My husband Stan and I are sponsoring a Fun Walk Team this year, as we do every year, in memory of our daughter, Ellen, who died of brain cancer at the age of 7 in 2001. Candlelighters provided tremendous support to our family throughout Ellen’s treatment, so we are committed to raising funds for Candlelighters to help other families of children with cancer. Please consider contributing to Candlelighters on behalf of the Ellen O’Neal Team.
The Fun Walk raises money for our services and programs which are offered FREE to children with cancer and their families. This has obviously changed quite a bit since COVID-19 hit, and we are so proud of how we’ve adapted our processes to continue our mission throughout this trying time.
Here's what Fun Walk donations will be used toward this year:
1. Hospital Parking Assistance - we've still been able to provide hospital parking financial assistance to families digitally.
2. Emotional Support - families more than ever before are nervous to leave their homes, feeling isolated, being torn apart (thanks to hospital visitor restrictions) and we've been ramping up all our peer-to-peer support efforts. Our weekly support group meetings have grown, and our Parent Consultants are working around the clock to touch base and check-in with our families and their needs.
3. Gas Cards & Grocery Cards - these have probably been our top request throughout the COVID-19 crisis as families more than ever are strapped for basic needs thanks to furloughs and layoffs.
4. Memorial Funds - cancer hasn't quit unfortunately. Children are still being diagnosed and earning their angel wings. Candlelighters provides financial assistance for families to hold memorial services for their children.
In addition to our daily efforts, we're staying on top of the CDC and American Oncology Camping Association message boards to make the best decision for our weekend family camp, Camp CLIFF. Many camps offer the child with cancer a getaway, but Candlelighters believes that it is very important for the whole family to come together away from the treatment facilities and their everyday hectic lives. Quality time as a family is essential in their struggle to beat the disease. We truly hope to offer some type of camping activities for our families this year, and Fun Walk funds will help us accomplish this goal.
Thank you for supporting the Ellen O’Neal Team and for helping all of the childhood cancer families served by Candlelighters!
Joellen Snow and Stan O’Neal