When the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJ CAR) launched a special fundraising initiative in 2014 to support children from our area being treated at The Valerie Fund Children's Centers, they might have predicted it would turn into one of their biggest industry-wide charitable efforts ever, raising over $2 million. After all, the franchised car and truck retailers they serve have long been champions of philanthropy and The Valerie Fund’s mission to support children with cancer and blood disorders resonated with so many. More than 200 dealerships throughout the state embraced the campaign over the years. In the showrooms, salespeople were kind enough to share their enthusiasm with customers who were made aware of the dealerships’ donations following their test drives and vehicle purchases. Some manufacturers also matched those contributions.
Former TVF patient Sylvie never let her cancer diagnosis stop her. In fact, she took her experiences during treatment and used them to make herself even stronger and more willing to face her fears. Join us as we hear from Sylvie about her time in a Valerie Fund Children's Center and what she learned from joining the TVF family.
Nicole Foster is a former Valerie Fund patient and cancer survivor. Recently, Nicole kindly offered to host a Wellness Workshop for survivors like herself. More than a dozen current and former Valerie Fund patients joined together to learn about the process of getting to a place of improved health and well-being. We have spoken about the importance of wellness and mental health on this blog before and you can refresh yourself by clicking here to learn about giving thanks, clicking here to learn about self-care for caregivers, or clicking here to learn tips on reducing stress. Join us as Nicole shares her story, her passion for health and wellness, and what her Wellness Workshop taught her fellow survivors.
Even Mother Nature seemed to understand our disappointment in missing the opportunity to be together in Verona Park. She provided a weekend of spectacular weather to temper our sadness that for the first time in many years, we wouldn't be able to honor the courage and resilience of our Valerie Fund patients and their families in a very public way. We traded our blues for a stunning blue, cloudless sky three days in a row. Many of our supporters, more than ready to get rid of built-up quarantine inertia, made the time to walk or run in their own neighborhoods on behalf of The Valerie Fund.
Isabella has been a part of the Valerie Fund family for many years now. She was treated at The Valerie Fund Center at Morristown Medical Center's Goryeb Children's Hospital, gone to Camp Happy Times, volunteered at events and in the office, and, closest to her heart, been team captain of Bella's Bunch at The Valerie Fund Walk & JAG-ONE Physical Therapy 5K. Let's learn a little bit more about her story and why the Walk is so important to her.
Many people use music to get through a bad time or to give them the power to fight back. Some people use music to put them in a good mood or to translate what they're feeling. Music Mondays is a recurring series featuring a playlist curated by a Valerie Fund kid, who in their own words, share what these songs mean to them.
Put on your headphones and join us for this month's Valerie Fund Music Mondays as we look at TVF patient Grace and mom Aubrey's playlist, "Rally Radio!"
When kids are going through treatment at a Valerie Fund Children's Center, they have the strength and tenacity to never give up. How could we do any less for them? We had to postpone The Valerie Fund Walk & JAG-ONE Physical Therapy 5K in Verona Park to October 3rd due to COVID-19 but we're not letting that get us down. On June 13th, the original date of the Walk & 5K, we are now hosting a brand new event - The Valerie Fund Virtual Walk & Run!
Many people are dealing with the isolation and disconnect from friends and family during the COVID-19 global pandemic and our Valerie Fund kids are no different. These challenging times may, in fact, amplify the anxiety that patients currently receiving treatment for cancer and blood disorders and their families are feeling. Fortunately, one high school student from South Orange, sister of a childhood cancer survivor decided to help bring some joy into patients’ lives when they could use it most.
Giving Tuesday is a world-renowned day of giving back every year - a way to stop for just a moment and remember those who need help. Normally, Giving Tuesday is the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving but in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, May 5 has been designated Giving TuesdayNOW to help those who need it most during this difficult time.
When we put a call out to Valerie Fund families to see how some of our kids are weathering this time of COVID-19 isolation, we didn't expect so many responses! Check out what even more of our kids and families are doing to pass the time at home and get inspired for your own family.