top of page

Site Search

91 items found for ""

Pages (40)

  • ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation

    We're here to make life a little better. Your generosity means kids like Gavin don't have to face cancer alone. Give Today Gavin, 11 Ewing Sarcoma better. How we help our families: Community & Connection Fighting cancer can be an isolating experience. We helped our kids and families build meaningful connections throughout 2023 with more than 100 program events. Educational Support On average, kids miss 43 days of school during their first year of treatment. In 2023, we helped more than 500 patients return to school with the support they need to be successful. Financial Assistance Half of all families with a child in treatment will experience severe financial hardship. In 2022, we helped 140 families stay afloat with nearly $200,000 to cover everyday expenses. Get Support Through your generosity, we've been able to provide Assistance, Support, and Kindness to over 1,000 people in our community impacted by childhood cancer. People like ASK parents Russ and Jenny, and their 11-year-old son, Gavin, who was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma. ​ Meet this amazing family as they share their story and see how your support provided the care and community they needed to make it through the impossible. See More Impact 6-7 children are diagnosed with cancer every week in Virginia. Let’s give them a hand and help make life better any way we can. How to Get Involved > What's new? Meet ASK Kid Adrienne 6 hours ago Meet ASK Kid Gavin Apr 26 Supporting Families Fighting Childhood Cancer: Lending a Hand from the Moment of Diagnosis Apr 19 See More Posts Connect with ASK Facebook Instagram YouTube Linkedin Flickr TikTok Twitter Stay Connected with ASK

  • Family Support | ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation

    Financial Assistance Everyday Relief & Resources In Clinic Support Mental & Emotional Wellbeing Bereavement Support FAMILY SUPPORT SUPPORT We understand how isolating a cancer diagnosis can be. We are here with you every step of the way. As we always say, once an ASK family, always an ASK family. New to ASK? Fill out our Enrollment Form to officially join the ASK community! Enrollment Form Forma de Inscripción Financial Assistance Everyday Relief & Resources In Clinic Support Mental & Emotional Wellbeing Bereavement Support Financial Assistance A childhood cancer diagnosis can be devastating for families, financially as well as emotionally. Expenses during treatment can overwhelm an otherwise financially secure family. ASK is here to help. We offer financial assistance to families being treated at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, UVA Children’s Hospital, Carilion Children’s, Inova Schar Cancer Institute, and Fredericksburg area families treated at Children’s National. Qualified families may apply for help paying non-medical (housing, utilities, transportation) bills. Apply Now Aplica Aqui We are proud to support families across Virginia in their cancer journey. As a proud partner of Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU for nearly 50 years, we are proud of the following resources and support families can expect while receiving care in the ASK Hematology/Oncology Clinic at CHOR. We hope to expand this support to our other treatment center partners across the state in the future. Everyday Relief & Resources Kim Stroud, MSW Family Support Manager Get In Touch Meet Kim ASK Family Support Manager, Kim Stroud, talks with families to see what can make their experience less stressful, often connecting families with financial support and community resources. ​ How She Helps The challenges that come with a childhood cancer diagnosis can look a little different for everyone. Kim provides the level of support that works with your needs, such as: providing gas and grocery gift cards to help ease the financial burden checking in regularly to offer a kind word or listening ear providing a pick-me-up surprise when your child or their siblings feel down connecting you with community partners for everyday needs, such a s a free oil change* Managing your household, bills, and daily responsibilities does not stop after your child’s diagnosis and Kim is there to help alleviate some of that stress for you and your family. We always encourage families to check in with their hospital social worker, too, to see what other organizations may be able to help. *Free oil changes are currently only available for families in active treatment. In Clinic Support Meet Katie ASK Child Life Specialist, Katie Barber (also known as “Miss Katie” to our kids!) is one of the first people you will meet while in clinic. She is here to ease your child’s anxiety as they receive treatment in the ASK Clinic. ​ How She Helps Katie uses medical play to teach kids about what they are going through, like accessing their port. What looks like play is really a clever way to help kids feel less stressed at clinic! This helps them understand what the doctors and nurses are doing to make it less scary. Katie can also help by: providing fun distractions like crafts, games, and playing with toys encouraging your child to do an art project or engage in pretend play to help them express their feelings teaching your child how to find their voice and speak up for what makes them comfortable ASK is proud to fund this child life position at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Katie Barber Child Life Specialist Get In Touch Take the Virtual Tour! Mental & Emotional Wellbeing Rev. Rich Catlett, BCC Chaplain Get In Touch Managing the emotional impacts of a cancer diagnosis is an important part of caring for your child and family. ASK provides funding to Children’s Hospital of Richmond to support mental health services for patients, siblings and parents. ​ How We Help The psychology team can help families with a wide range of topics, from pill swallowing and needle phobia to parenting tips to managing ADHD. Mental health support services include: ​ Assessments Individual & Family Therapy Coping Skills & Support Parent Training Pain & Symptom Management Meet Rich ASK Chaplain, Rich Catlett, is available wherever your child is along their treatment journey in the Children’s Hospital of Richmond. Chaplains support families with a strong religious faith as well as those who don’t claim any religion. How He Helps Spiritual support can vary widely to include prayer, addressing concerns about death and after life, dealing with a loss of faith, or discussing ways to use spirituality for strength. Whatever your beliefs, Rich listens to your concerns and helps you process what is happening. ASK is proud to fund this chaplain position at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Bereavement Support Ev en with the best doctors and medicines, the heartbreaking reality is that some children lose their fight to cancer. We feel your heartache and mourn the loss of your child. ​ Our chapla in and su pport team will be with you throughout your grief and moments of remembrance, as much as you need us to be. ASK financial assistance is available to help with funeral services, and connect you with community grief and loss resources that can help your family process your loss. ​ If you need a break from ASK after you've lost your child, that's okay and completely normal. Know that our community is ready and waiting with open arms to welcome you back, when you're ready. Because once an ASK family, always an ASK family. “Katie knows just when to step in and offer assistance. She does an incredible job of calming stressful situations.”

