Education

Roxbury Children Working to Conquer Cancer

Isabella Reilly at Treatment as a young child Credits: Eisenhower Middle School
Isabella Reilly with the Treasure Chest Credits: Eisenhower Middle School
The Treasure Chest filled with toys Credits: Eisenhower Middle School

ROXBURY, NJ - Eisenhower Middle School is working to help conquer cancer with upcoming events.

The school is inviting the community to support the efforts of its students in assisting families going through treatment at Morristown Children’s Oncology Unit by holding a toy drive over the next month for Goryeb Children’s Oncology Unit’s Treasure Box.

The Treasure Box is a place a child goes after receiving spinal taps, radiation, chemotherapy and/or blood work. This special place gives the child a place to forget about their difficult journey and focus on having fun with a simple toy.

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If you are interested in participating in the community event, please drop off toys/check donations to Eisenhower Middle School located at 47 Eyland Ave. in Succasunna.

Check donations can be written out to Valerie Center Treasure Chest Fund and dropped off at EMS.

Any smaller toys costing less than about $10 would be great with the exception of stuffed animals. Favorites include Slinkys, Silly Putty, Barbies, action figures (Batman, Spider-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Minecraft, etc.), My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Shopkins, Mash’ems/Fash’ems, Twozies, Grossery Gang, Trashies, Little People, Hot Wheels, play tools, play food/kitchen items, bracelets, nail polish, bubbles, character balls (not tiny bouncy balls or big soccer balls), Imaginext, card games (Monopoly Deal, Uno, Life Adventures, Scrabble Slam, etc.), Legos, art kits, Play-Doh sets, etc.

Bigger kids prefer gift cards. Gift cards should be in $10 increments to Starbucks, Amazon, Chipotle, Target, Dairy Queen, Dunkin Donuts, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Modells, Five Below, Michael’s, AC Moore, etc.

Gift cards to local restaurants are also appreciated! Families can order out when the child is spending the entire day in the center or in the hospital overnight. Local restaurants to the hospital that deliver include Godfather, South Street Creamery, Pure Pita, Pomodoro’s and more!

Kelly Blanchette from Morristown Memorial Hospital was kind enough to come to EMS to present to the students and staff on Feb. 2  and to kick off this community service event.

“Blanchette focused on all the wonderful things Goryeb Hospital does for the children in cancer treatment,” shared Heather Roddy, co-advisor of the EMS Character Education Committee.

The toy drive at EMS was developed by Isabella Reilly in Roddy’s seventh-grade civics class.

“Isabella is a cancer survivor who has lead by example by donating her birthday gifts to the unit in the past as well as creating this special program," Roddy said. "Isabella will give back the warmth and kindness to other children that she received herself as a young child.”

Reilly showed strength and maturity in her presentation to her peers when she shared her story of surviving cancer as well as the motivation to bring this project to fruition. She spoke side-by-side with her mother who shared the parent’s perspective of dealing with the treatment of cancer with such a young child.

“Isabella’s parents were there to support her during her presentation,” explained Roddy.

Roddy went on to say, “EMS students are holding a dance to honor the unit. The PTO and Character Education Committee teamed up to bring the event to EMS. DJ Chris D’Amico will be donating his time the night of the event. This month the school will be working to make a positive impact towards the efforts of the Goryeb Center to create a positive light for children dealing with this challenging situation.”

For more information regarding these events and the EMS Character Education Committee, please contact Heather Roddy at hroddy@roxbury.org or Shannon Rodas (srodas@roxbury.org).

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