New York Knicks vs Orlando Magic
Back row, from left, Madison Square Garden’s Justin Johnson, Hackensack Meridian Health’s Robert C. Garrett, former Knick John Starks and the HackensackUMC Foundation’s Jon M. Fitzgerald. In the front row are honorary ball kids Danny and Kaia. (Photo courtesy of Steinlight Media)

My son Bradley knew his friend Michael was sick. When they were at the same day camp this past summer, most of the kids knew what the situation was, but they expected to see Michael back at school with them when September came around.

However, Michael’s conditioned worsened, and he wasn’t there for the first day of school. In fact, he never stepped foot into a classroom again. On Nov. 30, pediatric cancer took his life at the age of 10.

Ten years old.

How do you explain that to another 10-year-old? Then again, how do you explain this to the boy’s parents or any adult? It just doesn’t make any sense.

Here’s something else that doesn’t make any sense.

Only 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget is dedicated to pediatric cancer research. The vast majority of funding is reserved for adult cancer, and that means funding aimed at pediatric cancer has to come from private and philanthropic causes.

That’s were initiatives like Tackle Kids Cancer comes into play.

“The story you told us is the story that we hear continually,” said Peter Hughes, vice president of strategic activation for Hackensack Meridian Health. “Somebody has been touched by cancer in some way, shape or form.”

Launched in September 2015 by the HackensackUMC Foundation, Tackle Kids Cancer has raised more than $3 million and continues to make great strides in raising funds and awareness for pediatric cancer and research. Thanks to partnerships with the Giants and quarterback Eli Manning, along with the Red Bulls and goalkeeper Luis Robles, the organization has brought a lot of attention to pediatric cancer, and now it…