Hugs For Brady Foundation Supports Childhood Cancer In Any Way Possible [AUDIO]
Parents Michael and Sherry Wells were dealt a parent's worst hand, just a short time into the life of their son.
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At 13 months old, their son, Brady Michael Wells, was diagnosed with a rare type of leukemia. Brady struggled through a 10 month battle before succumbing to the illness at 23 months old in July of 2010.
While nothing can prepare a family to deal with that type of loss, Michael and Sherry decided shortly after to launch a charity to not only remember their son, but to donate as much as possible towards making the lives of children with cancer better.
"It's a mixed blessing," Michael explained, "I would give this charity up in a heartbeat to have my son back in my life. I wish I never knew what I know about childhood cancer."
Michael said he marvels at how these children are able to go through so much pain during the treatments, and come out of it, seemingly, with a smile on their faces.
"That type of resiliency, that type of pure innocence, has to be honored," he said.
Hugs For Brady Foundation is 100% volunteer, with all funds after costs going towards the cause. They offer a wide variety of services because of a slew of successful fundraisers, from the annual Winter Gala to the April 5K run to the Pancake Breakfast to the Annual Confectionately Yours Family Fun Day.
This year's Family Fun Day takes place on Sunday, August 5th from 11AM to 7PM in Franklin Park, and features games, food, music, and raffles.
Wells estimates that the charity has donated over $200 thousand in funding, goods, programs, and meals. One initiative that they are particularly proud of brings some of the best young researchers in to the Cancer Institute of Central New Jersey to work on childhood cancer research.
"There is a severe need for awareness and fundraising for childhood cancers," Wells said.
Wells considers Hugs For Brady Foundation to be one of those blue-collar, grass roots charities "that slug it out every day trying to raise a nickel here, a dime there. And then making sure the costs are almost zero, and contributing everything over to the cause."
In fact, most donations range from just $15-$20, with there largest donation around $5,000. That makes the foundation's impact even more impressive, in such a short time.
The slogan for the 2013 Winter Gala is, "If not now, when?" It's a message that the charity is promoting to increase the urgency and awareness for such a pressing cause.
Hugs For Brady Foundation has four points to their moral compass.
"Donate blood, donate platelets, donate your time, and if you can, donate money," he said, "Notice three of those have nothing to do with money, they have to do with personal sacrifice."
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