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Long Island, NY: Michael Magro Foundation is delighted to expand its partner network to include SIBSPlace, a long-Island based organization serving the siblings and adult caregivers of children battling cancer. As a trusted organization serving families with a child battling cancer or other catastrophic illness, Michael Magro Foundation is always happy to create a continuum of care for families who are in distress and chaos due to pediatric cancer arriving as an uninvited guest.

When illness strikes a family, it affects every member of the household. A child battling cancer unfortunately impacts brothers and sisters who are often too young to express the stress and fears with which they are living. That is where SIBSPlace comes in. Based on the south shore of Nassau County, the organization began as a department within Mt. Sinai South-Nassau Community Hospital. Eight years ago, SIBSPlace became a 501c3 nonprofit organization, serving as an affiliate to the hospital but spreading its wings to serve children and families working with other Long Island-based hospitals. During Covid, the organization restructured its programs and services to meet online. Now, as the world has begun to reopen, programs are being offered in a blend of live and virtual offerings. The end result – meeting the needs of siblings and caregivers struggling due to a child in the family with cancer.

SIBS Place serves children aged five to seventeen years old, providing after-school programs, support groups, bereavement programs, tween and teen programming, camp, and more. Built into the core of each program is teaching coping skills, dealing with difficult situations, and learning to take back some of their personal power – lost due to the chaos of living with cancer in the family. The organization is growing quickly, with nearly 180 children served in the past year, partly due to the expansion of programs via zoom.

“We met Terrie Magro and the Michael Magro Foundation in 2018. Over a series of meetings, it became clear that a deep connection between our two organizations was flourishing” explained SIBSPlace Executive Director, Joanna Formont. She continued, “The Foundation’s support of our work has enabled us to truly support our local families dealing with a child battling cancer.”  The Foundation is supporting SIBSPlace families with thousands of dollars in gift cards to purchase groceries, fill gas tanks [to go to and from the hospital], and buy other basic household necessities. “We understand the financial and psychological strain on families as they live in a state of crisis” stated Terrie Magro, Co-Founder of Michael Magro Foundation. “As an organization with a mission of fostering children’s resiliency and to supporting the most vulnerable children, especially during times of crisis, SIBSPlace is a wonderful partner for the Foundation to support.”

Most recently, the Foundation donated dishes and kitchen supplies for the kids coming each day after school. The goal is to make the SIBSPlace location a home away from home.
Creating a kitchen, dining room, and other typical spaces with ‘homey’ touches gives participants a sense of comfort and the ability to learn and practice life skills.

As these two Long Island-based organizations grow, it is clear that they will do so with a common purpose – to ease the stress, fear, and turmoil siblings and caregivers experience when there is a child at home battling cancer.

SIBSPLace exists to enhance the lives of our SIBS kids so they always remember feeling special and important by those who took the time to listen, to hear and to care. SIBSPlace is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission of fostering children’s resiliency and supporting the most vulnerable children, especially during times of crisis. Families are turning to SIBSPlace now more than ever, to help them regain their sense of balance and we need your help to ensure we can provide those families with the services they so desperately need. For more information on SIBSPlace, visit https://sibsplace.org/index.html or email sibsplace@snch.org.

Michael Magro Foundation is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization founded by Paul and Terrie Magro to honor the life of their son Michael, who passed away from leukemia at the age of 13. The Foundation works with the Cancer Center for Kids at NYU Langone Long Island Hospital, Stony Brook Children’s Cancer Division, Cohen’s Children’s Hospital, and other regional pediatric specialty offices where treatment of chronic diseases is ongoing. Core programs offered include Life Essentials [helping families struggling financially during their child’s treatment with non-medical expenses] and Project SOAR [providing support for childhood cancer patients, families, students and teachers when the patient returns to school following long illnesses]. The organization has expanded its work to include children’s hospitals in New York City and several areas throughout Florida, as well as in California, Texas and Oregon. For more information on the Michael Magro Foundation, visit https://michaelmagrofoundation.com or email info@magrofoundation.com.