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Cancer Foundations In South Brunswick, Highland Park Expand Impact by Working Together

Cancer Foundations In South Brunswick, Highland Park Expand Impact by Working Together

In 2008, Larry Perfetti and Mimi Hickman-Perfetti lost their 22-year-old daughter, Kiersten, to cancer.  Kiersten spent the last four years of her life courageously fighting the disease and living as passionately and compassionately as she could.

Helping kids with cancer and their families became a major focus for Kier.  Before she died, Kiersten decided that she wanted to create a nonprofit helping community called “Kier’s Kidz” as part of her legacy of love and caring.

Today, her dad, Larry, is president of  “Kier’s Kidz” a Highland Park-based, nonprofit that helps children with cancer and their families, raises money for pediatric cancer research and honors health care professionals who care for children with cancer.

Meanwhile, just a few miles away in South Brunswick, another “helping community” -- the “Day By Day Hope Foundation” -- is deeply committed to helping middle income and self-employed families adjust and manage through the devastating effects of cancer.

Since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, Cheryl Confalone has been on a mission to help families with day-to-day activities such as meals, household chores and yard services, as well as assistance in navigating financial, legal and insurance issues.

Recently, a mutual acquaintance brought Larry and Cheryl together with the idea that two “helping communities” could be of greater help to more people if they worked together.

“I think it’s going to be a really good relationship,” said Larry Perfetti, whose daughter battled a relatively rare form of pediatric cancer known alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. “When a Kier’s Kidz family needs help, we can turn to Cheryl for necessary resources we alone cannot provide.  And whatever Day by Day needs, we will help them.”

Kiersten felt it was not only important to help others but to have fun doing so, according to her dad.  “It was really hard for her to be in the hospital,” he said.  “So one of her ideas was to do concerts for kids who are hospitalized.”

When Cheryl heard about Kier’s Kidz interest in sponsoring such concerts, bingo!

“The Day By Day Hope Foundation has a choral choir,” she said. “Larry really wants it to be a concert with young people performing because of the emphasis Kier’s Kidz places on children with cancer. So this is a logical match.”

The two foundations already are in discussions with one area hospital to host such a concert in their atrium with children, family, staff and community members in attendance.  Additionally, the foundations would like to broadcast the performances over the hospital’s cable TV system for all patients who may be unable to attend in person.

At the same time, Kier’s Kidz is poised to help the Day By Day Hope Foundation garner participation in its Premier Charity Golf Tournament later this year (Monday, Oct. 6) at the Royce Brook Golf Club in Hillsborough.

“It’s a very important fundraising event for us,” Cheryl said. “There are many ways to participate and help sponsor the tournament. All of the information is on our website. We’re thrilled that Kier’s Kids is committed to help and truly excited about the prospects of working with them long-term to reach more people who need help.”

More information about Kier’s Kidz and the Day By Day Hope Foundation is available on their respective websites: www.kierskidz.com and www.dbdhf.org.

Press Contact:  Jeff Leebaw (732) 821-6007; jleebaw@gmail.com



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