On Saturday evening, February 1st, my husband and I were invited to attend Feb Fest, a wine tasting and casino-style fundraising event for the Izzy Foundation. I knew about Izzy prior to the event, and learned even more about her there. I am officially “Izspired” to tell you her story!
My best friend became acquainted with Izzy and her family a few years ago when both families were going through the most difficult experiences of their lives…watching their daughters undergo cancer treatment. My best friend’s daughter is now a healthy 9 year old, but unfortunately, Izzy earned her angel wings two years ago when she was just 3 years old.
The daughter of two physicians, Izzy, was an adorable little girl who was diagnosed with Stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma just two weeks after her first birthday. She fought the disease for two years, and during that time, she inspired her family and everyone around her to live, love, laugh, and play. It is this philosophy that “Izspired” the Izzy Foundation, which now seeks to provide services and support to families with children who have debilitating diseases.
The Izzy Foundation, a non-profit organization [501(c)(3) designation] founded in Providence RI, has raised over $200,000 in less than two years, and has been the organization responsible for designing and renovating a new family room on the pediatric oncology floor at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence. In speaking with families who have spent countless days and nights at Hasbro, they unanimously agree that this was a VERY worthy project that will make a huge difference in the lives of the families who need to utilize the space. The Foundation is also working with Sandhills Children’s Center in North Carolina to make a handicap accessible playground.
The Feb Fest event that I recently attended was held at the Roger Williams Park Casino in Providence, and was a wonderful evening filled with fantastic food, wine, raffles, and casino games…all to benefit this great cause! It was truly heartwarming to see all the people there supporting the Izzy Foundation. I was particularly struck by the camaraderie among all of the families who are bound together by one single bond…they all have had a child with cancer. It is truly amazing how close they all are and how they all support one another. Equally striking was the amount of medical professionals who were in attendance…there were many well-known physicians (pediatricians, oncologists, gynecologists, orthopedics, etc) also there to support such a great organization.
As a mother of two and local business owner, I cannot help but want to get involved and support worthy Rhode Island charities that benefit children and families. The Izzy Foundation is just that! So it’s official…I have officially been “Izspired” by Izzy, and I think you should be too! http://theizzyfoundation.org//
Author: Melanie Loiselle-Mongeon, Vice President of Loiselle Insurance Agency