After nine-year-old Valerie Goldstein lost her courageous fight against cancer in 1976, her parents Ed and Sue were determined to do something in her memory that would ease the burden of other families faced with the crisis of a sick child. They wanted Valerie’s courage to be memorialized in a meaningful way that would serve others in similar circumstances.
When Valerie became ill in the early 1970’s, there were no comprehensive care facilities for children with cancer and blood disorders in New Jersey. During the six years of her treatment, Valerie and her parents would travel several hundred miles a week to hospitals in New York City, the only place where Valerie could receive the most advanced care. Long, sometimes daily commutes from their home in Warren, NJ, parking hassles and expenses, the distress of Valerie being nauseous on the trip home, disrupted family life, rearranged work schedules—all these took an emotional and physical toll on Valerie and her parents, sapping their energy at a time when they needed it most.
The Valerie Fund was born in the Goldsteins' New Jersey basement - a group of benevolent friends supporting the Goldsteins’ wish that no family should have to endure what they had during Valerie’s treatment. The idea was simple: To provide families with regional outpatient treatment centers at top pediatric hospitals within an hour’s drive of most of the state’s population, providing state-of-the-art medical and emotional care in a happy, upbeat, child-centered atmosphere.
In 1977, The Valerie Fund Children's Center at Overlook Hospital opened, and became the first comprehensive care facility for children with cancer and blood disorders in New Jersey.
Please visit http://www.suzannbgoldstein.com and learn more about her book Unexpected Lives