoted herself to philanthropic concerns and has served on many non-profit boards. Throughout the years, she has received multiple distinguished recognitions. 

Cindy graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in communications and Spanish.  She treasures her family and friends and is passionate about helping and encouraging others.  Cindy competed in national junior tennis tournaments and played the top position on UVA’s women’s tennis team for four years. She also competed on UVA’s cross country team.  She has one son who works in the entertainment industry.  Cindy’s husband passed away from cancer in 2005 after a valiant three-year battle.

The WOKC Team

Aashik Khakoo, WOKC CEO

Aashik Khakoo

CEO
Aashik Khakoo is a passionate business executive specializing in business development, strategic planning, process improvement, and people development. He has spent his career in the consumer products industry working for multi-billion dollar companies such as Diageo, Heineken, and Moet Hennessy.

Aashik volunteered for Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer for 15 months, serving as Vice-Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the WOKC Strategic Planning Committee developing new spokes of revenue generation. Aashik has been CEO since August and is very excited about WOKC becoming a long-term leader helping children with cancer.

Outside of work Aashik is an avid golfer, participates in Toastmasters, and works with both children and adults in their professional development, including public speaking, interviewing skills, and academic improvement.

Aashik has been married for 18 years and has three teenage boys.

How You Can Help