Julia’s Wings once again soared through the streets of Kent at our second annual Team Julia’s Wings at the Kent Pumpkin Run. Team Julia’s Wings had an impressive turn out of 340 runners/walkers which was almost 100 more participants than the year before!! A sea of red jerseys with the Aplastic Anemia awareness ribbon on the front and wings on the back were predominant at the race. That Sunday afternoon in the town of Kent, we were united for a cause, and brought together in memory of Julia, her fight and her story. Not only did we raise awareness of aplastic anemia, but our foundation raised over $45,000! We are so appreciative of the support and generosity of our sponsors, donors and participants. I truly cannot think of a better way to honor Julia’s beautiful memory than by the hundreds of people who gathered together in our neighboring community on a chilly Sunday, smiling, laughing, crying, running, walking… remembering.
We are extremely honored to have the opportunity to partner with the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation who will match our fundraising dollars for two named research funds. In 2015, Julia’s Wings Foundation will disperse a grant in the amount of $60,000 and it will be called The Julia Malsin Research Fund! This investment in medical research can truly make a difference with this disease, so hopefully other children and families will not have to know the pain and suffering aplastic anemia brought into our lives. We received an email from Dr. Lisa Minter, Researcher and Associate Professor at the University of Massachusetts commending our foundation’s efforts. She wrote “Of course I value your efforts as a researcher who is trying to make a difference. But most importantly, I thank you as a mother who also lost a [13 year old] daughter to aplastic anemia, for not letting your grief defeat you. I thank you for being strong for the rest of your family and for your community. I thank you for finding a way to remember Julia in such an uplifting and meaningful and loving way as through the efforts of Julia’s Wings [Foundation]. What a tremendous opportunity you have to advance aplastic anemia research with these matching funds, in Julia’s memory.” A second Julia Malsin Research grant in the amount of $60,000 will be dispersed in 2016. We never thought it would be possible to fund research in the amount of $120,000 over a two year time period!!!
Any additional funds raised from this year’s run will go directly towards assisting families with children battling aplastic anemia as we are working in partnership with Children’s Hospital Boston, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and Yale-New Haven Hospital. It is such a humbling experience to disperse a grant to a family who is struggling to financially stay afloat and care for their critically ill child.
None of these tremendous successes would possible without the incredible support of so many. We are so thankful to the Kent Chamber of Commerce for allowing us to be part of such an amazing event, our incredibly generous sponsors and to all those who participated and so graciously donated. Julia is an incredible example of pure goodness and we strive every day to live by her example. We are so grateful and appreciative of all the support we receive for our foundation. Without you, we wouldn’t be able to fulfill Julia’s wish of keeping families together during their illness and our wish that a child’s life may be saved one day through much needed research.
On behalf of Julia and the Julia’s Wings Foundation, heartfelt thanks for helping us “Honor Our Promise Everyday.”
For more information about Julia’s story and Julia’s Wings Foundation, please visit www.juliaswing.org and like us on Facebook.