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Michael Magro Foundation provides support for kids with cancer



How one stares back at adversity is often the definition of inner strength and courage.  For Terrie and Paul Magro, adversity did not just stare at them; it roared. Following a brief, but fierce battle with leukemia, their son, Michael, succumbed to cancer at age of thirteen. Riddled with pain from the loss of their child, the Magros refused to turn away from life or the love for Michael that had filled their hearts. Instead, they founded the Michael Magro Foundation to provide support for children battling cancer on Long Island and their families.

The mission of the Michel Magro Foundation is to better the lives of children with cancer and other chronic pediatric illnesses and their families. The Foundation touches the lives of thousands each year by helping meet the complex issues of care. The Foundation enhances the health and well-being of pediatric patients, provide support for children with cancer and other chronic illnesses, and helps families navigate a stressful and turbulent time in their lives.

Working with patients at the Cancer Center for Kids at Winthrop-University Hospital, Stony Brook Children’s Cancer Division, and other Winthrop and Stony Brook pediatric specialties [where treatment of chronic diseases is ongoing], The Michael Magro Foundation offers three key programs: Life Essentials, Project SOAR, and Bonding With Baby.

Life Essentials assists struggling families while their child is undergoing medical treatment. The Foundation understands that the families of childhood cancer patients often find themselves struggling financially. Providing essentials like petty cash for lunches and dinners, supermarket gift cards, pharmacy co-payments, or even gift cards for a rare evening out for dinner and a movie, Life Essentials distributes more than $2,500 in gift cards monthly to needy patients and families.

Project SOAR (School Re-entry Ongoing Academic Resources) demystifies cancer by giving support and counseling to childhood cancer patients, families, teachers and classmates. Children battling cancer are already at a disadvantage. Project SOAR helps them to transition smoothly and successfully back into school following absences due to illness. Our social workers meet with teachers, administrators and classmates to educate them about childhood cancer and prepare them for the child’s return. Each year, The Foundation works with districts throughout the region to provide the support needed for these young warriors to return to school successfully.

Bonding With Baby, our newest program, is for siblings of babies in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), to communicate in a safe, sterile environment. Through computers, we can create a “FaceTime”- like setup, enabling siblings to talk, sing and bond with their new brother or sister.

For more than twelve years, Terrie and Paul Magro, along with a dedicated group of volunteers, have, through the Michael Magro Foundation, made life easier for young children battling cancer or other chronic diseases – and their families. The efforts of the Foundation provide support, solace and financial assistance to let these children and families know that their community stands with them – through the most difficult of times. Adversity may stare us in the face, but as the Magros have shown, it need not win. Long Islanders win every day because the Michael Magro Foundation is in our community.

Published in Long Island Business News — October 21-27, 2016