A special note of thanks to our Miracle Maker Leadership Council

Dear MMLC,

One of the real joys this holiday season is the opportunity to say thank you for the gifts you have given Expect Miracles Foundation; your generosity provides the most important gift - hope. Through your generosity and encouragement we have been able to help speed the development of lifesaving therapies and advance cancer patient programs nationwide. We are grateful for your support and wish you and yours the very best for the New Year.

MMLC funding is directed to support research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Robert and Renée Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science, and to the MMLC Fund for funding grants to promising patient care programs. This year's MMLC Fund provided $53,600 in funding awards to seven deserving patient care organizations - the highest amount of funding ever to be provided at one time by the MMLC. 

We wanted to share with you a closer look at the impact you have had on patient care programs…

Camp Casco
Boston, MA

You provided a $10,000 grant to Camp Casco.

Let’s see what they did with it:

Camp Casco provided a week of summer camp free of cost for children who have or have had cancer. Funding covered the campsite costs for 18 campers and covered the cost of the entire medical team's stay at the campsite, creating a safe and healthy camp week. 

Here’s a story about a special camper you supported:

“In 2016, we welcomed a new camper - he was 7 years old, mostly blind, and had been battling cancer for most of his young life…This was his first time leaving home for a sleepover, and he was worried about leaving his family for what seemed like an eternity. For the first few days, he struggled with homesickness; though, we soon learned a good hug (like the ones his mom gives him) could help him through the day. By the end of the week of fun activities and making new friends, he told everyone, “I wish I could live at camp!” And for the next year, he would frequently ask his mom, when he could “go back home,” meaning, when he could go back to camp.

When our 2017 camp session finally rolled around, he was brave enough to ride the bus to camp all by himself! In fact, 2017 was a year of many firsts - he climbed higher on the rock wall, cannonballed into the lake, and opened up about his blindness to fellow campers (who then promptly and adorably offered to buy him a guide dog!) - things his mom couldn’t even dream about before Camp Casco entered their lives.

We recently received a note from his mom detailing how he gets bullied at school. But rather than letting the bullies get him down, he instead thinks of Camp Casco “because at camp, he has friends.” His mom told us, “this one week is the most important week of the year for him.”

From Maddi’s Closet
La Mirada, CA

You provided a $10,000 grant to From Maddi’s Closet.

Let’s see what they did with it:

A $10,000 grant to From Maddi’s Closet supported the Patient Special Needs Fund, which provides financial assistance for medical and comfort items including items such as pediatric strollers, medical co-pays assistance, pediatric wheelchairs, pediatric canes, 4-wheeled walkers, medications/over-the-counter items and more.

Here is a look at the exact breakdown of items that From Maddi’s Closet supplied to pediatric cancer patients thanks to your generosity:

Hospitality Homes
Boston, MA

You provided a $5,000 grant to Hospitality Homes.  

Let’s see what they did with it:

Hospitality Homes offers free short-term housing to patients and families coming to Boston for care during treatment for cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and conditions. With the funding, Hospitality Homes established a partnership with Uber and Lyft that provides free rides to cancer patients so families can access a wider geography of accommodations. The funding has provided 40 rides thus far and will provide 100 rides by the end of the program. The rides go to cancer stricken families, who are supplied with Uber and Lyft coupons so they can safely and easily be transported from housing to treatments and appointments.

Here is a quote shared with Hospitality Homes from a Dana-Farber Cancer Institute patient and her sister from California:

“I want to thank you for your volunteer host lodging assistance. The Uber gift card coupon is very generous and useful. Chestnut Hill isn't very public transit friendly and with my sister’s cancer diagnosis, we would not have been able to travel easily. I am most grateful to the service you provide. Holiday Blessings to all.”

Magical Moon Foundation
Marshfield, MA

You provided a $10,000 grant to Magical Moon Foundation

Let’s see what they did with it:

A $10,000 grant to Magical Moon Foundation enabled them to begin refurbishing a 1970’s Air Stream Camper through electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and decor updates, so that the Air Stream can serve as a therapy unit for one-on-one therapy with children struggling with cancer. 

Magical Moon was able to make significant headway since May 2017 (when they received the award) on the refurbishment of the 1970’s Air Stream Camper – affectionately named Moon Mettle - that will be used as a therapy unit for children dealing with cancer and other life threatening diseases. Magical Moon completed the following:
• The entire camper was gutted.
• Walls were erected.
• A trench was dug to lay the electrical/plumbing so the utilities will be underground. This allows the camper to be moved away from trees so it's more accessible by all children.
• Wiring has been purchased.
• A caboose was built and painted and attached to the camper.
• Furniture, including couches and a butcher block, has been purchased.
• Metal dents on the outside of the camper were removed and the entire camper was re-riveted.
• Vintage lighting was purchased.
• Schematics for the Steampunk cockpit have been created.

Although the unit is not yet completed, once it is, it will be a resource for licensed therapists to provide one-on-one therapy in a safe and inviting environment. The children will be allowed to sit in the “cockpit” of Moon Mettle which will allow the therapists to encourage the children to transport themselves to another “planet” so that they can access their deepest concerns and fears about their disease without interference/disturbance from the outside world. Moon Mettle will help children imagine a life without cancer and see that an illness-free future can be a reality.

