The Valerie Fund Walk & JAG-ONE Physical Therapy 5K Run raises money for local children with cancer and blood disorders
Maplewood, N.J., September 20, 2022 - On Saturday, September 17th, more than 2,000 supporters joined together in a one mile walk around beautiful Verona Park in Essex County to celebrate the courage and resilience of children in our area being treated for cancer and blood disorders. 270 runners also took to the streets of Verona and West Orange in the JAG-ONE Physical Therapy 5K to start the day.
The Valerie Fund Walk & JAG-ONE Physical Therapy 5K Run is a community-wide event, now in its 17th year. "To see a sea of Valerie Fund Children, their families, friends, and strangers celebrating their winning battle against pediatric cancer is the most heartwarming experience you could ever imagine," said Ed and Sue Goldstein, founders of The Valerie Fund. "And to raise over eight hundred thousand dollars at this event to continue our fight for all our Valerie Fund Cancer patients brings tears to our eyes."
Since breaking the million-dollar mark in 2012, more than $11 million (including $824,000 and counting at this year's event!) has been raised to support the children and families of The Valerie Fund. More than 6,000 children with cancer and blood disorders benefit immeasurably by receiving their medical treatment close to home in a child-centered environment.
One such Valerie Fund child is Abigaël who was diagnosed with Stage One Osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer. "I never truly felt like 'the sick girl' in the hospital", said Abby. "I had an amazing team granted by the Valerie Fund. They helped bring normalcy to my life. From my endless pranks on Kelly, to helping organize for my floor to get Chick Fil-A with Kristen. And Stacy, who always peeked in to make sure I was okay, despite whatever floor she would be working on, they made being a patient my new normal." Today, Abby can proudly say that the three words that will stay with her forever are no longer "you have cancer" but instead, "I'm a survivor."
Generous corporate commitments were made by JAG-ONE Physical Therapy, the event's exclusive Run Sponsor, RWJ Barnabas Health, Atlantic Health System, The Edwin and Suzann Goldstein Family Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, Inserra Supermarkets, Saker ShopRites, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, and Verona Together. Burger King and Jersey Mikes has brought fundraising for The Valerie Fund into their restaurants during promotional campaigns at registers which has raised money and awareness.
Once again Gallant Entertainment donated their much acclaimed New York Giants Drum Line to send the walkers off with a high-energy performance. Walkers and runners enjoyed refreshments from Dunkin' and Jersey Mike's Subs. Crowd pleasers also included delicious food prepared by Eppes Essen of Livingston and snacks from Bimbo Bakeries USA. Other refreshments were generously supplied by Best's, Eight Hills Caterers and ShopRite of Lincoln Park, Village Shoprite, Saker Shoprite, and Wakefern.
The Valerie Fund is celebrating more than 46 years of caring for children with life-threatening diseases. After their nine-year-old daughter Valerie succumbed to cancer, Sue and Ed Goldstein were determined that no family should have to travel great distances to receive state-of-the-art medical care. Along with a group of close friends, they began fundraising efforts from their living room---tireless work that would lead to the 1977 opening of New Jersey's first pediatric oncology facility at Summit Overlook's Hospital.
For more information, please contact Bunny Flanders, Director of Marketing and Communications at email@example.com