This month’s organization for ALG’s Year of Giving, Dancing While Cancering, was selected by our Associate Joseph Homsy. Read below to learn why Joe felt moved to nominate this wonderful cause:
“What is grief if not love persevering?” I recently heard this while watching a show and I was struck by how it epitomizes why we grieve. It gave a voice to that which is so hard to confront. That grief, when wrestled with, reflects that our love for those who leave us transcends all else; it can motivate us to change someone’s life and, at times, to give hope to others during those darkest of times.
Supporting the fight against cancer is a cause near and dear to my heart, and that is why the charity I believe could benefit from ALG’s “Month of Giving” is Dancing While Cancering (https://dancingwhilecancering.org/our-story/) (DWC). Their story is beautiful. Scott Kramer (an attorney I met through my monthly networking group) and his wife, Pam, had a daughter, Maddie, who was diagnosed with cancer before her third birthday. Despite her treatment and the struggles that came with it, Maddie never stopped dancing and playing. Maddie fought as hard as she could but, unfortunately, she passed away eight months after being diagnosed.
From their grief, Scott and Pam’s love for Maddie manifested itself through DWC, a not-for-profit focused on bringing joy to children suffering from cancer and undergoing treatment. Scott and Pam’s team provide these children with “smile packs” – backpacks filled with activities, games, and toys – while they are in the hospital. The smile packs provide some sense of normalcy to the children and their families during these hospital stays.
So far, DWC has partnered up with seventeen hospitals nationwide. It is truly a beautiful initiative and an example of how grief and pain can manifest itself into positive, powerful actions. Scott and Pam’s grief, like that of so many others, manifested itself in love that perseveres to this day.
If you would like to support Dancing While Cancering, you can make donations online (https://dancingwhilecancering.org/donate/) or by mail to Dancing While Cancering, P.O. Box 13401, Chicago, Illinois 60613.