My Sister; My Friend
On August 5th 2005, I lost my sister and best friend to cancer.
Since her diagnosis in 2004, I have become acutely and sadly aware of all the suffering associated with this horrible disease; especially in children.
I have undertaken a commitment to try and help in anyway I can.
Whether donating to my favorite charity; The Jimmy Fund or sponsoring someone in the Cancer Walk for Life or riding my bike from Plymouth to Provincetown Mass to raise funds for the American Lung Association.
For 18 months my sister struggled to stay alive while enduring horrible treatments that made her even sicker than the disease itself. All for her 11 year old son. You see she was a single mom and everything she did was for him.
Our family would receive encouraging news and then bad news. Up and down the roller coaster we went until we received the worse news of all; there was nothing left that they could do and that the end was near.
For the next month our family huddled around her as often and for as long as we could. Enjoying what precious time we had left. She was the light of our family always smiling and cheerful with the biggest heart of all.
The 300 plus people who attended her services were a testament to who she was. This page is dedicated to her and my way of giving back.
My Favorite Charity
On this page, you will find 3 charities I have come to know through meeting people and being familiar with various affiliations. For me, there is none really bigger than The Jimmy Fund.
The Jimmy Fund has been around for a very long time. Being a lifelong Red Sox fan, I have come to know the organization well.
For those of you unfamiliar with The Jimmy Fund , it was founded in 1948 in Boston Massachusetts. It all started when 12 year old Einar Gustafson from Maine was a cancer patient of Dr. Sidney Farber (founder of the Children's Cancer Research Foundation).
Dr. Farber was a pioneer in modern chemotherapy. The Children's Cancer Research Foundation was eventually renamed the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as it remains today.
Einar was named Jimmy to protect his identity while doing a radio show for Truth or Consequences. On the 50th anniversary of the show, his true identity was revealed.
The Jimmy Fund not only funds research for the cure of cancer but also takes the children out of their sick environment to places that they can enjoy and be with others who are facing similar challenges.
Although founded as a children's research center, The Jimmy Fund searches for new cancer treatments and cures for both children and adults alike at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Though my sister was treated next door at Beth Israel Deaconess, she had a team of doctors who came from both hospitals. The research being conducted at Dana-Faber is one of the tops in the world.
Two Other Favorites
Two relatively new charities that help families in different ways are The Room to Dream Foundation. and The Devin Laubi Foundation.
I was fortunate to meet and work with one of the ambassadors for The Room to Dream Foundation.
Through Gail O'Rourke I was introduced to a small group of vendors and tradespeople who come together to not only raise funds but to also physically create spaces to change the lives of children and their families.
"The mission of The Room to Dream Foundation. is to create healing environments in hospitals, communities, and homes for children and adolescents who are facing chronic illnesses.
As they recuperate and recover, our hope is that their renovated spaces will improve their quality of life, promote strength, imagination, self-worth, and aid in their recovery processes."
The Devin Laubi Foundation hit home when I saw a piece on the news for a bike ride that was happening in my hometown of Westport, Massachusetts.
The ride and foundation are in memory of Devin Laubi a six year old who lost his life to cancer.
Like so many, his parents faced difficult decisions that would have dire financial consequences on the family.
"The financial ramifications forced us to make decisions no parent should have to consider: go to work or be where your heart is or potentially lose your home from the loss of income. Maintaining stability and normalcy is difficult during turmoil."
The mission of The Devin Laubi Foundation is to provide financial assistance to families of children with cancer.
They were founded in July 2004 and have helped many families in southeastern Massachusetts, throughout New England and across the United States.
Each year they host events in Massachusetts designated to raise money for the foundation.
Although I feel fortunate to be able to add these worthwhile charities to my website and give however possible, much, much more is needed.
Won't you please consider a donation today to one of these wonderful charities or to another charity that is near and dear to your heart?
Clicking on a logo or ink will take you directly to the individual organization websites.