Around January 25, 2019, Gulf Coast Western Inc. CEO Matt Fleeger donated $14,000 to the Sadie Keller Foundation. As an oil and natural gas magnate, Fleeger is known for contributing much of the profits from his organizations to children’s causes. For example, he is the founder of the Fleeger Family Kitchen, a non-profit organization which teaches children STEM skills through gardening.
Fleeger contributed to the Sadie Keller foundation as a part of his company’s commitment to aiding children who are suffering from cancer. The Sadie Keller foundation, named after 10 year-old leukemia survivor and child advocate Sadie Keller, was established after the cancer survivor endured three years of blood transfusions, infections, rare side effects of cancer medications, and even missing entire years of school. Sadie has since recovered; her last treatment was in 2017. Since then, she has made videos increasing awareness of her condition and reaching out to other cancer patients her age. She quickly spread her message, including showings on ESPN during cancer awareness events, and eventually, her foundation received a donation from Matt Fleeger.
Currently, the Sadie Keller Foundation primarily lobbies congress for pediatric cancer research funding and provides services and resources to families struggling financially with treatment for their children. Some of the funds from donations to the Sadie Keller Foundation are used to lobby congress for better fudning of pediatric cancer and work towards eliminating childhood cancer across the country. The most notable laws the foundation has had a hand in advocating for include the STAR Act and the Race for Children Act, both of which are dedicated to finding pediatric cancer research. Donations from individuals like Matt Fleeger are essential to maintaining efforts in securing pediatric cancer research funding, as less then four percent of annual cancer research funding is actually allocated specifically to pediatric cancer research.