A message from Elizabeth Martin, Executive Director, 12 Oaks Foundation
We all know someone who has cancer. But unless you’ve been there, you can’t understand what their families go through—physically, emotionally, and financially. Phil was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2014. He found 12 Oaks Foundation this year through a friend at church, who we had also helped. “As we go through this, my family has had to say no to everything. Our financials are all upside down, and we owe money everywhere on my medical bills. I am so happy to be alive, but the money stresses us a lot. We cannot say thank you enough for your help!”
Every family who applies for a grant from 12 Oaks Foundation says the loss of work and income is a primary stressor. Whether it’s the parent or the child who has cancer, family income drops significantly due to lost hours and hidden costs such as hotels, babysitters, etc. All this on top of potentially huge medical bills. Our grants make a difference.
What We do, and Why We Do It
The mission of 12 Oaks Foundation is simple and unique–to ensure that children in families battling cancer can be normal–active and engaged in their passion, and their community. Founded by Steve and Julie Hupp who lost their young son, Matt to cancer, 12 Oaks gives grants up to $500 per child and $2,000 per family, per year of treatment, often providing multiple years of support to a family.
Experts know that siblings of cancer patients typically lose their family way of life and weakened self-worth within the family. Because their ill brother or sister needs so much attention, they feel less cared for. They’re particularly vulnerable to depression, anger, anxiety,feeling guilty, and social isolation. But cancer siblings with more social support show significantly fewer issues.
That’s why 12 Oaks helps them stay in their extracurricular activities to help maintain normalcy. The National Cancer Institute specifically recommends siblings keep involved with sports or clubs. These activities provide positive benefits in other areas too—academic, social/emotional, prevention, and health and wellness.
Your Gift to 12 Oaks Will Go Twice As Far This Year–Every dollar we raise between now and December 31 will be matched 2 for 1 by a very generous donor! If we meet our goal of raising $20,000 by year end, our donor will match it with an additional $40,000!
I hope I can count on you to help children and their families by including 12 Oaks Foundation in your end-of-year giving. Every $500 keeps a child in their activity while a loved one battles cancer!
P.S. 92 cents of each dollar you donate goes directly to help families. In 2017, we will give almost $65,000 to 160 children and their families throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. More importantly, we give them a normal childhood.