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Fundraiser to benefit the Valerie Center and the Foley PICU at Goryeb Children's Hospital
On December 13, 2017, our then 6-year old son, Jack Farina, was diagnosed with leukemia. In an instant, our once-perfect life was changed forever. Our beautiful, smart, funny and athletic son had cancer. The palpable fear, confusion, despair and anger that we experienced, to this day, remains unexplainable. It was like an alternate reality. A living nightmare. All your hopes and dreams crushed. Life would never be the same.
In those dark early days, we were blessed to have the great wisdom and support of the pediatric oncology team at Goryeb Children’s Hospital’s Valerie Center in Morristown, NJ, to guide us. The expertise, compassion and dedication of this group of professionals is beyond reproach. Many families in our situation need to travel and/or even relocate to get the specialized care they need for their cancer kid. In our case, we are so grateful that the Valerie Center is less than a 10-minute drive from our home. The fact that we have this place has enabled us to maintain a sense of "normalcy" for Jack without requiring him to uproot his life. He is surrounded by his friends and loved ones constantly.
Today, 16 months after his diagnosis, Jack is thriving.
e serves as a beacon of hope for other kids at the Valerie Center. Jack has maintained a quiet confidence throughout the course of his treatment protocol. His remarkable bravery and toughness has been inspirational, not only for other kids, but for us as his parents, and the entire staff at the Valerie Center. Jack has opted to receive his spinal taps awake, without anesthesia. He decided on his own to have his chest port removed and receives needle IV chemo treatments without complaint or fear. He has been blessed with an impenetrable positive demeanor which has greatly guided him even through the most intense parts of his protocol.
Last spring, the most challenging phase of Jack's treatment coincided with the start of his Little League baseball season. Our baseball team came together and ran a gift card fundraiser to benefit the kids and families being treated at the Valerie Center.
We raised over $6,000 as a result,
read that story here
This was accomplished with very little promotion.
This year, we would like to do more. I am asking you to help us.
Every time that Andrea, Jack and I visit the Valerie Center for a scheduled treatment, we witness families and children who are struggling with various forms of cancer. It's devastating. We cannot sit by idly and watch when we are able to help. We firmly believe that we've been chosen to go through this ordeal to help others. Many families are financially compromised. Single parent households, or families that have multiple children to care for. The economic and emotional toll of having a child with cancer is significant. Many families drive one to two hours to reach the Valerie Center. Quite often, at least one parent needs to leave his or her job to dedicate the time necessary to be there for his or her child. Others depend on the generosity of others. Raising funds to convert to smaller denomination gift cards is an effective way to help these families. Last year, we converted the money raised into gift cards for gas, groceries and meals. Also, gift cards are awarded to kids when they complete a treatment. It brings a smile to their faces to get an Amazon, Target, Xbox, card, etc.
The Valerie Center is a busy place, with close to 4,400 outpatient visits and 350 inpatient admissions for 1,900 inpatient days each year. This fundraiser will make a difference. Goryeb Children’s Hospital is currently raising funds for a much-needed renovation and expansion of the Valerie Center and the Foley PICU. Part of the funds raised will also fund this initiative.
Last September, I made a speech at Goryeb Children’s Hospital to help raise money for this expansion.
Click here to listen to my speech
Help us make a difference. If you are not able to financially contribute, then the next best thing you can do is SHARE THIS FUNDRAISING LINK among your social network, family, friends, etc. Help spread the word. Also, for those of you who work at larger corporations, it would be impactful if you could ask about a corporate match. Andrea and I will be matching the first $1,500 raised.
To donate, please click ‘Make a Contribution’
on the top right of this webpage.
Lastly, the day before Jack was diagnosed, we also weren't the parents of a child with cancer. We are no different than you. Please support this initiative. It's going to directly and tangibly benefit those going through the worst, most frightening experience that any family can go through.
Love, Nick & Andrea Farina
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Thank you for sharing your story and for everything you have done to support Goryeb Children's Hospital!
For the kids and families in the fight and dedicated oncology team at the Valerie Center. This place is doing God's work. Thank you for saving my son's life. We will never know how to truly repay you.
Chris & Kristan Sands
Jack is such an inspiration to us all! Through it all, he always has a smile on his face! Such a sweetheart! Love what you are doing to give back to the Hospital and all of the families!
Happy to support your efforts!
On behalf of our grandson, Jack Farina, to help other children with cancer.
Love and prayers always! Karen and Frank Aversa
Love you my Jack. ❤️ You make us all so proud. Love, Aunt Melin
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