This coming Saturday, WCBS 880 and CBS2 will be part of the Valerie Fund Walk and JAG Physical Therapy run in Verona, New Jersey. The annual event is a fundraiser for the organization which supports the comprehensive health care needs of children with cancer and blood disorder. All this week, reporter John Metaxas is looking at the people who work with the Valerie Fund and the families it supports. For more information, visit thevaleriefund.org
MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The Valerie Fund‘s help has inspired families and a whole town to come out and rally for the cause of fighting cancer and blood disorders, WCBS 880’s John Metaxas reported.
WCBS 880’s John Metaxas On The Story
It’s not easy trying to explain to a toddler that he has a brain tumor.
“I try to be honest with him about everything that we do and just kind of take it down to his level,” Kelly Rice told Metaxas.
But Rice is grateful that she and her son Thomas have the Valerie Fund in their lives.
“I think this is a very positive place,” she said. “I think everybody here feels like family. I think they really take on a role as caregivers.”
Thomas is undergoing chemotherapy and awaiting a stem cell transplant. But when he’s at the Valerie Fund’s Morristown facility, it’s always an experience tailored for him.
“He loves to play in the play room,” she said.
Even though he’s only three, Thomas has his own team in this year’s Valerie Fund Walk. Team Thomas is one of the leading fundraisers for the effort.
Thomas and his family are trying to help others while the Valerie Fund helps them.
“We hope that 2012 is our year, right?” Rice said. “We hope so, that’s going to be our year to get better.”
Warren Township has embraced the Valerie Fund as its own. Now another little girl, a cancer survivor, is leading the town’s efforts to honor Valerie’s memory.
“It’s going to help kids that have cancer and blood disorders and I feel really good about that,” said 10-year-old Alexa Richmond.
Richmond has just finished five years of treatments at the Valerie Fund, and now that’s she’s cancer free she wants to give something back.
Last year, she organized a cancer walk at her school and raised $10,000. This year, she’s expanded it.
“Our whole town is walking,” she said.
“The restaurants are doing dine and donates, the businesses. The whole town is trying to come together,” her mother Beth told Metaxas.
Dom Dibarry, whose son Nathan is a leukemia patient, is a part of it
“Support the children when they asks so that we’re empowering them and showing them that they can make a powerful difference,” he said.
Their goal this year is to raise $100,000 – all this from the power of two little girls.
Were you or someone you know helped by the Valerie Fund? Please feel free to share the story in the comments section below.