  • Community & Connection | ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation

    COMMUNITY & CONNECTION CONNECTION Cancer treatment and survivorship can feel very isolating for everyone in the family. Social connection with others who understand the unique challenges along the cancer journey is helpful for the whole family. Our goal is to build opportunities for community and connection among ASK kids, siblings, parents and caregivers. ​ Keep scrolling to learn about our most popular opportunities for community & connection, or visit the Program Events page to learn about all the different types of events we offer throughout the year! ASK Program Events Summer Camp Every summer we host Summer Camp in Richmond and Fredericksburg. ASK’s Summer Camp is a day-camp experience for ASK kids and their siblings. We understand and accommodate the range of emotional, physical, and developmental challenges that can follow cancer treatment. We do crafts, play games, tell stories, and we talk openly and confidently about our cancer experience. We also welcome guests from around our community for interactive activities and learning opportunities. Younger kids can meet older kids who are survivors, too. Best of all, they make friends. Retreats ASK holds retreats throughout the year; two for middle school and high school survivors and one for young adult cancer survivors (YACS). Held at local camps and conference centers, the retreats include team-building activities, games, wellness topics and connection with peers. Holiday Cheer Our Annual Holiday Party is a tradition that every ASK family loves. Families come out to celebrate the season, meet up with their ASK friends, and remember all of the fun events we have enjoyed throughout the year. Everyone loves stopping for a photo with Santa, eating snacks, dancing to music, and leaving with a special present to start the holiday season off right! ​ For families with children in active treatment who cannot attend our Holiday Party, we provide private 1-on-1 visits with Santa at the ASK Family Center for maximum safety and comfort. Parent & Caregiver Socials We hold quarterly Parent & Caregiver Socials in our ASK Family Center. These even ts provide a chance for parents to connect in a safe space, share experiences, and lend a listening ear! Each social includes a fun activity to enjoy as they meet other parents navigating life after a cancer diagnosis. We als o provide quarterly Parent Night Out events to allow parents a chance to get out and enjoy a night to themselves. Sibling Socials Often when one child in a family has a complex medical diagnosis siblings feel left out. We offer special events just for siblings to come together and play laser tag, go horseback riding, or enjoy a glow party! These events make the sibling the focus of attention and bring them together with other kids in their same situation, cancer affects all members of a family. ASK Family Center Opened in May 2021, the Family Center is ASK’s colorful, kid-friendly “home base.” It’s a meeting place for fun events. It’s a safe space for parents and caregivers to gather to tell their stories. It’s a big, open room with movable furniture for kids to play after their homework is done. It’s where we want you to gather and feel at home. It’s where we work, learn, and play! Take a Tour "Your retreats are such a beautiful part of my year. It's our annual family reunion. We get to check in on each other, support each other, and welcome new people that need our community." - Young Adult Can cer Survivor

View All

Blog Posts (51)

