THE HONEYSUCKLE FOUNDATION FOR CHILDREN WITH CANCER, a not-for-profit corporation, was formed in 2002 by Rene Giacalone and a friend Michael A. Borg, Esq., while her youngest daughter was battling bone cancer. Through the kindness and concern of family, friends and neighbors, it became evident early on during treatment that the family's "support network" was just as important as her daughter's medical treatment. With other siblings to be concerned about as well as an extensive network of friends, neighbors, and schoolmates, striking a balance of maintaining a healthy outlook while undergoing grueling medical treatment was a continual challenge. This family was able to get through a year that was physically and emotionally demanding, while still enjoying a high quality of life - a luxury many healthy families, let alone cancer families, find difficult to achieve.
From this experience was born the idea of establishing the Honeysuckle Foundation to assist cancer families in their time of need. Started out as a small scale Foundation with the goal of helping individual family's, the Foundation quickly found a niche in providing substantial funding for the psychosocial program for children with cancer and blood disorders at Schneider Children's Hospital, the healthcare network where Rene's daughter received treatment. This program makes available to all patients and their families, the assistance and support of a psychologist and social worker specifically trained to deal with cancer and its impact upon the family.
Of course this organization is only as strong as its supporters. The goal is to solicit the efforts of individuals, corporations, schools and other not-for-profits willing to commit time and resources to this cause. From the lone individual donation to involvement of students, local businesses to the corporate boardroom, all will have the opportunity to reap the benefits of giving and knowing the invaluable help they are providing.
The Foundation is a growing and evolving entity that is working tirelessly to raise money to implement numerous programs that offer support and guidance to those suffering the devastating effects of cancer. Presently, working specifically with the LIJ/North Shore Healthcare System, the Foundation aspires to grow psychosocial programs and be able to offer them at various pediatric oncology facilities throughout the country.