The Valerie Fund Helps Children in Need

The Valerie Fund Helps Children in Need

Natalie Yarad

The Valerie Fund is an organization helping fund money for families with kids that have cancer. They hold walks, get togethers, summer camps, and have websites where you can help by donating money. The Valerie Fund was created by Ed a Sue Goldstein, this is there story:

“The Valerie Fund’s mission is to provide individualized care for children with cancer and blood disorders at medical centers close to home because we believe the most effective way to heal the children in our care is to treat them emotionally, socially and developmentally, as well as medically.” wrote The Valerie Fund.

At just nine-years-old, Valerie Goldstein lost her battle to cancer, her parents, Ed and Sue, were determined to help families in similar situations gain access to comprehensive care in child centered atmospheres close to home. They had spent the majority of Valerie’s short life traveling around the state of New Jersey, where they lived, to get her the most reliable pediatric cancer treatment; they found themselves in New York City. There was a ninety-minute drive between their home and the doctor’s that was trekked daily. For six years the Goldsteins made that journey: taking Valerie to doctor’s appointments, chemotherapy, radiation, emergency visits, surgery, and hospital stays. All of this meant leaving there other daughter, Stacy, only two-years older than Valerie, at home with babysitters. All of this consistent travelling took an emotional and physical toll on the whole family, wasting their energy at a time they needed it most.

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Sylvie Yarad before her first round of chemotherapy | Photo: Susan Yarad

In 1977, the first Valerie Fund Center was made at Overlook Hospital in Summit, New Jersey. Since then, over $2,250,000 has been donated. One of the best things about the Valerie Fund is that they overlook the sickness, they treat these kids like children instead of patients. Through the Valerie Fund, these kids are introduced to other kids of any age age and with any type of cancer to do crafts, watch movies, hang out, and be kids.

“I was 13, just days out from being 14 when I was diagnosed with stage IVb Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The Valerie Fund was there to relieve those feelings when I needed relief most. Going into the center made me feel safe, decreased my anxiety, and gave me a haven of protection. The nurses were so kind and understanding, they quickly became like a second family,” said Sylvie Yarad, a former cancer patient. “I became so attached to them and the feeling of understanding the center was able to create that when my treatment came to a close, it was hard to leave them and what had become my ‘new normal’. Yet even after I was declared remission, when I had joined the field hockey team, and started my freshman year, the Valerie Fund made sure that I still had a home with them. They invited me to speak at several events, to share my story and meet kids who had gone through what I had gone through. It gave me a sense of belonging in a world that felt like it had forgotten everything I had been through. The Valerie Fund has been and always will be family to me.”