Comment

Camp Rising Sun


Yesterday we dropped Lauren off at Camp Rising Sun. It is a week long camp in upstate Connecticut for children that are currently or have fought cancer. With Lauren only being 5, it was pretty difficult to drop her off. Luckily, her camp counselors are some amazing people that we’ve gotten to know over the years of her journey. Lauren is still a little shy so we were nervous that she wouldn’t want to stay. Boy were we wrong! She instantly picked a top bunk and went right to meeting the girls in her cabin. Although it’s hard for us, we know that she will gain friendships that will last forever. These kids are so special and all share a common bond and we realize how important this experience will be for her. Here are some pictures of Lauren’s first full day:

Comment

Comment

Unspoken Bond

We are so blessed to be able to witness the amount of special moments that we do through our work. Here is an example of what I mean. Below are three beautiful, strong young girls. Each of them 5 years old and all three have been through more than most people go through in a lifetime as all three have battled cancer at a young age. It was awe inspiring to see them playing together with their unspoken bond.

From left to right:
Lauren, 5 years old, leukemia
Victoria, 5 years old, rhabdomyosarcoma
Téa, 5 years old, neuroblastoma

69099923_927350734272986_1466008278134685696_n.jpg

Comment

Comment

Micalizzi's Italian Ice

oday we had two great volunteers deliver MICALIZZI'S ITALIAN ICE Italian ice to the pediatric ward at Yale. It truly is amazing to see the beauty and strength of these children, their families and the staff that cares for them. We are glad to share a little special treat with them all. Additionally, we delivered 4 packages to families to enjoy time away from treatment. Today was a great day! Thanks to Kelly and Jamieson for spending the time with us and making a difference. #livfree #fun #cancerisntwinningoverhere#pediatriccancer #childhoodcancer #cancerawareness #cancer#cancersucks #family #familytime #events #helpothers #smile #oncology#chemotherapy #chemo #health #charity #givingback #leukemia#nonprofit #awareness #fighter #connecticut #strong #strength

Comment

Comment

Packages!

Today we were super busy putting together four special packages for local families battling pediatric cancer! Mya was hard at work making sure all the packages were just right. Tomorrow we have more volunteers delivering them to the families at the Yale clinic along with Italian ice donated from our great friends at MICALIZZI'S ITALIAN ICE Jay Piccirillo#livfree #fun #cancerisntwinningoverhere #pediatriccancer#childhoodcancer #cancerawareness #cancer #cancersucks #family#familytime #events #helpothers #smile #oncology #chemotherapy#chemo #health #charity #givingback #leukemia #nonprofit #awareness#fighter #connecticut #strong #strength

Comment

Comment

#TBT

The path we decided to take after Lauren’s diagnosis has lead us to the most beautiful people. LivFree, our family and all of the families we have been able to assist have been directly impacted by these people. Unfortunately, we cannot show everyone but here is a small sample of the real difference makers. To everyone that has helped us along the way, thank you. You have helped change the world. For our #tbt we thank you all.

We also want to send a special thank you to Jay Piccirillo, we need pictures together man!

#livfree #fun #cancerisntwinningoverhere #pediatriccancer #childhoodcancer#cancerawareness #cancer #cancersucks #family #familytime #events#helpothers #smile #oncology #chemotherapy #chemo #health #charity#givingback #leukemia #nonprofit #awareness #fighter #connecticut #strong#strength #volunteer #help #thankyou

Comment

Comment

#TBT

Here’s a little throwback to one of the toughest days for us all as a family after her original diagnosis. After about 5 months of chemotherapy Lauren started losing her hair. We increasingly found strands of her beautiful blonde hair on her pillow and we knew it was time... In an effort to not let the cancer have control over us, we decided to shave her hair before it started to fall out in clumps. We knew she was sick, now she looked sick. It was so tough, but we were blessed to have such great family and friends there to support us through this challenging time. We realize how terrible this whole cancer thing is, that’s why we try to create smiles for those going through it.

💥And for the record, Lauren’s shirt says it all💥

#livfree #fun #cancerisntwinningoverhere #pediatriccancer#childhoodcancer #cancerawareness #cancer #cancersucks #family#familytime #events #helpothers #smile #oncology #chemotherapy#chemo #health #charity #givingback #leukemia #nonprofit #awareness#fighter #connecticut #strong #strength

Comment

Comment

Summer Picnic

WOW!! Today was incredible!!! We attended and passed out @micalizzis_ Italian ice at a wonderful picnic for cancer patients and survivors that were treated at Yale. It was so special to have so many beautiful families together in one place. The most special for us was catching up with our LivFree families! We saw Brandon, Matty, Victoria, Issy, Cameron, Bernardo, Téa and Victor and their families. It was so great catching up. We also had the privilege of meeting other families that we can potentially assist!! Today was a great reminder of why we do what we do.

#livfree #fun #cancerisntwinningoverhere #pediatriccancer#childhoodcancer #cancerawareness #cancer #cancersucks #family#familytime #events #helpothers #smile #oncology #chemotherapy#chemo #health #charity #givingback #leukemia #survivor #nonprofit#awareness #fighter #connecticut #strong #strength #yale #ynhh #picnic

Comment

Comment

Smile!

