Jacksonville, FL — 25 years ago, two mothers who were passing acquaintances joined forces when they were informed about a critical need. The Child Life Specialist in Oncology at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Joli Craver, was told her position was being eliminated due to budget cuts.
For Jan Saltmarsh and Laura Ferrante, that was unacceptable. Miss Joli, as their children called her, was a critical ally in their fight. Both Jan and Laura’s daughters were in cancer treatment. And both girls actually looked forward to going to clinic because Miss Joli made it fun.
Jan and Laura set out on a mission to find donors who would be willing to support the Child Life Specialist. And with that, the Child Cancer Fund was born. 25 years later, Miss Joli is still entertaining kids who are in various stages of cancer treatment, and her position will forever be in place at Nemours through a restricted fund.
In 2015, News 104.5 WOKV partnered with the Child Cancer Fund to launch the WOKV Careathon, a day-long broadcast featuring stories from local childhood cancer survivors and their families. Every dollar raised through Careathon goes directly to local families through multiple programs offered by the Child Cancer Fund.
BID NOW: Careathon auction
In four short years, Careathon has raised nearly $720,000. Proceeds from Careathon have helped complete the Child Life Specialist restricted fund and have paid for financial assistance and support services offered by the Child Cancer Fund.
Here is what a donation to the Child Cancer Fund can accomplish:
$1,000 pays for Mom or Dad's support group for an entire year (meals, meeting space, etc.)
$750 pays for a family weekend at Camp Boggy Creek in Central Florida
$500 covers the cost of a private tutor so child don't fall behind in school
$100 covers the cost of a gift card for groceries for a family battling pediatric cancer
$50 pays for gas to get to and from treatment, in some cases daily
$25 pays for books with information for newly diagnosed families
$10 covers snacks, toys, and diversionary supplies for the Child Life Specialist to use with a child
Volunteers from the Child Cancer Fund and Cox Media Group Jacksonville will be taking donations by phone from 5am - 6pm on Friday at 855-636-6877. Secure donations can be made online directly to the Child Cancer Fund. And donations can be made through the 2019 Careathon Auction, which is open until Monday, July 15th at 12pm.