Memories for Kids Builds a Legacy

PR Newswire

OMAHA, Neb., May 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2009, Lisa Gravelle's sister-in-law and dearest friend Cathy Gravelle was diagnosed with Metastatic Melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. Heartbroken, Lisa watched Cathy and her family suffer through the impending loss. "I saw the disappointment and sad faces of my niece and my nephews. It was such a difficult time," Gravelle says.

Sadly, Cathy passed away before Gravelle could step in and do something special for the family. "Through that pain, I learned that it's really difficult for a family member, who is so distraught themselves, to step in and organize something—to get away outside of the cancer. If only there were an outside organization that could step in and help create a memory for struggling families."

And thus, Memories for Kids was born. "Our mission is to create lifelong memories for children who have a parent with terminal cancer," Gravelle says.

Memories for Kids, a 501c3 organization, has been able to grant wishes for many local families and is now looking to reach the community through an upcoming fundraiser on Saturday, August 16th. "The fundraiser will be held at the Slowdown; and the band The Samples will be performing," says Gravelle. "There will be a VIP section and an auction for attendees."

"Thus far, we've been fundraising through board members and friends of friends," she says. "We've worked with oncologists, their patients, and referrals, as well as people around the community. Now we need to get the word out to people that don't even know we exist."

Recent memories given to families include offerings as big as trips to Disney World or sporting events to more intimate gifts like a necklace with a mother's fingerprint or a video a mother made to share with her boys. 

Working with families going through such a trying time, Gravelle says, has been a blessing. "It's been healing for me to do this. After Cathy died, I fell apart. I could not pull it together. Now, I feel like this is my purpose in life. This is what I'm supposed to be doing. I feel really lucky to know that."

For more information on Memories for Kids, visit MemoriesForKids.org.

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