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Duck Donuts® and Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program Kick Off Third Annual Campaign

During the Month of September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, All Locations Will Raise Money to Provide Huggable Hope for Children Undergoing Cancer Treatment

Duck Donuts will kick off its third annual franchise-wide Quack Gives Back Campaign supporting Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, aligned with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month,. The campaign is designed to raise funds and awareness for the unique Nashville nonprofit organization dedicated to alleviating fear and anxiety in children undergoing cancer treatment.

Throughout the month of September, customers can help provide educational resources and comfort to families living with childhood cancer by purchasing a $1 paper Ribbon Icon, which will be proudly displayed in stores throughout the campaign. As a thank you, those who donate will receive a “Buy One, Get One Free Donut” coupon offer for their next visit.

“According to CureSearch, more than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year,” said Russ DiGilio, founder and CEO of Duck Donuts. “Through partnering with organizations such as Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, we are able to provide educational resources and a medical play therapy tool that offers huggable hope and comfort to the brave children who are fighting cancer.”

The program includes a 12-inch, soft Chemo Duck used for medical play therapy; a bilingual companion overview book; printable activity book; as well as an educational DVD that includes a cartoon about the program. The money raised in each store will benefit their local Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program affiliated children’s oncology group member hospitals.

“We are honored to be a part of this amazing event for the third year in a row and the difference that has been made in the lives of children living with cancer is immeasurable, said Lu Sipos, founder and CEO of Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program. Countless children have benefitted from the comfort and support of Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program because of the support we receive from our compassionate and caring national sponsors such as Duck Donuts, to which Gabe and I are very thankful.”

Since becoming a national sponsor in 2017, Duck Donuts has raised more than $140,000, providing Gabe’s Chemo Duck Programs to more than 3,000 families throughout 37 children’s oncology unit member hospitals in the communities the franchise serves.


Duck Donuts was founded in 2006 by Russ DiGilio in Duck, North Carolina. His intention? To solve a family vacation problem: “Our family wanted a place to buy warm, delicious, made-to-order donuts, and when we couldn’t find one, we decided to start our own.”

By 2011, Duck Donuts had expanded to four Outer Banks locations and the donut business was so successful that DiGilio was continuously approached about franchise opportunities by fans who begged for a Duck Donuts in their community. The first franchise opened in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 2013, and there are now 83 open franchise locations in two countries and more than 145 additional contracts in 26 states.


Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program is a Nashville-based nonprofit organization established in 2004 to provide education and comfort to children living with cancer through medical play using therapeutic tools. The goal of the program is to enable hospital staff and parents to prepare children for chemotherapy treatment and eliminate the fear of the unknown.

Chemo Duck is a stuffed yellow duck dressed in blue hospital scrubs with a bandana around its head, a chemotherapy port on its chest and an immobilizer on his arm. In a gentle, age-appropriate manner, children learn what to expect during cancer treatment and have a friend to share the experience. In turn, children can use Chemo Duck to help friends, siblings and classmates to understand and empathize with their experience.