The holidays are a time for family, friends and reflection and sometimes you can wrap all three together in a lovely bow. Saturday, December 9th, was the Second Annual Ugly-Sweater Holiday fundraising event for the Never Had a Bad Day Foundation. Inspired by Erik Baylis and his personal fight with cancer, the charity seeks to support pediatric cancer patients and their families as they navigate the costly and often lengthy process associated with cancer treatment.
Here are some rather startling statistics about childhood cancer from Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a foundation for childhood cancer.
Behind every case of pediatric cancer are mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, extended family and friends who help to bear the load of the child in need. The cost for travel, hotels, meals and even something as forgettable as parking add up quickly, sapping finances and increasing worries.
Imagine a nine-year-old child undergoing treatment for leukemia here in Chicago. Her parents, both of whom work, want to spend as much time with her as possible. As treatment drags on for weeks or months, the parents’ vacation and family days are quickly consumed. Soon the parents are forced into the decision of taking unpaid leave to be with their child.
In the meantime the cost for gas, meals and lodging to travel back and forth to the hospital pile up. No family budgets for an extended illness of their child, and within a few months their savings dwindle. The mental and emotional stress from travel, tight finances and uncertainly begin to wear on the husband and wife, making it increasingly difficult for them to stay positive and upbeat in front of their little girl fighting for her life.
This story is retold hundreds of times in pediatric cancer centers here in Chicago and it’s the mission of Never Had a Bad Day to help reduce the stresses these families endure, allowing them to focus their time and positive energy on healing the child.
Through events like the ugly-sweater holiday party we’re able to generate funds to help families with gas cards, groceries, lodging and more. While reducing the financial burden of the family is always welcomed, the Never Had a Bad Day foundation strives to make a personal, lasting connection with the entire family, forging a bond that helps to keep their attitude positive, and spirits high.
As we come close to celebrating our first year, the foundation has begun helping families and their children undergoing cancer treatment at the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Your generous financial donations lessens the family’s financial worries, and your love and time provide a source of continuing support that money alone cannot provide.
We look forward to sharing the stories of the families whom have let us into their lives.