Category: zLevel06

Mother’s Day 2024: More time to Mother

The Friends of Karen Family Support Team develop strong bonds with the families they work with through the span of many months and at times years. Though every family is unique and we view each member of the family as special, the boundless love and strength of the mothers inspire our continuous and steadfast support. We know that so often

Read More »

Chi Omega Tag Sale

Westchester Chi Omega Alumnae Association hosted their 30th Annual Tag Sale. Gwen Salmo, Friends of Karen’s Special Events Coordinator, and her Chi Omega sorority sisters organized the tag sale for the 30th year!

Read More »

A MOTHER’S STORY:Finding Angels on Earth

Shameka is the mother of three: 14-year-old twins Ava and Amber, and their older brother Malachi, age 15. In 2023 Amber was diagnosed at 13 with Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a disorder in which the heart’s main pumping chamber is enlarged. Shameka shares how Friends of Karen has been there for her family. “Amber came to me complaining of chest pains which

Read More »

Thank You, Denise!

For the past 25 years, Denise Tredwell has been Friends of Karen’s Volunteer Coordinator. Among her responsibilities, Denise has managed the gift programs, including Back-to-School, holiday Adopt-a-Family, and birthdays. She has worked with hundreds of wonderful people of all ages and backgrounds who generously give their time and talents in a multitude of ways to benefit the children and families

Read More »

A MOTHER’S STORY: Finding Consistent Support

Ellis is a five-year-old boy who was diagnosed in 2023 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. His mother Jennifer shares how the diagnosis and Ellis’s treatment affected her, her husband Eric, and their four-year-old son Jay. “During the summer of 2023 things were going along well for our family. My husband Eric had

Read More »

SIBLING SUPPORT: Unmasking the Power of Self-Expression

The little children and teens that Friends of Karen Sibling Support Program professionals work with are carrying some big feelings. How can they not? They are experiencing unimaginable stress, change and worry. Those feelings are hard to talk about, but Friends of Karen’s four licensed creative arts therapists and child life specialists know from experience feelings will only grow if

Read More »

A MOTHER’S STORY: Finding Help and Understanding

Finest is a 20-year-old college student being treated for a recurrence of Synovial Sarcoma, a soft tissue tumor, that first occurred when he was 15 years old. His mother Melissa was interviewed about how Friends of Karen has helped her, Finest and his 18-year-old brother Malik.

Read More »

Siblings Day, April 10, 2024

Each year on April 10th, National Siblings Day, we celebrate the very special bond of support, friendship and love shared between siblings. Sibling bonds are often life-long relationships. Whether they grow old and gray together or are sadly separated by illness or death, they are tied together by something difficult to explain. They are knitted together; entwined by love and

Read More »

Running towards better days

Xavier is a 17-year-old from Westchester County, NY who is on maintenance treatment for T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He lives with his mother Antheya and his 15-year-old brother Zach and shares how Friends of Karen helped him and his family.

Read More »

Picking up the pieces after a loss

Long Island couple Liz and Theodore attended the Living Alongside Grief Retreat in April 2023 to address the impact of losing their only son Jeyden one year ago. The Retreat is a new family bereavement education program on the range of experiences that grieving family members may go through. Jeyden was 13 when he was diagnosed and treated for an Astrocytoma brain tumor and passed away at age 14. Liz shares how her Friends of Karen social worker Marla and the Family Support Program helped, and continue to help, her family.

Read More »

“The Invisible String”

“The Invisible String” written by Patrice Karst is one of the most well loved books in our bag of tricks. This best selling picture book tells the story of unbreakable connections between loved ones.
Click link to read a poem compiled with the words of Friends of Karen children, inspired by “The Invisible String” and the season of love. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Read More »

A father’s story: Embracing Support When Things Got Tough

Celeste is 3 and 1/2-years-old and in the maintenance phase of treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia that was diagnosed in October 2022. Her father Rafael shares how he and his wife Gwen coped through Friends of Karen’s support. “Everything was going well for us. We were expecting a new baby and we decided to send Celeste temporarily to my parents’

Read More »

The unbreakable bond of sisters

When Christa was being treated for Leukemia, she and her beloved sister Skyla participated in Friends of Karen’s Sibling Support Program. Her mother Georgette, thinking it was a stomach bug, brought Christa to see the doctor. He told mom that Christa’s blood count was low. In 2021 five-year-old Christa began to complain of frequent stomach aches. Her mother Georgette, thinking

Read More »

45 Years of Caring Because of You

In 45 years of service to the New York metro area community, Friends of Karen has demonstrated time and again a special way of caring. The legacy of kindness and compassion that our founder Sheila Petersen exemplified when she brought a quality of life to a gravely ill teen, Karen MacInnes, and her family so many years ago has been replicated thousands of times.

Read More »

Beautiful Bella and Linda – Making Spirits Bright

Children (and their families) battling serious illnesses like cancer are often described as “warriors’ ‘ and “fighters” conjuring up images of slaying dragons and knockouts in a boxing ring. Though these are certainly powerful and appropriate metaphors for the big, bold and resilient people we meet at Friends of Karen, equally inspiring are those who radiate a quiet beauty- selfless

Read More »

Katonah Connect, The Meaningful Connections Issue November / December 2023

When you walk up to the doors of Friends of Karen headquarters in North Salem, the first thing you might notice is their walkway – a “path of compassion” filled with several hundred dedicated bricks featuring loving messages and tributes from supporters. It demonstrates how this local organization has changed the lives of thousands by providing customized support for over 550 sick children and their families annually. Friends of Karen began in 1978 by Sheila Petersen, a friend of the MacInnes family whose 16-year-old daughter Karen was suffering from a rare genetic disorder.

Read More »