From One of Our Families: Victoria Shacreaw

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Last month, I had the pleasure to meet Victoria Shacreaw, a family from York PA, who was kind enough to share her experiences with pediatric cancer. Here’s Victoria in her own words:

“Our daughter Emily was diagnosed with brain cancer November 21st 2014 at only 17 months old. That day forever changed our lives. From the start was a 3 day hospital stay just for an MRI, then a break for Thanksgiving, then back to the hospital for a brain biopsy of the tumor in her brainstem. That was a 5 day hospital stay. Then the hospitals stays kept coming.  [We kept] driving back and fourth 90 miles round trip, with my husband having to take days, even weeks, off of work so someone could be home taking care of our other 2 children while I was at Hershey taking care of our daughter.  Now every Monday he takes off work so I can take our daughter to get her Chemotherapy. All the time off work and driving and medical bills on top of bills has really strained our family financially.

It came down to the point we needed help, more help then I was willing to admit at the time.  Our social worker at the hospital referred us to the Conner Holland Foundation and they reached out to us and asked us what we needed help with.  We discussed everything over the phone and face to face, they said they could help us and at that moment I felt a relief for the first time in 7 months.  We are so thankful that there are foundations like this that are there to help families out, because when it comes to childhood cancer, not only does it effect your child but it effects the whole family emotionally and financially. Thank you so much Conner Holland Foundation for relieving some of the pressure we had on us, we are so thankful for you guys!”

 

Victoria (left) and Emily Shacreaw

Victoria (left) and Emily Shacreaw

Foundation Helps 4 Families in June 2015

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We at the Conner M. Holland Foundation are passionate about assisting families affected by pediatric cancer, and the passion we displayed during this year’s fundraising gala continued as we issued 4 financial grants to those in need in June 2015.  One special family we helped this month was the Atterberry Family from York PA.  Anjannette cannot work as she provides 24/7 care for her son, Savion, as he undergoes treatment for pediatric cancer.  The funds we raised at this year’s gala allowed us to help Anjannette, allowing her to focus on the health and well being of Savion as he continues to fight his disease.

 

Savion and Anjannette Atterberry at Hershey Medical Center

Savion and Anjannette Atterberry at Hershey Medical Center

Thank you to our donors, who year after year continually sew into our organization, allowing us to make a impact in south central PA. We are grateful for your trust and partnership.

The 2015 Conner’s Comfy PJ’s Drive is in Full Swing!

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It’s May and this year’s Comfy PJ’s Drive is in full swing! Throughout the year, we work with individuals, businesses, academic organizations, and health facilities to collect and distribute pajamas to pediatric units throughout the region, while continuing our mission to fulfill Conner’s wish that every child receives a pair of comfortable pajamas during their stay in the hospital.

Last year proved to be another amazing year in the program, as we collected and distributed 1,345 pajamas, surpassing our initial goal of 1,200. Over 1,000 pajamas were distributed in alliance with the Hershey Medical Center, who have also continued to partner with us this year, to help ensure that every child receives a comfy new pair of pajamas for their inpatient stay.

For 2015, Sheryl Holland, co-founder of the Conner M. Holland Foundation, is hoping to expand Conner’s Comfy PJ Program in more ways than one. “Our goal this year is to collect at least 1,500 new pajamas, while expanding our reach to the entire state of Pennsylvania,” she said. “We are looking to partner with the University of Pittsburgh and the Geisinger Medical Center, but of course our long-term vision is to expand our reach outside and beyond the state of Pennsylvania.”

Along with the Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA, we will again be distributing to the following hospitals throughout the region:

  • Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital – Memphis, TN
  • Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP) – Philadelphia, PA
  • Christopher’s – Philadelphia, PA
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital – Allentown, PA

Since the program was inspired by Conner’s idea to share his love for comfy pj’s with other kids affected by pediatric cancer, Sheryl picked the month of May to kick off the pajama drive. “We picked the month of May because it is Conner’s birthday. Even though the drive runs through May, we will accept new pajamas with tags any time throughout the year. Every donation helps, and we also like to give our families who have received a Conner M. Holland Foundation grant a new pair of pajamas,” she says.

CMHF PJ Drive
So how can you help? The best way to help is to donate or collect new pajamas with tags and send them to the Conner M. Holland Foundation, PO Box 8721, Lancaster, PA 17604. You can also contact us at info@cmhollandfoundation.org or call 717-850-3540 for more ideas on how you can contribute to the drive. For health reasons, please remember that we can only accept brand new pajamas with tags, for both boys and girls, sizes 12 months to 16.

About Conner’s Comfy PJ Drive

Children who receive inpatient hospital care for cancer are typically limited in their ability to play, often times spending most of their days in bed. We believe making a child comfortable during their stay is important to their overall well-being. We created the Conner’s Comfy PJs Program to meet this need. Each year during the month of May, we collect new pajamas that are distributed year-round to pediatric cancer units at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), St. Christopher, St. Jude, the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the Lehigh Valley Hospital, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Geisinger Medical Center. Since the beginning of the program in 2012, we have collected and distributed over 3,100 pajamas to children across the region.

