Home to Make Your Homes Safe for Children

After losing their only child, Colette, at the age of 5, to a rare, non-genetic form of Wilm’s tumor, Nancy and Jim Chuda founded Healthy Child Healthy World in 1991. The mission of this national children’s charity is to inspire parents to protect children from harmful chemicals. In Colette’s memory, the organization has mobilized parents and caregivers, environmental groups, the scientific community, and media to advocate for policy changes that will protect children worldwide.

In the mid-1980s, few of us knew much about the possible dangers of environmental chemicals that are all around us in everyday life — or the potential cumulative effects of some of these chemicals. It took time for scientific studies to reveal that some chemicals are linked to the development of certain cancers, and it took even more time to prove that heredity may predispose some people to these cancers.

Although there is no way to definitively show that Colette’s cancer was environmentally caused, the Chudas consulted an expert on Wilm’s Tumor, who told them “that it was possible that something Nancy had ingested or was exposed to in the environment during her pregnancy could have triggered the destructive mechanism that caused Colette’s cancer to later develop.”

“As parents who lost a child to a non-hereditary form of cancer, we believe that Colette would have survived had we had the knowledge and tools Healthy Child Healthy World provides parents today,” say the Chudas. “Many years ago, we decided we weren’t going to let our personal tragedy, losing our only child, beat us. Instead, we decided to set some winning goals — to help others — so that other children would not have to experience our daughter Colette’s fate.”