Purple Songs Can Fly
Houston, TX

You provided a $10,000 grant to Purple Songs Can Fly.

Let’s see what they did with it:

A $10,000 grant to Purple Songs Can Fly enabled them to launch a new initiative to provide pediatric cancer patients the opportunity to write, record, and share lullabies for infants and toddlers with cancer. The grant will produce 2,500 compact discs featuring 12 lullabies written and recorded by participants in the program aged 4-18.

$4,500 has been spent through December 1, 2017 to record the CD. Production of the CD will occur in Jan/Feb/Mar, and they anticipate the remaining $5,500 to be spent by March 31, 2018 on CD & Sleeve Design, CD Mastering, and CD Printing.

Because the babies and toddlers are too young to come into the Purple Songs Can Fly recording studios to write and record their own songs, this beautiful collection of lullabies, written and recorded by the older pediatric cancer patients, will help them serve more than 700 toddlers and babies treated in the cancer center each year.

Purple Songs Can Fly Shared:

“Emily wrote a lullaby called “I Love You, My Child” as she imagined what she would want to say to her own child, if one day she was able to bring a child into the world. Emily was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was 13 years old and because of her difficult treatment, she has to deal with many losses, including most of her eyesight and her ability to continue her dancing. It was wonderful to witness Emily picturing a future where she had a child of her own and then envisioning the words she would share with her baby.”

The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden
Harvard, MA

You provided a $5,000 grant to The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden.

Let’s see what they did with it:

The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden provided integrative therapies including acupuncture, scar tissue diffusion, skin care, oncology massage, acupressure, individual counseling, Tai Chi/ Qigong and Shiatsu to those who would not otherwise have access to mitigate the side effects of cancer.

A young client, now 42, wanted to write her thanks directly:

The Healing Garden was a very new experience for me because although I have been ill with cancer and other medical issues for most of my life, this was the first time I had even been presented with alternative options for my mental and physical well-being.

When I began as a client, the staff welcomed me with open arms and helped me understand their purpose and ability to care for patients who needed extra help in areas that might not have been available to them from other sources. Since my start I have been using many of the resources at the Healing Garden, and even some connections outside of the Garden that they have helped me discover. I have participated in multiple art and journaling classes, group and individual therapy, along with massage and reiki energy therapy treatments. I fully enjoy all the time I spend with other clients and staff while participating in these sessions.

The Healing Garden has given me a place to feel safe and open about my health, mentally and physically. Much of the strain of day to day living has been eased for me because I can share my concerns and stresses with others going through similar struggles in their lives. I have never felt this complete before, with all the comforts and understanding that I cannot get anywhere else. They have also worked with me to make sure I can use their services without additional financial concerns by providing me programs at nominal or zero cost. I know this is because they work hard to find alternative means to cover costs, such as donations and grants. This allows many clients who could not afford services to able to participate and enjoy programs.

Overall, I feel like I am more comfortable now with understanding my challenges and able to deal with limitations I have because of my illnesses. My cancer no longer defines my life because with the help of the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden and all of its staff and fellow clients, I can live with peace and kindness. I now know that each day is a different day, and although I am terminally ill, I do not have to live like I am dying, I can just live.

Heidi (on the far right)


The Zaching Against Cancer Foundation
Columbia, Maryland

You provided a $3,600 grant to Zaching Against Cancer Foundation.

Let’s see what they did with it:

Zaching Against Cancer Foundation expanded their Massage Therapy Program for cancer patients through adding another hospital partner, Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, MD. Through November 30, 2017 they have offered 28 hours of massage therapy sessions serving 83 patients with the MMLC funds and plan to provide a total of 60 more hour-long sessions through July 31, 2018.

Zaching Against Cancer Foundation shared:

“This project is an enormous success for ZACF. In 2016, we were able to offer massage therapy to 144 patients in 4 hospitals and one oncology center. By adding this program to Anne Arundel Medical Center, we were able to offer therapy to an additional 71 patients (a total of 83 massage sessions during chemotherapy treatment - a few repeat patients) in a 7-month period. With the funding remaining, ZACF will provide an additional 8 months of massage therapy (4 total hours per month). We have streamlined our administrative costs, which allowed us to add additional months beyond the initial projected one-year time frame which will assist at least another 25 patients. The funding from the MMLC Award has helped us to exceed our expectations of patients served.

On July 25, 2017 our massage therapist, Linda R (pictured below)., was told by one of the nurses that Marlene M., a patient, had very high anxiety and asked Linda if she could help. Linda gave the patient a hand massage and talked with her during her cancer treatment. Linda was able to help the patient relax and spent an extra unpaid half hour with the patient to reassure her.”


As you can see, your support and generosity as a Miracle Maker is creating a ripple effect, beginning with the seven patient care charities across the United States that you directly funded. The good work that these charities are doing is in turn impacting hundreds of thousands of cancer patients.

THANK YOU for your generosity, support and leadership!  YOU ARE THE CURE!


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