On Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Morgan Stanley's annual Valerie Fund campaign to support Camp Happy Times kicked off at the firm's office in New York City. Former Valerie Fund patient, Sierra Spriggs, a three-time cancer survivor and Camp Happy Times veteran, shared her journey from her first diagnosis at age five until now. Sierra will graduate from Colombia University with her Masters in Social work this May.
The Valerie Fund Blog
For the first time in seventeen years, a new Valerie Fund Children's Center has opened at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Paterson, NJ. The Passaic County-based outpatient facility neighbors the northern New Jersey counties of Morris and Essex where several other Valerie Fund Centers are located.
New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital is renowned for its pediatric healthcare services, and is currently home to the only Valerie Fund Children's Center outside the state of New Jersey. According to U.S. News & World Report, New York-Presbyterian consistently makes the magazine's Honor Roll as one of the best hosptials in the nation. The hospital's pediatric hematology-oncology department is led by Dr. Julia Glade-Bender alongside a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, psychologists, educational liaisons, child life specialists and social workers. Dr. Marie Barnett recently joined The Valerie Fund family as the Center's psychologist.
In 1977, Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ, was the first hospital to support Sue and Ed Goldstein in their mission to provide comprehensive health care to children in our area with pediatric cancer and blood disorders. Forty years later, their dream has come to fruition with the expansion of seven Valerie Fund Children's Centers.
In their book, "Where They Are Now: The voices that cancer & blood disorders couldn't silence," Sue and Ed reflect, "The Valerie Fund Children's Centers- in New Jersey, New York City and the Philadelphia area- evolved into what we had hoped for: institutions delivering expert medical expertise, unconditional support and loving kindness for the children under their care."
Children who are treated at The Valerie Fund Children's Centers receive comprehensive health care. This not only includes state-of-the-art medical care, but the care of the patient's mental and emotional well-being. From diagnosis to well after treatment has ended, The Valerie Fund Center's multidisciplinary team identifies and treats the physical and emotional effects that manifest in pediatric patients. Psychological effects can include changes in attitude and behavior, breakdown in interpersonal relationships, depression and anxiety.
#GivingTuesday is a social media initiative that encourages people around the world to get involved in their communities, use their talents to help others and give back. #GivingTuesday has been celebrated on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving for the last five years and follows the frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This worldwide day of giving marks the start of the charitable season, and is a reminder to give back during the whirlwind of the holiday season.
The 25th Annual Thanksgiving Ball Gala is just a week away!
The Thanksgiving Ball Gala will be held at the Hilton Short Hills and has historically been an unforgettable and very successful fundraising event. This year, the live and silent auction items will include tickets to the smash Broadway musical Hamilton, a week’s stay at the Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas, exciting autographed memorabilia and much more. Advance bidding on the silent auction items will begin Monday, November 14th and you will be able to follow your favorites live from the Thanksgiving Ball Gala the evening of Friday, November 18th .
The Gala has a new addition this year with four Learning Depots hosted by members of the Valerie Fund multidisciplinary team and a Valerie Fund Patient Ambassador. These Learning Depots give guests the opportunity to understand the core services and programs patients and their families receive at the Valerie Fund Children’s Centers. The team includes social workers and psychologists, Child Life specialists, Educational Liaisons, specialists in Palliative Care and Integrative Medicine and Camp Happy Times staff. Bringing The Valerie Fund Center to our guests is a unique way to recognize the 40th Anniversary of the founding of The Valerie Fund and 40 years of caring for critically ill children and their families from our area.
Below are the profiles of our final four Ambassadors for this year’s 25th Annual Thanksgiving Ball Gala.