As an infant, Rick Knight was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer that develops in the adrenal glands or immature nerve cells in young children. While Rick was too young to remember having surgery, radiation treatment or chemotherapy at Phoenix Children’s, he does recall returning at least annually throughout his childhood for follow-up visits.
Then in 2020, when Rick’s own child required medical care, there was no question as to where they would turn. Rick was quickly comforted to be at Phoenix Children’s. “The doctor that saw my son immediately gave me his cell phone number and told me to call him anytime,” he says, “and I took him up on that almost every day I was there.”
Rick says every department they encountered, from emergency to surgery to rehabilitation, was equally comforting. “There wasn’t an area in Phoenix Children’s that I felt like he wasn’t well cared for.”
“The doctor that saw my son immediately gave me his cell phone number and told me to call him anytime. I took him up on that almost every day I was there.”Rick Knight
Joining ‘The Fifty’
In 2021, Rick seized an opportunity to give back by joining PCH 50, an auxiliary group of the Phoenix Children’s Foundation founded in 2015 by Phoenix Children’s Foundation Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer Steve Schnall and Brent Gulbas to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer patients and their families. The group, also known as “The Fifty,” has a mission to harness the energy, enthusiasm and experience of 50 driven community leaders as the next generation of supporters of Phoenix Children’s. They do this through fundraising, volunteer efforts and awareness building.
Schnall and Gulbas’ vision for the group centered around the idea of giving young men the opportunity to be part of a dedicated and determined mission-centered group. This year, the organization added 11 new members, reaching its goal of 50 men under age 50.
“It’s humbling to be able to share my story and give back in this way,” Rick says. “My hope is that I can provide encouragement and create awareness around this incredible organization.”
Going ‘Off the Record’
In its four-year existence, PCH 50 has raised more than $2 million to support comprehensive care and services for patients at Phoenix Children’s. The group’s signature fundraising event, Off the Record, is a ticketed concert and VIP party experience with proceeds going directly to Phoenix Children’s. This year’s event on November 24 featured 14-time Grammy nominee and Phoenix native Dierks Bentley.
- “It’s really exciting to have the opportunity to be a part of a group of guys that are all working together to raise money for the hospital.”Rick KnightPCH 50 Member and Patient Dad
In addition to Off the Record, the group organizes several other fundraising initiatives and sponsorship opportunities throughout the year, including a 5K, a golf tournament and a pickleball tournament. “It’s really exciting,” Rick says, “to have the opportunity to be a part of a group of guys that are all working together to raise money for the growth of the hospital and help further its mission of attracting world-class doctors and care providers.”
Since 2017, this group of men has been on a mission. Learn more about how these community leaders support Phoenix Children’s.