Courage. Strength. Believe.
The Kevin Cordasco Foundation: Something Yellow is committed to raising awareness and much needed funds to benefit the many heroes of childhood cancer.
Our inspiration, Kevin, was taken from us at 16 years, 7 months and 11 days old. During his 7 year battle, Kevin shared his story openly and spoke out for childhood cancer– which our foundation continues to this day. Along with his parents, Kevin recognized that there are deficiencies in the system. Teens are often a forgotten sector in childhood cancer treatment programs and even social outreach. As a whole, childhood cancer receives less than 5% of the US funding for all cancers – a problem that we need to change.
Our efforts are designed to support the mission that Kevin began during his nearly 7-year battle with neuroblastoma. 1 in 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20. That means approximately 15,700 parents will hear the words, ‘your child has cancer’ each year. To drive awareness, we hold annual campaigns during the month of September. Proceeds from our fundraisers support projects that improve life for children, teens and adolescents battling cancer, as well as the research community with the hopes of finding a cure.
By wearing something yellow or making a contribution to the foundation, you are honoring the heroes of childhood cancer.
The Letter that Started it all
On Kevin's 18th Birthday, big Kevin sent out a letter to everyone that was a part of little Kevin's life,
the letter was the concept for the Kevin Cordasco Foundation: Something Yellow. He asked everyone to endorse the idea of a foundation to continue little Kevin's battle to find a cure for cancer by signing
it and sharing it with others. Within one month he recieved over 2,000 signed letters from all over
Our hero, Kevin, had a special connection to the color yellow. The words to the song "Yellow" by the band Coldplay, as well as his connection to the band inspired us to choose the color yellow for our organization.
The universal color of childhood cancer is gold, however there are many variations of the color gold and we accept yellow as one of them. It is our hope that the many groups that support childhood cancer will come together and paint the world yellow and gold to raise awareness for the heroes of childhood cancer. The message is spoken loud and clear in September, national childhood cancer awareness month, when we unite to show our colors.
Together we look to inspire athletes, entertainers, schools, public events, monuments and places of note around the world to bathe themselves in yellow to show support and raise awareness for this cause.
“Look at the stars, look how they shine for you…. and everything you do, yeah, they were all yellow.” – Coldplay
Our directors have not only been chosen for their expertise and skills as professionals, but for their connection to Kevin's life, as well as their desire to carry out Kevin's legacy. They want to make a difference in the lives of the children and families suffering from this horrible catastrophic illness.
Kevin Melodie Cordasco Parents and Founders
Kevin and Melodie together with their younger son Cade witnessed Kevin’s battle against stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma for nearly 7 years. During this time they not only saw the amazing fight and courage in Kevin, but were able to see the world of childhood cancer from the inside out. This perspective led them to not only see the many areas of deficiencies of childhood cancer, but all the wonderful programs that are available and helpful to families and the children.
Young Kevin transitioned from a child to adolescent/young adult during his heroic fight with cancer. As a teenager, he saw the deficiencies too and wanted to support and drive awareness for childhood cancer. It was Kevin’s wish to help the heroes of childhood cancer.
"It is a great honor to carry on Kevin’s work. We want to honor our hero and the many other heroes of childhood cancer with the creation of this foundation."
Jeff Smaul Executive Director
Jeff is the Founder and Creative Director of Mile 9, a boutique advertising agency located in Calabasas, California that specializes in developing strategic creative campaigns for lifestyle brands. Jeff has worked with such companies as K-Swiss, Nature Made, ABC, Fox, WB and Tejava.
Jeff is proud to be apart of The Kevin Cordasco Foundation: Something Yellow to use his 20 years of expertise as a creative director with strategic and marketing insights to be an integral part in driving awareness about the heroes of childhood cancer.
Jerry Shapiro Fundraising Specialist
Jerry Shapiro is a native Southern Californian who attended Santa Monica College and Cal State University – Northridge until 1978 when he entered the banking industry. He then moved over to the insurance and financial services field in 1987 with Connecticut Mutual Life and today is an associate with Pacific Southwest Financial (A Capitas Partner) located in Woodland Hills where he specializes in personal protection planning and wealth management.
He brings years of fundraising experience to the Kevin Cordasco Foundation: Something Yellow, as well as, leadership roles that include serving on a number of non-profit boards.
He was involved in Kiwanis (Malibu) in 1982-83, and has been involved with Concern Foundation (Cancer Research), and Special Olympics since 1984. Jerry added the “Jewish Home for the Aging” and has been one of the Chairs for one of their annual fundraising events the last three years.
Jerry was a founding member of the Sunrise Rotary of West LA (1989 to 1992) where he served as an officer in his last two years.
In addition, he served on the Board of the San Fernando Valley Insurance and Financial Advisors Association from 1999 and was President in 2002-03. He was responsible for their community service activities and worked with “Operation Gratitude”, “Leukemia and Lymphoma Society”, “Pacific Boys Lodge” and the “Kevin Cordasco Fund” (affiliated through the Talbert Foundation) from 2001 thru 2012.
The Kevin Cordasco Foundation: Something Yellow is proud to have an experienced fundraiser and contributor to great causes like Jerry Shapiro on the team serving as a Director.
Dr. Rima Jurbran, MD, MPH, MACM
Dr. Jurbran is the Director of Graduate Medical Education at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the medical director of the Retinoblastoma Program in the Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases. She cares for children with central nervous system tumors, retinoblastoma, neuroblastoma and histiocytic disorders of childhood. She received her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, her masters of public health at George Washington University, Washington, D.C and masters in academic medicine at University of Southern California. Following her residency at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, she completed a fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C. Dr. Jubran’s research focus areas include national and international clinical trials in retinoblastoma and Langerhans cell histiocytosis as well as research in medical education.
Jeffrey Lee Costell lives in Hidden Hills, California, with his wife, Cynthia, and their two daughters, Juliet and Chloe. Alexandre Cornelius lives in Calabasas, California, with his wife, Elana, and their two sons, Justin and Ryan. Jeff and Alex are partners in Costell & Cornelius Law Corporation, a Santa Monica law firm with a broad-based practice involving “everything business,” including transactions, litigation and bankruptcy and debtor/creditor representation for established and startup nonprofit, corporate, real estate, financial, entertainment, media, technology and internet companies and entrepreneurs. The firm recently opened new headquarters in the heart of Silicon Breach, Santa Monica, as it expands its operations to meet the ever-increasing needs of growing companies and entrepreneurs, as well as nonprofit charitable corporations, for efficient and skilled legal services. Both Jeff and Alex take great satisfaction in devoting time to the community in which they live and to the greater “Community” in which we all live.
Jeffrey Lee Costell
The Kevin Cordasco Foundation: Something Yellow is a non-profit, nondiscriminatory, 501(c)(3) organization. Tax ID No. 47-2985244. By law, the tax-deductible amount allowed for any contribution to The Kevin Cordasco Foundation: Something Yellow is limited to the excess of the contribution above the value of any goods or services received.