When we started this foundation three years ago, our goal was simply to get another family a handheld blood analyzer so they could have a little more control over a medical condition that takes a lot of guesswork. And no one should have to rely on guesswork to keep their children from ER trips and hospitalizations or worse. That goal has been achieved 14 times since. We have nothing but gratitude for the support that has come in to make this happen and we plan to continue this work.
Our ongoing mission is to provide quality-of-life support for children who survived brain tumors and we are identifying ways to do this through providing access to educational resources, supporting research on improving the side effects of brain tumors and working with treating doctors to help them better understand their patients. We are in a place of taking this to the next level by getting real staff, expanding our board of directors and growing our partnerships to further our work.
Yesterday, we received a $132,000 donation that will move the needle for this foundation. A huge thank you from the bottom of our hearts to the hard work and dedication of the DC Dancing Stars Gala chairs Jim David and Maria Coakley David, the staff who makes this event possible, Ashley Lambdin and Elaine Doody, our amazing dancers Lindsey Keatley and Cecily Fernandez and all the dancers that worked so hard to raise an astounding amount of money, the dedication of our board member, Caroline Coakley, and support from the donors including our local silent auction contributors. This donation will enable us to build capacity to further our efforts on behalf of the children and families we serve.
We will be tackling issues like leveraging technology for data capture and communication with treating doctors via a web application, digging deeper on hypothalamic obesity – a devastating side effect of certain brain tumors, finding ways to better understand the psychosocial implications of these tumors to improve the simple act of these kids making friends their own age – something most kids take for granted.
We grateful beyond words for this opportunity to expand and move forward. This is truly a pivotal moment for Raymond A. Wood Foundation and while this donation is the largest in our history and in the history of the gala — your ongoing support is still very vital to our continuing efforts.
The DC Dancing Stars gala has raised an impressive $1.8 million dollars to-date for charitable organizations and has contributed about $175,000 to the Wood Foundation over the last 3 years. 2019 was a record breaking event with fierce competition in the name of charitable organizations like Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Jennifer Bush Lawson Foundation — to name a few. We are honored to stand alongside these organizations. Thank you DC Dancing Stars Gala for making a difference in the lives of our kids and Investing in our mission. There are no words that truly describe the depth of our gratitude but you will see in in our actions as we take this mission to the next level.
We can’t wait until next year! For more information, visit the DC Dancing Stars website.
Stay tuned for our third year of Art of Surviving, an online exhibition of art, prose and poetry by pediatric brain tumor survivors and the CHOP Pediatric Pituitary Brain Tumor Day happening this May.