Yesterday was a very cool day for us as you may have seen in the previous post. Catching up with LivFree families is a great feeling, to have them give back is way more incredible. As you see in the picture, we also stopped by the Pediatric Oncology ward at Yale to drop off a camera to a young man currently battling cancer. He loves photography so we thought a camera would go well photography lessons! Although we weren’t able to meet him, we know that this gift is super special and will give him something to look forward to. We thank all of our supporters for helping us along with our mission!#livfree #fun #cancerisntwinningoverhere#pediatriccancer #childhoodcancer#cancerawareness #cancer #cancersucks #family#familytime #events #helpothers #smile #oncology#chemotherapy #chemo #health #charity#givingback #leukemia #survivor #nonprofit#awareness #fighter #connecticut #strong#strength

manny




Comment

Comment

"A Million Dreams"

Lauren and her buddy, Henry, performed “a million dreams” for their school’s talent show. Not only did they look amazing, their performance was incredible! Henry is hands down the cutest Ringmaster we ever saw. There was something extra special about this performance.

During their performance, I think family and teachers that know Lauren’s story all had a moment. For a quick second we reflected back to all she’s been through. The bruises, the chemo, the pills, the needle pokes, the hospital stays, the hair loss, the seditions, the sleepless nights, the food, the other families we’ve met, the tears, the pain and the smiles through it all. All of those things and more brought us to this this very moment; to Lauren on stage with her BFF, shining. We can’t wait to see the life she makes...

#livfree #fun #cancerisntwinningoverhere #pediatriccancer#childhoodcancer #cancerawareness #cancer #cancersucks #family#familytime #events #helpothers #smile #oncology #chemotherapy#chemo #health #charity #givingback #leukemia #survivor #nonprofit#awareness #fighter #connecticut #strong #strength

Comment

Comment

Time files

Time files. Not just when your having fun, but all the time. Three short years ago Katrina, Armando and I were facing the single biggest challenge a young family could ever face. Our youngest, Lauren, was about 4 months into chemotherapy. We had been cooped up almost the whole time in our house to protect Lauren’s compromised immune system. We weren’t the only ones, however, there were dozens of families going through the same exact thing we were.

With all the love and support we were receiving, we quickly realized that we wanted to do something to help families just like ours. We founded LivFree three years ago today with the goal to help 100 families in Connecticut take a break from cancer and chemo and just enjoy being a family, the way they did before cancer.

Three years, 109 families, hundreds of smiles, dozens of broken hearts, memories made, thousands of supporters, fun events and more to come. Three years has flown by some of it fun, some of it painful but all of it impactful. Thank you all for your continued support!

#livfree #fun #cancerisntwinningoverhere #pediatriccancer #childhoodcancer#cancerawareness #cancer #cancersucks #family #familytime #events#helpothers #smile #oncology #chemotherapy #chemo #health #charity#givingback #leukemia #survivor #nonprofit #awareness #fighter#connecticut #strong #strength

60898037_864287613912632_1779780360939241472_n.jpg

Comment

Comment

Follow-up


Last week Lauren had to have an echocardiogram and a bone density scan. Both these tests are to measure the potential effects of chemo therapy on her small body. It’s such a conundrum, the chemo therapy that saved her life and eradicated the cancer had wreaked havoc on her body. Hopefully the long term effects won’t be that tough on her..

Comment

Comment

National Sibling Day

When a child has cancer it affects the whole family. The sibling can have it pretty hard sometimes as attention is now focused on the sick child. Everything revolves around doctors visits and treatments. Today we celebrate #nationalsiblingday by letting the siblings know how important at they are to all of us. 
#livfree #fun #cancerisntwinningoverhere #pediatriccancer#childhoodcancer #cancerawareness #cancer #cancersucks #family#familytime #events #helpothers #smile #oncology #chemotherapy#chemo #health #charity #givingback #leukemia #survivor #nonprofit#awareness #fighter

56862270_839180216423372_3301620374948544512_n.jpg

Comment

Comment

Remission Weekend Day 2!

We had an incredible weekend celebrating Lauren’s fourth year in remission from cancer. As a family, we filled it with non-stop fun. Today we woke up to beautiful views of the Statue of Liberty. We ate cookies and milk for breakfast before we headed out to the ferry to bring us to Liberty Island. Once there, we battled the cold to take in the awesome views of Lady Liberty and the New York skyline. We hopped back on the boat and headed to Ellis Island. Once we got back to Manhattan, we made sure to stop at one more park before we headed back to Connecticut. The trip ended with our remission tradition of an early dinner at Mecha and dessert at Saugatuck Sweets.

We’ve had so much support from so many people over the years, thank you all. Cancer has taught us a few things. Mostly that life is so fragile and so fast so be sure to do what you love and be with who you love.

