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The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation is to improve the lives of children and families in need, including those fighting against childhood cancer. (PHOTO: shutterstock.com)

NM's Rose Parade float supports fight against childhood cancer

Northwestern Mutual, presenting sponsor of the Rose Bowl Game, announced that its float in the 127th Rose Parade presented by Honda in Pasadena on Jan. 1, 2016, will support the fight against childhood cancer.

The theme of this year's parade is "Find Your Adventure."

Northwestern Mutual will dedicate its float design to the greatest adventure and dream of 13-year-old Peyton Richardson of Sugar Land, Tex., who is in treatment for acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Northwestern Mutual is committed to raising awareness, accelerating the search for cures to childhood cancer and providing support to families battling the disease.

Peyton, an aspiring ballerina, would like to see the performances of the distinguished ballet companies of the world and have a ballet lesson with one of their principal dancers. Peyton's adventure will be brought to life in flowers by Fiesta Parade Floats.

"We are humbled by Peyton's passion to fight cancer and desire to share her story with others," said John Kordsmeier, president of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. "Peyton's adventure on display will be very inspiring and will drive more awareness and support for all families affected by childhood cancer."

The 2016 event marks Northwestern Mutual's second year as presenting sponsor of the Rose Bowl Game. This sponsorship will extend through 2020, with the Rose Bowl Game serving as host of the College Football Playoff Semifinal in 2018.

"Life has many adventures, and a secure financial future enables us to accomplish the things in life that are truly important to us, like achieving our goals and dreams," said Conrad York, vice president of marketing at Northwestern Mutual. "Our dedicated financial representatives work hard every day to inspire their clients on this journey, which is why we are so passionate about supporting Peyton and her family by bringing her adventure to life on our float at this year's Rose Parade."

Peyton was diagnosed with ALL at age 12 on January 22, 2015, and began chemotherapy the next day. Since her diagnosis, Peyton and her family have been actively involved in sharing their story to help raise awareness and support for childhood cancer. Peyton is currently being treated at Texas Children's Cancer Centerin Houston, Texas.

Peyton's story was chosen for Northwestern Mutual's float by a panel of judges who reviewed video submissions from children and families who shared their personal experiences with childhood cancer. The videos were submitted from select children's hospitals across the country that partner with Northwestern Mutual.

Since 2012, Northwestern Mutual has funded nearly 65,000 hours of life-saving research. The Northwestern Mutual Foundation, in partnership with financial representatives and employees nationwide, has collectively contributed $8 million for the cause.

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