As more and more children are seeking treatment at hospitals served by Connor’s Heroes, we are in need of the following:
Corporations, churches, community service groups who want to organize a charity drive for donations, gift cards, craft supplies, personal items, etc. for our Heroes Bags and Backpacks.
People who want to support our families behind the scenes by serving on our committees for marketing, development and planning events such as our Heroes Art Ball.
Volunteers who want to work directly with our families by training as a Superhero’s Sidekick or as Helping Heroes.
Passionate citizens who want researchers in Richmond to impact the study of treatment and cures for cancer's youngest patients.
Walking into clinic, I recognize the parents who just learned their child has cancer. They look stunned, scared and overwhelmed - the same emotions I had when my son, Connor, was diagnosed. I am convinced that what makes Connor’s Heroes relevant to a family is the fact I walked in their shoes. The programs we offer anticipate a family's needs before they are even aware of those needs. We provide gas and grocery cards for parents, arrange for a free house cleaning or schedule a family portrait before the effects of chemotherapy set in. When our volunteers decorate a pediatric bone marrow transplant patient's room, they help relieve a child’s stress and anxiety about starting a long, isolating treatment. I am honored to have shared the journeys of close to 1,000 families since I started Connor’s Heroes. Connor’s Heroes is named after my son and in honor of the community of heroes who stood by my side during his illness. No family should face the burden of cancer alone. Connor’s Heroes gives them a community of support.
Lisa Goodwin is Co-founder and Managing Director of Connor’s Heroes Foundation. Lisa began her professional career as a social worker who supported a program providing transitional housing and case management support for single mothers. Although she was able to positively impact the lives of many women and children, she sought a graduate degree in order to make a difference on a larger scale. Lisa obtained her law degree and practiced as a full-time environmental attorney, while providing pro bono legal assistance to women from the YWCA domestic abuse shelter and Central Virginia Legal Aid. When her son, Connor, was diagnosed with leukemia, Lisa left the full-time practice of law and guided her family through his two and a half years of treatment. As Co-founder and Managing Director of CHF, Lisa has provided direct emotional and financial support to the parents of a child with cancer. Her first-hand knowledge of the difficult journey these families will take makes her perfectly suited to provide support. She has received numerous comments from mothers who found her support invaluable.
Connor's Heroes gives every pediatric patient (infant to age 20) diagnosed with cancer at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU a Heroes Backpack. Each backpack contain age-appropriate gifts and activities (such as Leapsters, portable DVD players, scrapbook kits, books, crafts, toys, and stuffed animals). We reach out to parents as well, giving them a Heroes Tote Bag with toiletries, playing cards, journals, vouchers for meals in the hospital, a gas card, note cards and stamps, and a free portrait with a local photographer. We continue supporting the family by visiting them in the hospital, bringing them more gift cards and vouchers for healthy meals. After the family arrives home, they receive a free housecleaning by a professional cleaning service arranged through Connor’s Heroes. We partner with CJ’s Thumbs Up to provide the Lunch Bunch Program - a free catered lunch provided to any family on the Pediatric Floor at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.
Pediatric patients in Virginia who need a bone marrow transplant are treated on the adult bone marrow transplant unit at VCU Massey Cancer Center. These treatments last for extended periods of time, from three weeks to 18 months. A child is often isolated from friends with limited visits with family. Connor's Heroes knows that the families of children in bone marrow treatment need extra support and encouragement during a very uncertain time. The programs Connor’s Heroes offers are designed to bring delight to a child’s day and reassurance to the child’s parents. Our volunteers decorate a child’s hospital room with items relating to the patient’s interests. On the day of admission, a child opens the door to his/her hospital room to discover it decorated with his/her favorite cartoon characters, colors, sports teams and bedding. The volunteers leave gifts for the parents who usually live in the hospital with their child. We give a patient a gift commemorating “Day Zero,” the day a transplant is complete. Connor's Heroes also created The Room of Possibilities: a room where patients and their families can spend time together playing board games or the Wii, watching a large-screen television, using a desktop or laptop computer, doing arts and crafts, or reading books.
Dozens of children are at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU, in and out of clinic, with their parents living the new normal of childhood cancer. Housework, healthy meals, lawn care get put to the side. Do you blame them? Connor's Heroes understands the needs of our hero families. Many want a clean house, a decent dinner and a raked yard but these are not a priority when you're helping your child through a round of chemo. This is why we created the Helping Heroes program. As we get to know a family, we learn where they need help. We develop a personalized care calendar to organize volunteers who will assist the family. Volunteers deliver meals, shop for groceries, run errands and do yard work. Our Helping Heroes offer simple acts of kindness to make it easier for parents to focus on their children.
Pediatric cancer is the #1 disease killer of children yet it is severely underfunded. Connor’s Heroes is working to change that statistic. We started the Connor’s Heroes Pediatric Cancer Research Fund in 2007. It is the only fund with VCU Massey Cancer Center dedicated to research in the treatments and cures of pediatric cancer. We will conduct research in Richmond but our results will be shared with pediatric oncologists worldwide. In Fall 2015, Dr. Seth Corey was hired as the first endowed chair in pediatric oncology at VCU. He will lead a team of researchers with the hope of making strides in the fight against childhood cancer.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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