Deliece Hofen | Braden's Hope

A Hopeful Conversation with Deliece Hofen 

Deliece Hofen was fighting stage 2 breast cancer at the same time her 3-year-old son Braden was undergoing treatment in his own battle with cancer. In this process, she saw the drastic discrepancy in funding for childhood cancer treatment research. So she founded Braden’s Hope for Childhood Cancer, a non-profit with the goal of increasing funding and awareness for childhood cancers so no child or family will ever have to hear the words “no known cure” again.

Listen to Deliece’s talk at Conquer for Good: Connect about Braden’s Hope, and read her Q&A below to learn about her personal journey to finding her purpose.

What difference do you hope to make in the world?

My hope is that I can share the three things Braden taught me during his journey with cancer. Be thankful, have perspective, and always remember to tell the people in your life that you love them. There are applications for these lessons to both our personal lives and our business lives and my hope is that the world will be a little better when we all live more gratefully and selflessly.    

For anyone interested in pursuing a social purpose what three pieces of advice would you give?

The first piece of advice I would give it that whatever you choose to pursue needs to be something that you are committed to and truly care about. Without that determination and commitment, it won't work.  Secondly, I would advise people that commitment doesn't just mean a monetary commitment. You don't have to be wealthy to make a difference. Giving of your time and talents is every bit as important as giving financially. Finally, I would encourage them to just jump in and begin making a difference. The world needs champions who are not afraid to make mistakes and figure things out along the way. You don't have to know everything, you just have to care and be committed to working through challenges while celebrating successes.    

What’s been your biggest challenge in building your organization?

The biggest challenge for us was beginning that business development and nonprofit work was not my area of expertise. I am an educator by trade who grew into a momcologist who knew something had to change for our children with cancer. I stepped up but had no idea what I was doing. I was comfortable with building the plane while flying it but I have a lot of really awesome people who do have the expertise to help us grow. I am the first to admit when I don't know something and I'm willing to accept help. That is what has helped us scale and grow.    

What have been the most pleasant surprises?

People. Good People. There are just so many good people in this world and people have lifted us up and been the hearts and hands of our organization. Hundreds of people we had never even met reached out and made things happen for our children. We are so very blessed to be surrounded by good people!    

What is your personal purpose?

My purpose is to be a good human and make a positive difference in this world. This happens as a mom, friend, wife, leader, and President of Braden's Hope. When I am long gone from this world, I hope that people will say that I was a good person and made a positive difference to others.    People can help by simply becoming aware and spreading the word about our children with cancer and their need for hope.

What are three ways people could help with your organization?

People can help us by volunteering or attending events. We always appreciate when people help connect us with outside resources as well. We need hands and donors and any connections are welcomed and appreciated.    

Who has been inspirational in the work that you do?

The inspiration for Braden's Hope is our son, Braden. His cancer diagnosis taught me so much about "adulting" and how to do it with grace, humility, gratitude and hope. Our son, Zach is also an inspiration because his positivity and selflessness are a tremendous gift to us.    

Have there been any partnerships that have helped you get where you are today?

Absolutely! Every person knows individuals and companies who might be interested in helping children with cancer here in Kansas City. We have many individuals and corporations who have jumped on board in big ways through volunteerism and generous sponsorships and donations to help our heroes!    

In 100 years, when people talk about your organization’s work, what do you hope they say?

I hope that they will say that Braden's Hope did an amazing job working themselves out of a job because childhood cancer is not a factor any longer and every child has hope for a future!    

What does the term "Conquer for Good" mean in your life?

To me, Conquer for Good" means that we try to be good people making a difference in the world for others. It means selflessness, determination, gratitude, positivity, perspective, and love. It doesn't mean there won't be difficulties, that's what we have to "conquer".  We put other's needs before our own and we work to leave the world a better place because of that work.    

Is there anything else you would like to share about your journey?

I am so excited to speak with this group and I look forward to learning more about what all you do. I am humbled to be a part of this group and I cannot wait to be with like-minded people who want to make a difference for others. Thank you for being a group that focuses on positive impacts that benefit others.

Will & Grail