  • Meet ASK Kid Adrienne

    Adrienne’s positive energy and smile light up every room she enters. Right away, you wouldn’t know that Adrienne lives with chronic pain and has spent countless nights in the hospital fighting complications from Sickle Cell Anemia, an inherited group of blood disorders that causes the red blood cells to form in a sickle shape. Diagnosed at birth, Adrienne doesn’t know any other way of life and is very comfortable navigating pain meds, hospitalizations, and ER visits – but her mom just wants her to be a typical teenager. “Adrienne is very active in church and loves to sing and dance,” laughs her mom, Gisele. “Her cousins and siblings are her best friends, and she loves to go to school when she can and hang out with her friends at church. But ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation is our backbone, and the staff and other ASK families are our extended family. They feed us emotionally, spiritually and physically in the good times and the bad. I truly don’t know what we would do without them!” Gisele describes the time that Adrienne spent more than 15 days on a ventilator as “the most devastating time in [her] life,” but ASK’s financial support allowed her to stay in the hospital with her daughter, providing meals and paying some bills so that Gisele could focus on Adrienne. When Adrienne is feeling well, she loves to participate in ASK’s many family events and programs, like camps, Flying Squirrels games, trips to the zoo, and ASK’s annual Holiday Party. “ASK is always here for our family and provides anything we need, even furniture. If they don’t have it, they can find it!" - Gisele, Adrienne's mom "From the time Adrienne was two and participated in the ASK preschool program and all through her journey, ASK has provided for us, cared for us, and educated us on Sickle Cell,” Gisele continues. “This has empowered me to be an advocate in my community to raise awareness about the disease.” “ASK changes lives for families who are going through horrific ordeals, whether it’s Sickle Cell Anemia or childhood cancer. They let the child be a child, despite their circumstances. Sickle Cell affects every major organ in the body and is not for the weak. Thankfully, ASK is our partner and will never leave us. We are family for life!”

  • Meet ASK Kid Gavin

    "I had equal amounts of fear and anxiety watching him... praying to God that this was not his last race," shares ASK mom Jenny, thinking back to the bittersweet moment she watched her son, Gavin, catch up to the pack and finish first at his swim meet. The next day, he would undergo a biopsy for the mass growing in his right leg and begin the race for his life. "Gavin was very active, into sports. Baseball, swimming, and just any other active 10-year-old thing you can imagine," says Russ, Gavin's dad. "He started to complain of having pain in his right leg, but it would come and go. He would have moments where it hurt and then an hour later he was running around like nothing was wrong." Soon, his intermittent pain became overwhelming. Gavin's pediatrician urged Jenny and Russ to rush their son to the emergency room, terrified and unsure of what to expect. He would have a series of tests that revealed a tumor, and soon after, received the official diagnosis of Ewing Sarcoma in July 2023. "Once we got the Ewing Sarcoma diagnosis, the next day he started treatment. We didn't know that morning we were going to hear every side effect that was going to happen to him. It was one of the hardest days," Jenny recalls. "This is one of those examples of how ASK knows what we need before we need it... Katie Barber snatched up Gavin with a smile and said, 'Let's go play Uno!'" Along with Katie, the Yonce's would meet Rich Catlett, ASK Chaplain, and Anne and Leanne, members of the clinic team at the ASK Hematology/Oncology Clinic at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Every day, they provide a hand to hold for kids and families like Gavin's as they navigate the emotional, spiritual and financial challenges that come with a cancer diagnosis. "ASK has always known what we needed before we needed it. We didn't know how we were going to make ends meet and they jumped in and said, 'We'll pay your mortgage. We'll pay your bills,'" Jenny explains. "Jon is another person who jumps in for our homebound. Our homebound has been phenomenal because his teachers are angels, but Jon helps get that paperwork through and makes sure that's one less thing on our plates... ASK has become our community." In October 2023, Gavin underwent rotationplasty surgery to amputate his right leg. It was a difficult decision, but one that would, eventually, help Gavin get back to the things he loved in life: sports, being active, playing with his brothers, Charlie and Luca. Jenny shares how deeply grateful she is for ASK Chaplain, Rich Catlett, who was by Gavin's side during those early morning hours on the day of the surgery, praying over him and the surgeons. "Rich Catlett was another constant for Gavin, who he connected to and felt at ease with. He came in with a smile and could judge if Gavin was up for some sports talk that day or not. He talked about Virginia Tech sports while Gav couldn’t attend the games he usually goes to," Jenny shares. "Rich was always a listening ear for my husband and me. He gave us encouragement and support in the hardest moments. We will always be grateful for Rich supporting our family." - ASK mom Jenny A few months after his surgery, Gavin regained enough strength to start learning how to walk again using a prosthetic leg. On February 18, 2024, the Yonce family celebrated Gavin's final day of cancer treatment with a parade in their neighborhood, where their friends and neighbors lined the streets to surround him with love and support. We're happy to report that in March 2024, Gavin's one-month-out scans came back clear and cancer-free! "It changes who you are. We're all going to be different people because of it. But I think we'll be stronger as a family and stronger in our community," Jenny reflects. "No one wants to live in this world, but once you're there, you need the support and to be able to lean on people... there's power in knowing you're not the only one and that you're not alone, and that's what ASK gives him."

