After searching for a way to touch the lives of more children through their philanthropic endeavors, the Palermo Foundation finally found just the program– on CBS the Sunday Morning Show, a story about a dynamic arts in medicine program was highlighted. After viewing the segment, members of the foundation called one another about this exciting program. It was decided to explore the possibility of forming a partnership that satisfies both our missions.
This was the beginning of a relationship between the Palermo Foundation and Beads of Courage. We made an initial call to the founder and executive director, Jean Baruch, to talk how both our organizations could work together in affecting the lives of children afflicted with cancer.
Previously our foundation had made wishes come true for a number of children and their families annually. It was through the guidance of Dr. James Powell, a Hazleton born pediatric oncology doctor, who referred children’s names to us he knew of that were in need of assistance that we picked and sent them on vacations of their choosing.
In talking to Dr. Powell about the Beads of Courage program he recommended we contact Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital to see if they were interested in our program. After talking to their child life specialist director, we were surprised to find out Janet Weis wanted to implement the program, but were waiting to find a sponsor.
Once all the details were worked out, in November 2011 we held a kickoff event at the Janet Weis hospital to fund children enrolled in their oncology program. It was a day of watching young children getting their beads and stringing them together. The joy it brought only further convinced us that this was the program to be involved with.
Presently the programs sponsored at Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital are:
• Beads of Courage Flagship Program
• Beads of Courage Sibling Program
• Beads of Courage Summer Camp program
In the fall of 2013, we will be adding the cystic fibrosis unit enrolling children being treated for this breathing disorder.
We also volunteer at Camp Dost, a summer camp held at Camp Victory for children with cancer. It is a satisfying experience to be able to play a small part in helping children escape the day-to-day realities of having this disease.