Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Press Release--A True Hero

August 16, 2007

Heroes for Children 5K Run/Walk
Matthew Marioni selected as Grand Marshall

Collin County –Matthew Marioni has been selected as one of the Grand Marshall for the Heroes for Children 5K Race/Walk, presented by WFAA, that will take place on Saturday, September 15th at The Shops of Legacy in Plano.

In February 2007, at age 13, Matthew was diagnosed with a type of cancer called Childhood Extracranial Germ Cell tumor, located in his chest near his heart and lungs, after going to the doctor complaining of a pain in his right shoulder.

After an x-ray showed that he had an enlarged heart, he went to the cardiologist and had a sonogram. The sonogram showed that his heart was fine. A CT scan revealed his family’s worst nightmare, that he had a large tumor located near his lungs and heart.
Because of the location of the tumor, Matthew went through four rounds of chemotherapy to try to shrink it before surgery was performed. Doctors decided it had to be removed. On May 21, 2007 the almost two pound tumor was taken out.

Matthews’s mother, Melissa had to quit her job to care for Matthew. His mom states, “When you have a child with a life threatening disease the last thing you want on your mind is how am I going to pay my bills but the thought does enter your mind and you can’t help it”. Heroes for Children provided financial assistance to Matthew’s family.

Individuals and teams can help support Heroes for Children so they can continue to provide financial assistance to families who have children battling cancer by registering for the 5K Run/Walk or the 1K Family Fun run event at http://www.heroesforchildren.org/5k.html.
September 15th, the date of the Heroes for Children 5k race/walk, will not only hold a special memory for Matthew because he is the Grand Marshall, but it is also his birthday. He will be turning 14. A day definitely worth celebrating!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Celebration for Heroes for Children!

The Board of Directors broke open a bottle of champagne in celebration last night. We toasted the memories of Allie and Taylor and the many families we have served since our creation in November of 2004. Our celebration? The fact that we crossed over the HALF A MILLION DOLLAR mark in relation to our program services for cancer families!! As we were still operating as Taylor's Angels until the end of 2004, we count this total from January 2005 to today.

That's right, half a million dollars spent on families in less than three years! So, what does that mean exactly? Well, it's....

  • 6 hospitals in Texas
  • 695 requests for assistance
  • 52 laptops donated directly to older children battling cancer
  • 48 funerals
  • 20 sperm banking requests
  • 10 wigs for teenage girls
  • Thousands of beads through the Beads of Courage program at Medical City Children's Hospital and coming soon to Christus Santa Rosa and MD Anderson
  • 2 wheelchair ramps
  • 1 prosthetic eye (covered the expense for a patient with eye cancer)
  • Much, much more!

I cannot tell you how happy we are to celebrate this milestone. Thank you for being apart of our celebration! Raise a glass--here's to many more requests and the next half a million to families!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Volunteer of the Month

Heroes for Children recognizes that we would not be where we are today if it wasn't for the commitment and love of our volunteers. Volunteers donate their time and energy to our mission, ensuring that more families are benefited each and every year.

It's time for our first Volunteer of the Month! Each month, we will feature a different volunteer of the month. It will remain on our website for the month, as well as be featured here on the Everyday Wishes blog.

The 2007 August Volunteer of the Month is Megan Williamson. Megan has been volunteering her time and energy helping launch our new fundraising program, the Superheroes Birthday Club! Be sure to visit the page (and yes, that is Megan's adorable son Hopper on the top of the page!) and click on the invitations to view. Each one was specially created for Heroes for Children by Megan!

And now, here is our fun questionnaire featuring Megan Williamson:

Name, Age, Occupation: Megan Williamson, 26, real estate investor & mom.

How did you get involved with HFC? After learning about HFC, we raised money for the organization in lieu of gifts for my sons first birthday party. Jenny saw the party invitation I had designed for it and asked me to help launch the "Super Heroes Birthday Club" by designing custom birthday invitations for the program...and they haven't been able to get rid of me since. ; )

Do you have any kids and/or pets? We have a son who is 15 months now, and three to many diva dogs.

From looking at you, no one would guess that... When someone knocks on my door and I answer they usually ask if my parents are home, when I get a manicure I will likely get asked if I'm getting my nails done for prom/homecoming, and when I went to the airport to show identification for my ticket she was surprised that I already had a drivers license. So from experience, I would say most people wouldn't guess that I'm older then what I am.

Favorite place to eat: Simon's Sushi in Plano

What's on your book shelf? On my bookshelf...to many to list. Presently residing in my nightstand for night time reading; Boundaries with Kids & Domicilium Decoratus.

What's in your iPod/CD changer? I don't know which is worse, that I don't have nor know how an iPod works, or that our CD changer only has Groove to the Music by the Backyardigans for my son to bop to.

Who's your hero? Someone that has been inspirational to me was my stepfather Walter Gregg, that I lost to cancer while I was pregnant with my son. He was very loved and respected and I admired him for his compassion to children in need throughout his life. After experiencing his fight with cancer and the effects it had on him and my family both emotionally and financially is what originally gave me the drive to become involved with Heroes For Children