  • Supporting Families Fighting Childhood Cancer: Lending a Hand from the Moment of Diagnosis

    At ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation, our mission is clear: to make life better for children with cancer and their families, starting from the moment of diagnosis and extending through treatment and beyond. One way this support is made possible is by our incredible clinic staff at the Children's Hospital of Richmond, who are the first wave of family support that our ASK families receive at the critical moment of diagnosis and throughout their treatment journey. Our dedicated clinic staff includes key members like Katie Barber, ASK Child Life Specialist; Rich Catlett, ASK Chaplain; and Kim Stroud, ASK Family Support Manager, whose roles are directly funded by ASK. Learn more about them below! Katie Barber: ASK Child Life Specialist "Every day is different, and I never know what may happen or who may need me," says Katie Barber, fondly known as "Miss Katie" to our kids. Katie's approach to easing children's anxiety during treatment is both creative and compassionate. She helps children understand and cope with their procedures through medical play and engaging activities. Katie has been making it happen for pediatric oncology patients and their families for more than 15 years at the ASK Clinic at The Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. With a background in recreation and child life therapies, Katie is the first—and only—child life therapist funded by the ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation. Often, Katie is the first ASK representative to meet a newly diagnosed child at the ASK Clinic. Katie's dedication goes beyond the clinic walls. "I meet every new family, whether inpatient or in clinic, to explain what ASK is and how we can help navigate the confusing and intricate details of diagnosis, treatment, inpatient hospitalization, and clinic," she explains. Katie's presence is a constant source of reassurance and guidance for families facing childhood cancer. Once in clinic for treatment, evaluation or follow-up, Katie continues to act as a liaison for whatever a family may need. "Every child is different, and every family's needs are different. I try to talk to everyone while they are in clinic so we can have a sense of what is most important that day. Whether it's financial assistance, meal vouchers for parents of kids who are hospitalized, gas cards to help get the family to the hospital each day, a child's favorite toy in clinic to help ease the pain of treatment, or organizing an SAT prep course for one of our teenagers, I'm on it!" - Katie Rich Catlett: ASK Chaplain Families often seek spiritual support during the difficult journey through a medical crisis. It is natural to struggle and have questions when the unexpected happens. That’s why the Chaplain position at the ASK Clinic at The Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU was the very first position that ASK fully funded to be able to meet the needs of our families. ASK Chaplain Rich Catlett is available wherever your child is along their treatment journey. Rich provides our families with spiritual support that can vary widely and include prayer, addressing concerns about death and the afterlife, dealing with a loss of faith, or discussing ways to use spirituality for strength. Whatever your beliefs, Rich listens to your concerns and helps you process what is happening. Rich has served every family that is treated in the ASK Clinic at the Children's Hospital of Richmond. His typical day is anything but typical, and he purposely doesn't schedule his day so he can adapt to whatever situation may present itself. "Some days, I care for all staff, and some days, my care is directed to our patients and parents. This is doable because my faith sustains me and because we work as a team in the ASK Clinic. We all work on spiritual, medical, and emotional care. We all support one another, and that helps us deal and cope with our environment." - Rich Kim Stroud: ASK Family Support Manager Kim Stroud's role as ASK Family Support Manager is centered on alleviating practical burdens for families. "I try to talk to everyone while they are in clinic so we can have a sense of what is most important that day," Kim explains. From providing financial assistance to organizing pick-me-up surprises, Kim's support extends beyond the clinic to create a supportive environment for ASK families. ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation offers financial assistance and additional support to families being treated at Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, UVA Children's Hospital, Carilion Children's, Inova Schar Cancer Institute, and Fredericksburg area families treated at Children's National. Qualified families in Virginia may apply for help paying non-medical (housing, utilities, transportation) bills by filling out our ASK Making Life Better Fund Application. The challenges that come with a childhood cancer diagnosis can look a little different for everyone. "Our team works tirelessly to provide comprehensive support at every step of the journey," Kim emphasizes. By collaborating with hospital social workers and community partners, Kim ensures that families receive tailored assistance based on their unique needs, such as: providing gas and grocery gift cards to help ease the financial burden checking in regularly to offer a kind word or listening ear providing a pick-me-up surprise when your child or their siblings feel down connecting you with community partners for everyday needs, such as a free oil change Holistic Support Beyond Treatment ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation's commitment to family support extends beyond medical treatment. Through the dedication of our ASK Clinic Staff, including Katie Barber, Rich Catlett, and Kim Stroud, we stand with ASK families, offering hope, compassion, and unwavering support. ASK's mission is to make life better for children with cancer. Katie, Rich and Kim are beautiful examples of how to live that mission every day and in every way. If your family is navigating childhood cancer in Virginia, please fill out the ASK Family Enrollment form here so that we can provide the necessary support, community and resources needed throughout your journey.

View All
bottom of page