Stand Firm Warrior Foundation is LKNConnect’s Outstanding Non-Profit for February 2020. Read BJ’s story in Stand Firm Warrior Foundation: The Day Everything Changed Part I and Part II. Read about the founding of Stand Firm Warrior Foundation in Finding Good. —EH Stafford, Managing Editor
Over the past 3 weeks I have told the story of the ‘why’ behind Stand Firm Warrior Foundation. Last week’s article explained how our mission is to fund Supportive Medicine for children with cancer. This week let me tell you more about our programs.
Why Supportive Medicine?
My son, BJ, was the first pediatric cancer patient at Levine Children’s Hospital to receive Reiki therapy. Through BJ’s positive experience, the hard work of Tammy Schoolcraft and Miri Clements of Reiki for Wellness, and Dr. Jennifer Pope’s commitment to creating a Supportive Medicine Department, Reiki therapy is provided free of charge to kids fighting cancer at Levine Children’s Hospital (LCH). Stand Firm Warrior Foundation initially funded the program with a $10,000 donation. We were so proud to be the first foundation like ours to support the initiative.
Other supportive medicine
Supportive medicine works alongside conventional medicine. Aside from Reiki, which is gaining popularity in hospitals across the country, other supportive therapies include acupuncture, massage therapy, nutrition, aromatherapy, music, and art therapy.
These therapies have been shown to be beneficial to aid the body in its ability to heal, but are often not covered by insurance. The beauty of the Supportive Medicine Department at LCH is that the services are provided at no charge to the patients, through the financial support of local foundations like ours. Stand Firm Warrior is currently working to provide funding for a full-time acupuncturist.
Family and emotional support: bringing joy and making a difference
Here are just a few of the ways we are making a difference.
Nausea and sleep comfort kits
Stocked at LCH to help kids with nausea and sleep concerns.
Grab and go bags
Stocked at the 11th-floor nurses’ station in LCH for new patients and are filled with toiletry items and other things that are nice to have during an overnight stay.
Customized “BJ’s Warrior Packages”
Provided for pediatric cancer kids and their minor siblings. We fill an extra-large, sturdy tote bag with a handmade fleece blanket, toys, books, games and gift cards.
Annual snowflake project
We heavily engage students in our activities. Our annual Snowflake Project relies on middle schoolers to make paper snowflakes and cards for kids at local hospitals during Christmas. We host Gold Games at local schools—getting our youth involved and creating awareness and conversation around childhood cancer.
Fundraising: March Forth 5k/15k/15k-relay on Saturday, March 7th
The March Forth 5k/15k has been our largest annual fundraising event for the past three years. BJ’s birthday was March 4, and we thought it fitting to name this race as his birthday directs—to March Forth. Held on the first Saturday of March, the race route is through the beautiful, lakefront Westport community in Denver.
This year’s 4th annual run is being held Saturday, March 7th. There’s still time to sign up—at www.MarchForth5k.com. Don’t run? Don’t worry! You can walk the 5k with your friends.
Come run the 15k! Enjoy some pancakes after you cross the finish line, get your photo with Sir Purr, and support local warriors! We’ve added a 15k-relay this year, so if you’re up for a challenge, grab a partner and sign up for the relay. Everyone who crosses the finish line receives a participation medal. There are prizes for the top runners in each category, and the top winners for each event receive a customized Yeti.
Attention LKNConnect readers, yes, you—you get a discount!
We’ve created a special $5 discount code for LKNConnect readers, good for registration sign-ups through Sunday, March 1. Code: CONNECT.
For more information, to donate, and/or to volunteer
Follow our Instagram and Facebook pages at Stand Firm Warrior to see all the ways we spread love and joy to kids who are fighting cancer and how we encourage others to join us.
Please consider donating to support our mission! We depend on donations—large and small—to make it all happen. We welcome donations through our Facebook page, or our website at www.standfirmwarrior.org.
Michelle Love, MA – President/Co-Founder – Stand Firm Warrior Foundation
Michelle is a two-time graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology, and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology. She is also a Certified Biofield Tuning Practitioner and owns Love Sound Therapy. Michelle is a single mother of two children, BJ and Carly. BJ was born on March 4, 2001, and passed away two days after his 15th birthday, on March 6, 2016, after a 3 ½ year battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Michelle’s daughter, Carly, is now 15 years old.
Michelle spends the majority of her time spreading love and encouragement as an advocate for children with cancer, leading the foundation she and her daughter formed in BJ’s memory. Stand Firm Warrior Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that fights childhood cancer by funding supportive medicine initiatives for pediatric cancer patients and bringing joy to families with children battling the disease.