#livfree #fun #cancerisntwinningoverhere #pediatriccancer #childhoodcancer #cancerawareness #cancer #cancersucks #family #familytime #events #helpothers #smile #oncology #chemotherapy #chemo #health #charity #givingback #leukemia #survivor #nonprofit #CT #connecticut

Comment

Comment

Remission Weekend Day 1!

Our first day of Lauren’s remission weekend was fun filed. We started off with “bring your Daddy to dance day”. Lauren was able to show off her newly learned dance skills and had her Dad participate as well (he nearly threw his back out trying to pirouette 🤣). Next we were off to New York City. We checked into The Wagner Hotel as they have been great to LivFree families in the past. We have amazing views and prime location. For the rest of the day we hopped from playground to playground to playground to playground. We finished the night off with pizza and cookies. Great way to start celebrating Lauren’s 4th year with no sign of cancer.

#livfree #fun #cancerisntwinningoverhere #pediatriccancer #childhoodcancer #cancerawareness #cancer #cancersucks #family #familytime #events #helpothers #smile #oncology #chemotherapy #chemo #health #charity #givingback #leukemia #survivor #nonprofit #CT #connecticut

Comment

Comment

Marvel Universe Live!

We’d like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to our friends at Nordic Stove & Fireplace Center, Inc. for their donation of tickets to see Marvel Universe Live! Four LivFree families were able to head down to Webster Bank arena and catch the show. By the smiles, we know they had a blast!!

Comment

Comment

Stick It to Cancer Weekend

Yesterday was extra special for us. The Bridgeport Sound Tigers wore gold jerseys and raised over $18,000 to support childhood cancer awareness with their "stick it to cancer" weekend. They gave portions of ticket sales and held fundraisers throughout the game to raise fund for us and two other great organizations, Ryan's Rebels and Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer. There are a couple special moments I would like to touch on:

1) The Sound tigers are a great organization to work with and they have helped us so much with spreading our message about pediatric cancer. They also went above and beyond with making the children affected by cancer feel special and raised a huge amount of money that will directly help those in need. Tim Foley, thank you so much. your impact on these kids with your vision and diligence is greatly appreciated.

2) Three dads that have had their kids be directly affected by pediatric cancer were able to come together with their respective organizations and produce some really great ideas and significantly push forward our missions of how we each battle childhood cancer. Mike and Jim, it was truly an honor to work with you and get to know you both better. What we did is VERY special, thank you for that.

3) Thank you to all of the people that came out to the game and supported us. Without you all, we couldn't help those in need.

51638112_10157097689536202_981254586658455552_o.jpg


Comment

Comment

Four Years Ago Today

Four years ago, on this day, Katrina and I were sat down in a small room with oncologists and a social worker. We weren’t prepared for what was coming. I mean, how can you be prepared for your world to be shattered?

“Your daughter has cancer” or something of the sort was said. I don’t quite remember the exact words because everything stopped. That punch to the gut is a feeling we can NEVER forget, nor do we want to.

As fate would have it, Lauren had a clinic appointment today on the anniversary of her diagnosis. Our anxiety about the results seemed to be a bit higher today but not for Lauren. This is so matter of fact to her which leaves us both sad and proud. Her blood work came back clear and we feel relief, until the next visit....

#livfree #fun #cancerisntwinningoverhere #pediatriccancer #childhoodcancer #cancerawareness #cancer #cancersucks #family #familytime #events #helpothers #smile #oncology #chemotherapy #chemo #health #charity #givingback #leukemia #survivor #nonprofit

Comment

Comment

TBT Selfie

I was scrolling through my phone and came across this selfie. It’s a reminder of how crazy our life was when Lauren was getting treatment for her cancer. It’s so hard to imagine a 3 year old taking a selfie while laying in a hospital bed because of cancer, but it’s a reality for some. This is why we do what we do. #livfree #fun #tbt #cancerisntwinningoverhere #pediatriccancer #childhoodcancer #cancerawareness #cancer #cancersucks #family #familytime #events #helpothers #smile #oncology #chemotherapy #chemo #health #charity #givingback #leukemia #survivor #nonprofit

50022290_790901671251227_4112955597131874304_n.jpg

Comment

Comment

STAR 99.9 Interview

Screen Shot 2019-02-11 at 6.59.58 PM.png

Our interview from STAR 99.9 FM. A huge thank you to Anna & Raven for having us. Two years ago we introduced LivFree on their show. We expressed our goal of helping 100 families and now we are about to hit that goal! Give it a quick listen.


Comment

Comment

Childhood Cancer and Family Life

One of the toughest challenges of childhood cancer is navigating your family life. The doctors visits, the sickness, the medicine and stress changes the dynamic drastically. This is why we put so much emphasis on providing a fun experience for everyone in the family. The siblings don’t have the diagnosis but they definitely live with it. #cancerisntwinningoverhere #pediatriccancer#childhoodcancer #cancerawareness #cancer#cancersucks #family #familytime #events#helpothers #smile #oncology #chemotherapy#chemo #health #charity #givingback #leukemia#survivor #nonprofit

49444677_785141748493886_3503589506940928000_n.jpg

Comment