I’ve been a pediatric oncology social worker at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC since Mother’s Hope Foundation began touching the hearts and minds of families struggling with childhood cancer here. Not only does Mother’s Hope assist families financially, but it’s the “hidden gifts’ that come along with it that are lasting and life-changing.  Parents have expressed to me that your “labor of love” has enabled them more freedom to visit their loved ones, brightened their outlook, lessened their burdens and lifted their spirits.  Families have told me that your care and support for them gives them HOPE that they will make it through.

I only wish you all could witness the family’s sincere gratitude, tears and hugs that belong to you.  I have experienced hearts enlarged by your gifts as parents look to the future to a time when they can give back too just as you have given to them.  Parents have asked why perfect strangers would do this for them.  My answer is that all families have been touched by cancer in some way and that many of those who have done this fundraising have been in the same situation they are in now.  I tell them that Mother’s Hope is not a stranger to them and they will not be left alone in their fight.

Sharon Lavallee, LSW

Oncology social worker

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

Sharon Lavallee, LSW