The Valerie Fund Partners with CINJ on Pediatric Survivorship Program
New Brunswick, N.J.– A pair of forces dedicated to the youngest of patients afflicted with cancer and blood disorders have joined together to further address the unique needs of those children who survive their disease. The Valerie Fund is giving $500,000 over three years to The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) to enhance a program that addresses the numerous challenges faced by pediatric cancer survivors. A reception was recently held at CINJ to celebrate the new partnership. CINJ is New Jersey’s only Comprehensive Cancer Center as designated by the National Cancer Institute and a Center of Excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Childhood cancer survivors are at risk for developing late effects from the life-saving cancer treatments they receive, since treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy not only attack cancer, but also can damage healthy tissues and cells. Such damage, which may not develop for years, can be long lasting and disrupt health, normal growth and development, and overall well being.
The half-million dollar contribution will further support the program, formally renamed The Valerie Fund/CINJ LITE (Long-term, Information, Treatment effects and Evaluation) Program, which enables survivors of childhood cancer to experience the best quality of life by addressing such topics as late effects and follow-up medical and psycho-social care. The program, which also offers evaluation and referral services, will now operate from a dedicated space outside of CINJ’s pediatric hematology/oncology clinic.
Known widely throughout the region for supporting pediatric cancer and blood disorder programs in seven local hospitals throughout New Jersey and New York, as well as for operating Camp Happy Times, the Maplewood-based Valerie Fund heralds the new collaboration with CINJ as a logical next step in providing necessary services to pediatric patients long after their treatment has ended.
Barry Kirschner, executive director of The Valerie Fund, says they’re thrilled with the affiliation, “The Valerie Fund helps nearly 5,000 children, adolescents, and young adults each year. Through this new relationship with CINJ, we are pleased to be able to expand on that number and further our mission of providing the most comprehensive resources to our Valerie Fund patients, who will now have the opportunity to be evaluated by an expert team of late effects specialists.”
Margaret Masterson, MD, director of The Valerie Fund/CINJ LITE Program and associate professor of pediatrics at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School notes, “This gift will allow us to expand the amount of hours and patients seen in the program. With nearly 80 percent of childhood cancer patients surviving five years or more, being able to expand such services is critical. We are grateful to The Valerie Fund for its support of our continued mission.”
The CINJ Foundation raises funds to support cancer research, treatment, prevention and education programs of CINJ. Gifts are received from corporations, foundations, individuals, and through special events and planned gifts. To make a tax-deductible gift to New Jersey’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center call 732-235-8614 or visit www.cinjfoundation.org.
About The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is dedicated to improving the prevention, detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer. CINJ’s physician-scientists engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice, quite literally bringing research to life. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is a center of excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. To support CINJ, please call the Cancer Institute of New Jersey Foundation at 1-888-333-CINJ.
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides a mechanism to rapidly disseminate important discoveries into the community. Flagship Hospital: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Major Clinical Research Affiliate Hospitals: Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Hospital, and Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Affiliate Hospitals: Bayshore Community Hospital, CentraState Healthcare System, Cooper University Hospital*, JFK Medical Center, Mountainside Hospital, Raritan Bay Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton (CINJ at Hamilton), Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Somerset Medical Center, Southern Ocean County Hospital, The University Hospital/UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School*, and University Medical Center at Princeton. *Academic Affiliate
About The Valerie Fund
The Valerie Fund’s mission is to provide financial support for comprehensive health care of children with cancer and blood disorders.
The Valerie Fund is a not-for-profit organization established in 1976 in memory of nine-year-old Valerie Goldstein by her parents, Ed and Sue, who saw the need for making quality outpatient care available close to a child’s home. They realized that parents of sick children should not have to contend with exhaustive commutes to reach adequate medical care. Their grass-roots effort began in their basement with the help of dedicated friends and family.
Today, The Valerie Fund Children’s Centers, located at 7 major hospitals in the tri-state area, comprise one of the nation’s largest networks of health care facilities for children with cancer and blood disorders. These centers treat almost 5,000 children each year.
For more information visit www.thevaleriefund.org