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.
5. NEW PROGRAM IN 2021! Bell Ringing in a Box - when we polled our families in 2020, they chose where they would like to see Candlelighters make a new effort for our children with cancer, and that is helping them celebrate their end of treatment milestone with celebratory supplies for their bell ringing ceremony! Due to hospital restrictions, bell ringing celebrations are still not being offered in the hospitals and so we want to help our families celebrate at home with their loved ones!
6. As in 2020, we have made the tough decision to hold our family camp, Camp CLIFF, virtually this year, and as always, Fun Walk funds will go towards this lifechanging experience for our childhood cancer families.
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