Bethlehem Press

Saturday, May 26, 2018


Monday, July 3, 2017 by Joanna Ireland Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

The Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley (PCFLV) doesn’t just plan and run this weeklong camp. The organization assists families throughout the Lehigh Valley whose children have been recently diagnosed, are mid-treatment, or in remission or maintenance, says Stauffer.

“We offer a one-time free home ‘health’ cleaning in partnership with a local cleaning company so that when immune-compromised kids come home from the hospital for the first time,” said Stauffer, “they’re coming into a home that’s as clean as possible.”

The organization also plans and coordinates events for kids, like a recent field trip to a local Escape Room, a “chemo circus” – where volunteers visit kids in the hospital, accompanied by clowns, princesses, or other characters, and home visits to cheer up seriously ill children.

“We have an art therapy program called ‘Art Soup,’ which partners local artists with the kids to work on different projects, and on those days, we give parents a gift card to go out to eat and have a bit of a date night,” said Stauffer.

Everyone in the organization understands that a cancer diagnosis turns everything upside down. A parent may need to severely restrict working hours or quit a job to handle the myriad doctors’ appointments and treatments. The organization provides gift cards for gas, grocery stores, and hospital cafeterias.

Stauffer said that about 50 percent of the children involved with PCFLV are treated at Lehigh Valley Hospital and the other half travel to CHOP or St. Christopher’s.

Much of the organization’s capital comes from two annual fundraisers: Run to Live, a 5K/8K walk/run event, and Hearts of Gold, which won Lehigh Valley Style Magazine’s 2017 award for “Best Annual Charity or Social Event.”