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Valerie Fund Helps Young Cancer Patients Live More Normal Lives

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CBS New York (con't)

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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) - For children with cancer and blood disorders, living a normal life is a challenge, but it’s one eased by the people at the Valerie Fund, WCBS 880’s John Metaxas reported.

WCBS 880’s John Metaxas On The Story

No time is a good time to get leukemia, but for Kara Midlidge, the timing couldn’t have been worse. The diagnosis came just weeks into her senior year at Bernards High School.

“Obviously it upset me at first because I realized I wasn’t going to be there for possibly one of the funnest years of high school,” she told Metaxas.

But Kara has a good attitude and she’s taken it in stride, juggling chemotherapy and college applications at the same time. She said having the Valerie Fund at her side has made it seem doable.

“They’ve made it really important to make sure that if I want to go to a dance or if I want to go to something at school, I say I want to go,” she said.

Keeping normalcy in the lives of the young patients there is a goal of the Valerie Fund. It means they can keep their focus where it should be.

“I want to study elementary education and… I’m focused on getting to college,” she said.

Kara was accepted by Trinity College and will attend in the fall.

Having cancer is hard enough, but when you’re a kid, it can be terrifying.

That’s why the people at the Valerie Fund are committed to making cancer treatments as kid-friendly as possible. It makes a real difference to nine-year-old cancer patient Claire Silverstein.

“I like it a lot,” she told Metaxas. “It’s very encouraging and it makes me feel good about myself.”

And feeling good about yourself can be crucial to recovery.

“Never once does she complain about coming here,” her mother Veronica said. “It’s not a thing where we get up in the morning and she’s not interested in coming to get her treatment.”

“I just think that they have such a compassion, just a kindness, caring. They truly treat every child like it is their own child,” said Stephanie Schmidt, mother of Jake, another young patient.

At the Valerie Fund, they believe that to truly heal children, they must treat the whole patient.

Were you or anyone you know helped by the Valerie Fund? Please feel free to share the story in the comments section below.