Number of Children Helped by Year
Friends of Karen serves families with a child (newborn through age 21) who has been diagnosed with and is actively in treatment for cancer or another life-threatening illness, who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and who lives in one of the following boroughs or counties:
  • New York City: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island
  • Long Island:  Nassau and Suffolk
  • Other New York counties:  Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester
  • New Jersey: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic and Union
  • Connecticut: Fairfield, Middlesex and New Haven
We offer our services at no cost to families and regardless of race, religion, gender, national origin or cultural heritage in compliance with all federal, state and local laws and regulations.
Please note: Friends of Karen can provide a maximum of $500 for illness-related expenses to families who live outside of our 22-county service area, but whose child is being treated at a hospital within our service area and/or has lived in our service area for less than 12 months prior to the time of diagnosis.
Friends of Karen began in 1978 with one family; one child, Karen MacInnes; and one inspired woman, Sheila Petersen, who wanted to sustain her close friends through the devastating illness of their daughter. Today, we serve hundreds of families each month, and have affected the lives of 14,000 children.

To apply for help:

A parent or guardian of the ill child must call Friends of Karen and speak to a member of our Family Support team at (914) 617-4057. Our office is open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.

Para hablar en espaƱol, llama al (914) 617-4045.