Humans of NYCFC: Dr. Julia Glade Bender

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Next up in our Humans of NYCFC series, we shine the spotlight on a Founding Member who is undertaking some truly awe inspiring work in the Five Boroughs.

Dr. Julia Glade Bender is a leading pediatric oncologist who cares for children, adolescents, and young adults with cancer at Columbia University Medical Center. As a supporter of Hope & Heroes’ National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month campaign, she came with a group of patient children to watch Wednesday night’s 1-0 win over Sporting KC.

Hope & Heroes is a charitable non-profit that supports the lifesaving work of Columbia University Medical Center, where researchers and clinicians are revolutionizing the treatment and care of children with cancer and blood disorders.

This is Dr. Glade Bender’s story…

The kids in the Hope & Heroes’ program call me the “super fan” because I’m here rain or shine and it’s been awesome getting them involved with NYCFC too.

There’s nothing like the smile on David Villa’s face when he scores a goal and I really think it helps the kids a lot – especially those who play soccer or used to play soccer and want to get back on the pitch. The team has been really great in having them over to SUNY Purchase to watch them train and to go to the side of the field to watch the warm-ups today. It helps them feel a part of something that is vibrant and alive in this city.

NYCFC has really grown as a team and it’s really fun to see them gel now on the field but, most importantly, they’ve been super nice to our kids and brought them in. I can’t tell you how important it is for organizations and individuals to have this philanthropic approach in supporting kids with cancer and this initiative.

Pediatric cancer only gets about 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget for research, so all of the help in getting people to be aware that September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month and that kids just want to be kids and they don’t want to be sick is great – it’s really fabulous this partnership we’ve launched with MLS and NYCFC to help spread the word.

Working on behalf of Hope & Heroes has been fantastic – it’s really the backbone of our division and it helps us take care of the kids’ medical and psychosocial needs. We throw in some complimentary medicine and of course there’s research because we want to cure every kid who has cancer.


Hope & Heroes’ mission is to fund the life-saving work on childhood cancer and blood disorders at Columbia University Medical Center—including cutting-edge research, support for families, and care that always puts children first.

Hope & Heroes works with the team at Columbia to create a treatment experience that not only gives patients their best chance to overcome their disease but also allows them to experience as much of their childhoods as possible.

To learn more about Hope & Heroes, visit

READ:Humans of NYCFC Series (So Far)