About Lillie's Friends Foundation | Childhood Cancer 
On Wednesday October 11, 2006, we were not a cancer family. On Thursday, October 12, 2006, we were.

Our middle daughter Lillie was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma when she was three years old. Lillie was a beautiful and playful little girl with a sweet spirit. Lillie spent the next 10 months fighting for her life. During this time, we received an outpouring of support from hundreds of “friends” across the country that were touched by a child’s courage. These many helping hands provided strength and encouragement through prayer, kindness and support.

After the enormous loss of Lillie, we started Lillie’s Friends by Lillie’s family with the help from many friends who have committed to honor children fighting cancer and to help families realize their hope. The foundation is passionately providing families with real hope by:

Lillie's Friends Foundation | Childhood Cancer | Neuroblastoma

hand-bullet-point  Supporting families going through the “crisis of belief” that                       comes with their child’s diagnosis.

hand-bullet-point Raising awareness and funding for innovative research.

OUR MISSION

Lillie’s Friends aims to positively impact kids and families dealing with childhood cancer. Lillie’s Friends passionately provides families with real hope by raising awareness, funding innovative research toward cures, and finding unique opportunities to directly impact and support families experiencing the ‘crisis of belief’ that accompanies their child’s diagnosis. 

OUR VALUES

  • Courage

    We value the determination and drive of our volunteers and supporters to take bold steps to effect positive change. We recognize that such spirit requires a unique strength of character—an inherent quality found in the hearts and minds of people who champion the childhood cancer cause.

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  • Integrity

    We are honest and ethical in all that we do, and engage in responsible decision-making that reflects the highest standards of conduct. This ensures that our credibility, leadership and use of donor dollars is never in question. 



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  • Faith

    While our foundation is based on Christian faith, we respect the beliefs of others.  However, our love of Jesus guides our organization to believe that while on this earth, we will do whatever possible to show God’s love to all we encounter and share our faith journey in the face of tragedy in hopes that others find “real hope” in even the most unthinkable circumstances.

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Lillie's Friends Childhood Cancer Awareness Neuroblastoma Michelle Boyte

    Board of Directors

    Gary Knight is the President of ProBenefits. Gary is a native of Halifax, Virginia and is a graduate of Wake Forest University. Gary holds several industry designations and was named a member of the “40 Leaders Under 40” by Triad Business Journal in 2012. Gary lives in Winston-Salem with his wife Jill and their three children. In addition to Lillie’s Friends, Gary volunteers his time with this church and the YMCA Adventure Guides program.

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  • Lillie's Friends Childhood Cancer Awareness Neuroblastoma Cathy Marchant

    Board of Directors

    ​Cathy is the Marketing Brand Director for Champion Brand at Hanes Brands Inc. Cathy has extensive corporate experience and has held executive positions at Wachovia, Home Depot and currently HBI. Cathy has a history of community involvement in many organizations and is passionate about the causes she supports. We are excited to have Cathy join Lillie’s Friends Foundation and the expertise she brings to the organization.

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  • Lillie's Friends Childhood Cancer Awareness Neuroblastoma Michelle Boyte

    Board of Directors

    Thomas received his undergraduate degree from Furman University and his medical degree from the Medical University of the University of South Carolina. He completed a pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He completed fellowship training in pediatric hematology/oncology at The Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Children’s Hospital in Boston. He joined the faculty at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in 1998.

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  • Lillie's Friends Childhood Cancer Awareness Neuroblastoma Chris Leon

    Board of Directors

    ​Chris is the Practice Group Leader for Womble Carlyle’s Capital Markets Group. Chris received a Bachelor of Science Industrial Engineering degree from Northwestern University and his Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest University School of Law. Chris has extensive experience providing counsel to public and private businesses in the financial services, manufacturing, retail sales, consumer products, and health care industries. Chris has a strong interest in and regularly counsels financial institutions and non-profit corporations. Chris has two sons and lives in Winston Salem, NC with his wife Sandy.

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  • Lillie's Friends Childhood Cancer Awareness Neuroblastoma Cory Boyte

    Board of Directors

    Cory Boyte is an Executive Vice President and Corporate Banking Division Manager at Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T) in Winston-Salem, NC. Cory began working at BB&T in 1992.  Cory graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Finance in 1992, and with a Masters of Business Administration degree in 1997. Cory has been married to Michelle Boyte for 17 years. Together, they are parents of three beautiful girls – Hannah, Lillie and Eva.

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  • Lillie's Friends Childhood Cancer Awareness Neuroblastoma Michelle Boyte

    Board of Directors

     A marketing professional by trade, Michelle left corporate life in 2004 to commit herself full-time to caring for her three precious daughters – Hannah, Lillie and Eva. Previously, Michelle worked as a marketing brand manager with Sara Lee Corporation in the Branded Apparel Division based in Winston Salem, NC.  Michelle has also held positions at (Belk, Liz Claiborne and Talbots) and in advertising. Michelle graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management in 1991. She received her MBA from Colorado State University in 2002. Michelle has been married to Cory

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CHILDHOOD CANCER

Cancer in children occurs when formerly-healthy cells mutate, and replicate much more than they should. When that happens, they can also destroy nearby healthy cells and invade different parts of the body.

Researchers still do not know much about what causes cancer in children. Most children’s cancers are caused by random genetic mutations that can lead to cancer. For some of these mutations, there are some environmental and genetic factors that can contribute to the cancer growing. But we still do not know what causes most childhood cancers.

Key Facts about Childhood Cancer

Cancer is the #1 disease killer of American’s children-killing more kids every year than every other disease combined.

1 out of 8 children diagnosed with cancer will not survive.


Each school day, 43 kids will be diagnosed with cancer.


More than 40,000 kids are in cancer treatment each year.


The incidence of childhood cancer has increased about 29% over the last 20 years.


Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region.


In the last 20 years, only 3 cancer medications have been specifically developed for children.


Less than 3% of funds donated to the American Cancer Institute benefit childhood cancer (all types combined).


What is Lillie’s Friends?

Lillie’s Friends is a non-profit organization that aims to provide families with real hope by raising awareness, funding innovative research toward cures, and finding unique opportunities to directly support families experiencing the ‘crisis of belief’ that accompanies their child’s diagnosis.