About US

Our History

DC Candlelighters is a local affiliate of the American Childhood Cancer Organization (formerly Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation). Candlelighters, begun in 1970 by 25 parents who met in the halls of Children's National Medical Center to offer each other support during their child's cancer treatment, it now has more than 50,000 members and 40 affiliate groups across the country.

DC Candlelighters was founded by a group of mothers whose own children fought cancer, to give families facing the devastating discovery of a child's cancer something they had wished for themselves someone who has "been there" and understands the fear, helplessness, and financial and family pressures that grow out of a childhood cancer diagnosis. Our Board of Directors consists entirely of people who have had a child with cancer.


DC Candlelighters is an all-volunteer organization providing emotional, educational, practical and financial support to families of children fighting cancer. The name Candlelighters comes from the ancient proverb: "it is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness." DC Candlelighters strives to provide a light in the darkness because we believe no family should face the uncertain world of childhood cancer alone.

Who We Serve

DC Candlelighters serves all children with cancer and their families, long-term survivors of childhood cancer and their families, and bereaved families who live or receive treatment within 50 miles of the Washington, DC, metropolitan area.

Our Funding

DC Candlelighters services and programs are provided at no cost to families. DC Candlelighters is supported by the private donations of foundations, corporations, small businesses and individuals.


PRESIDENT: Lisa Tignor

A founding member of DC Candlelighters, Lisa's two sons are long-term survivors of leukemia; one diagnosed with ALL in 1996 and the other in 1998 with a relapse in 2003. Lisa has been active in the childhood cancer community for over 15 years, first as state coordinator of the Childhood Cancer Awareness Quilt and more recently as the national coordinator of the quilt project. Lisa also serves on the board of Growing Hope, a Northern Virginia charity serving children with cancer.

VICE PRESIDENT: Jennifer Click

Jen's daughter, diagnosed at the age of 4, is a long-term (10+ years) survivor of stage IV neuroblastoma. In addition to her work as a founding member of DC Candlelighters, Jen is a co-editor of the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation's Handbook for Parents of Children with Neuroblastoma. She also served as a founding board member of the Band of Parents, a non-profit funding innovative, low-toxicity treatments for neuroblastoma.

TREASURER: Gail Scheller

Gail's son, Christopher, was diagnosed in 1996 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia just after his 2nd birthday. He completed over two years of chemotherapy and remains cancer free. Gail is a founding member of DC Candlelighters and is also active with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a First Connection Volunteer.

SECRETARY: Amy Switzer