The 2nd Annual Conner M. Holland Foundation Fundraising Gala

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We are proud to announce that the 2nd Annual Conner M. Holland Foundation Fundraising Gala was a huge success, giving our attendees the opportunity to see first-hand how the foundation impacts the lives of families affected by pediatric cancer. With close to 190 individuals in attendance, it was wonderful to see the community come together to support our organization, and to also enjoy a relaxing evening of elegance and conversation at the Eden Resort in Lancaster, PA.

To help attendees gain a different perspective as to how our programs help families affected by pediatric cancer, we welcomed Susanne “Nurse Susie” Stantzos, a nurse who also took care of Conner, to speak about her experiences. “There was a mother who spoke Spanish and was taking care of her daughter in the hospital,” she said. “Her daughter was having a difficult day and had vomited all over her clothes. I provided her daughter with a pair of Conner’s Comfy PJ’s from the foundation. Even though there was a language barrier between us, the mother just hugged me tightly and told me how much the pajamas meant to her and her daughter.”

Angela Drzewiecki, a mother with a special needs child, and Emily Walker, a single mom and nurse, both shared their own personal stories of battling pediatric cancer and received grants in 2014. “I don’t know what we would have done if the foundation wasn’t there to help us,” said Angela Drzewiecki.

Last year we were able to provide financial assistance to eight families, giving them approximately three months of help with their rent and utilities. We gave them the opportunity to take the time to care for their children without having to worry about their expenses. This is the message that our foundation is built upon.


Although 2014 was a year of successes, we recognize there is still much work to be done. Through the partnership of our generous donors, we now have almost $25,000 that we can use to help families who are affected by pediatric cancer. This generous contribution will not only provide us with an opportunity to help more families this year, but also allow us to continue to expand our reach outside of our region and into South Central Pennsylvania.

We sincerely thank all who contributed to making this year’s Gala a bigger success than ever!

About the Conner M. Holland Foundation and How You Can Help

Caring for a child with pediatric cancer is one of the most challenging situations any parent could face. Medical problems quickly turn to financial issues as one or both caregivers stop working to focus on the health of their child. During this struggle, no one should have to worry about growing stacks of unpaid bills. At the Conner M. Holland Foundation, we aim to relieve families of financial and emotional burdens as they walk through the journey of a life-threatening illness. Since forming the foundation in the Spring of 2012, we have provided grants to 11 local families to help them as they fight pediatric cancer. We believe that together, we can make a difference.

If you would like some information about our foundation or how you can help, please contact us at info@cmhollandfoundation.org, or call us at 717-850-3540.

Thank You Again to Our 2015 Gala Sponsors for Your Support!

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We want to extend a sincere THANK YOU again to all of our 2015 Conner M. Holland Foundation Fundraising Gala Table Sponsors. Your partnership in helping us support families affected by pediatric cancer is greatly appreciated. With your help, we can truly make a difference!

Thank You!


Businesses

All Hands Interpreting Services, LLC Lititz Car Wash
Alure Salon Merves Amon & Barsz LLC, CPAs
ASL Services of Pennsylvania Moyers Mum Farm
BathCrest Associates Oregon Diary Supermarket
Brookhills Investment Group & RBC Wealth Management RS Hollinger & Son Inc.
Country View Manor Stambaugh Ness, CPAs
Custom Computer (Myers Computer Services) The Hess Agency
Evergreen Estates Retirement Community The Jennifer King Team of Re/MAX
Fravel Home Improvements & Remodeling Inc. Wiley’s Pharmacy
Jim’s Welding and Automotive in Manheim, PA Williams Apothecary, Inc.
Kurtz Molasses in Ephrata, PA Wood Corner Garage, Inc.
Landis Garage, Inc.

 

Individuals

Kevin Hale
Dereck and Tina Hench
Nate and Rebekah Hoffer
Kevin and Sheryl Holland
Steve Holland
John and Pat Kapp
Dean and Carrie Snyder

 

About Connor M. Holland Foundation

Caring for a child with pediatric cancer is one of the most challenging situations any parent could face. Medical problems quickly turn to financial issues as one or both caregivers stop working to focus on the health of their child. During this struggle, no one should have to worry about stacks of bills. At the Conner M. Holland Foundation, we aim to relieve families of financial and emotional burdens as they walk through the journey of a life-threatening illness. We believe that together, we can make a difference.

Based in south-central Pennsylvania, The Conner M. Holland Foundation is a recognized non-profit 501(c)3 organization that serves families in Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties. The official registration and financial information of the Conner M. Holland Foundation may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1 (800) 732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

For more information about our foundation or to find out how you can help, please email us at info@cmhollandfoundation.org.