How can we ease the pain and raise the hope and spirit of a child or adolescent faced with cancer? Our modalities offer treatment and psychosocial support. Eitanís Hope for Children offers a dimension that is unique, innovative and a proven success. When a child is diagnosed, faces a crisis or disease recurrence, Eitanís Hope creates a gift basket, made especially for that patient; containing items that are meaningful and sensitive to the patientsí interests and culture. When given to the patient, by our psychosocial staff, the spirits of our children soar Ė not only for the gift, but because of the knowledge that someone other than their family, friends and medical staff, is concerned about their well-being.

I had the privilege of taking care of Eitan and admired his sweet but strong character traits,that allowed him to live life to its fullest, while waging a valiant battle against an unrelenting disease. The fund established in his memory and the care given to each sick childís needs is an incredible act of kindness, which Eitan would wholeheartedly endorse. As Eitan cared for each of his friendís needs, Eitanís Hope for Children cares for each child and as Eitan gained strength from his own loving care, so do recipients of Eitanís Hope gain strength, from Alonaís love and care.

Eitanís Hope for Children, is a crucial ingredient to the treatment that we give at the Tomorrows Childrenís Institute. On behalf of our children and staff, I thank Alona Shapiro for her efforts in supporting our precious and courageous children.

- Michael Harris, M.D.
Director, Tomorrow's Children Insitute
Hackensack University Medical Center

Eitanís Hope has been a shining ray of sunshine for our patients dealing with life threatening illnesses. Our young patients face painful procedures, ongoing medical treatments, and hospitalizations. Eitanís Hope has provided these children and adolescents with baskets, personalized just for them. The baskets are given at monumental times in the pediatric patientís course of treatment, new diagnosis, relapse, conclusion of treatment, beginning or completion of bone marrow transplant. What a wonderful moment when the basket is given! The smile, the enthusiasm, the curiosity, the appreciation expressed by the child and parent cannot be described. We are indebted to Eitanís Hope for Children, for sharing such wonderful gifts with our patients; these patients deserve to be rewarded with such exquisite items.

- Ellen Goldring, ATR-BC, CCLS, LPC
Section Chief, Child Life/Creative Arts Therapy

Words cannot justify the abundance of joy and sheer pleasure of presenting one of my patientís (and their families!) a basket generated by Eitanís Hope. By receiving a basket that is filled to the brim with unique gift items, chosen based on the individual, reminds each patient that they are valued and special. Eitanís Hope serves as a bridge, reconnecting patients to their world outside of the hospital that fortifies them with a surprised energy to complete their hospitalization with mastery. I am so honored to be a part of the legacy that is realized through the passion and honor that is Eitanís Hope.

- Ann Nancy Fogel, M.A., C.C.L.S.
Senior Child Life Specialist

It is hard to describe how challenging and overwhelming it can be when you have a child who becomes ill. It is even harder at times for others to truly understand that all you want is for your child to be healthy and happy, which I suppose is what every parent wants. Our child was able to run and walk and play ball which happened to be his favorite thing in the world to do. Unfortunately, that changed for us in what seemed like a nightmare come true, as a neurological condition all of sudden caused this child to become wheelchair bound. Eitan's Hope for Children allowed our son to heal and kept him strong enough to handle the sometimes serious medical treatments he needed to endure. It put a smile on his face at a time when I did not think that was possible. Eitan's Hope for Children allowed him to receive reflexology, energy healing, and nutritional supplements that we believe were vital to his overall health and healing. For this words can not truly describe our gratitude to Eitan's Hope for Children or went it meant to our son and family, to have them there in our time of need. We are forever grateful to Eitan's Hope for Children. Thank you!

- Anonymous

We were going through a difficult time in our lives, when my son Neel was in Hackensack Hospital in 2008. Neel was going through Burkitt's lymphoma and Leukemia, a rare kind in USA. When we were in hospital, where each day was a new challenge, new treatment and lot of pain, "Eitan's Hope for Children" brought a smile on Neel's face, we will never forget that. He was so happy to see the gift basket with toys and things he liked, he loved talking about it with his social worker and child Life therapist. Gift basket also arrived for my daughter for giving bone marrow to Neel. I cannot thank enough for the smile and happiness my kids received from Eitan's Hope for Children. Please support in any way you can, I realized the value of that smile, when I came to know that was one of last very few smiles my son had!

- Darshana Tejani, Mother

Alona Shapiro has created an incredible service for the children, teenagers and families who find themselves in the hospital. The uniqueness of each recipient - their personality, interests, and specific needs - is taken into account when the basket is being created. When the patient sees their basket, they see all that is good about them reflected back - their hopes, dreams, strengths, and playfulness - rather than the illness that brings them into the hospital. Before beginning to explore the contents of the baskets, the patients feel deeply cared for by the creative and beautiful way the gifts are presented. An Eitan's Hope gift helps the patient understand that they are more than their illness, and helps make one more day in the hospital that little bit easier. Thank you, Alona, for all your caring, your time, and this unique service that brings so much joy.

-- Suzannah Scott-Moncrieff MA, MT-BC, LCAT
Music therapist

Children and families who enter our lives change us forever. Through the generosity of Eitanís Hope for Children, Alona Shapiro has converted the care environment into one of healing and peace. She hand selects baskets for children that blend the childís individual interests, her firsthand understanding of hospital life, with the beauty she sees through the lens of her heart. We thank you for all of that, and so much more.

-- Sue Cohen Pediatric Advanced Illness Care Coordinator

I recently had the most amazing experience delivering a gift to a patient at HUMC. It was an honor to bear witness to this patient receiving and opening up a beautiful trunk filled with items picked out with this patient in mind. In all the time that I have known this patient, which has been a good amount of time, I have never seen such joy on her face as I did when she opened up this trunk! Her joy was infectious, and I found myself smiling ear to ear. It was a wonderful moment.

The trunk was originally made for the patient as a discharge gift, to accompany her to rehab. I was unable to deliver the trunk to the patient prior to discharge. I knew this gift was only meant for one person, the patient it was created for, so I kept it in my office. At a follow up appointment, I presented it. With unwrapping of each item, she smiled and shrieked with joy, showing them to her mother To see how much this meant to her mother was another gift in itself. Her motherís expressions said more than a million words could. This trunk was a double gift, timeless, for both mother and daughter. So, thank you Alona. Thank you for providing these moments of joy, strength, and hope. Each basket you create provides nothing less. They make a difference. Thank you.

Kate Schettler, M.A., R.D.T.
Senior Child Life Specialist
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Children can be understandably anxious when they are admitted for surgery. With the help of Eitan's Hope for Children, the child life team is able to provide them with toys and activities that help the surgical experience seem less scary. Alona dedicates her time to ensuring that our children receive unique items the truly appeal to their interests and developmental levels. It is a pleasure to work with her!

- Theresa M. Lynch, MA, CCLS
Child Life Specialist

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Eitan's Hope for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Copyright © 2010