Thomas Rice Died Of Cancer Last Year At The Age Of Three

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A family who knows firsthand about coping with tragedy is turning that pain into a lesson in giving back to others facing similar heartache.

Kelly and Michael Rice lost their 3-year-old son Thomas to cancer in June.

They’re remembering their son by raising funds for families who may be going through the same experience with their Tunes For Thomas event.

“Thomas was 2 years old at diagnosis,” Kelly Rice told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu. “The Valerie Fund was very supportive emotionally, obviously medically, and it felt like a second home where they truly loved out family.”

LINK: More On ‘Tunes For Thomas’

The Valerie Fund has been in operation for 36 years and helps more than 4,000 children with cancer and blood disorders each year.

“We try to make sure that the families can get their treatment as close to home. Being treated close to home is really, really important, especially with the young kids,” said Bunny Flanders with The Valerie Fund. “Not only are we treating the patient, we’re treating the spirit of the family.”

Rice said she came up with Tunes For Thomas to raise money for the Valerie Fund and to offer support for other families going through similar difficulties. She said the event helps her honor Thomas.

The event will feature activities for kids, music and food.

The Tunes for Thomas event will be held Saturday, May 4 at Lewis Morris Park in Morristown, N.J.

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