Who We Serve

who we serve family
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 (for at least 12 months prior to their diagnosis):
  • 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.

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 over 18,000  children.


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 español, llama al (914) 617-4045.