CURE Childhood Cancer Association

December Newsletter

CURE main logo pic

A Message from the Executive Director

December is an important month of the year. Yes, every other month is important, but there’s something about December. It’s special. The magic of the holidays certainly helps, but I feel as though we are surrounded by more goodness and kindness in December than in any other month. Our volunteers are some of the most incredible people in our community. What would we do without you? From initiating food drives at work in order to help us fulfill the needs of our families this holiday season, to dedicating time from your busy lives to assist with wrapping gifts ensuring there are smiling faces on Christmas morning, to volunteering your time to make the Holiday Party a magical experience for all who attend. And that’s just in December! We are so appreciative of everything all of you do throughout the year. We absolutely could not do what we do without your support. Your patience is appreciated as well. With changes occurring in the office, we value your kindness in welcoming new staff on board. We certainly have some of the kindest, warm-hearted, generous volunteers around. So I wanted to thank all of you – our dedicated volunteers. You are my Holiday Heroes this year. Please know that every gesture, message and minute of your time are valued beyond measure. Your advocacy of our organization and spreading our mission in our community make a difference. You are a ripple in the pond of Rochester – and your hard work is paying off. We are seeing more fundraisers in the community with proceeds benefiting our families, more followers on social media and more recognition in the community. With increased awareness, we can increase the difference we make to those coping with pediatric cancer or chronic blood disorders here in Rochester. You are making a difference. I truly mean that.

So thank you. Thank you for making CURE what it is today – a beacon of hope for families during some of their toughest days. Your smiling faces, kind gestures and advocacy help more than you know.

Wishing all of you a happy, healthy holiday season. May your days be filled with making memories with your friends and family.
Thank you for all that you do.

Spotlight On Hayden

Hayden is the youngest of three children. Her brother Thomas is 20 and her sister Avery is 18.  Since they have grown up and gone to school, Hayden gets all the pets to herself.  She has two Portuguese Water Dogs named Leni and Holly and a very fat cat named Cleo.  Hayden was born in Atlanta, Georgia and moved to South Carolina for a few years before coming to Rochester.  She had never seen snow before she came North, but quickly learned to ski, sled and snow shoe!

Most days Hayden can be found laughing at silly YouTube videos or playing video games.  She has friends all over the world that meet up on Minecraft servers and hang out together.  Hayden is also very good at Special Effects make-up and once scared the nurses on 7N at the Golisano Children’s Hospital by making a very realistic missing finger wound, complete with bloody bandage!  When the weather is nice, Hayden and her best friends can be found listening to music and riding in the golf cart in our neighborhood.

Free CURE Programming and Events

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The next Parents Night Out will be a Chocolate Making class with Laughing Gull Chocolates in January!
Stay tuned for the date and time!

Art Work Needed

We have a “Wall of Fame” at the Twelve Corners Starbucks that features artwork of our CURE kids. We would love to feature your work and the wall could use a little love. Please do not include last names on your pieces. They can be sent to the CURE office or given to Kiersten or Adella at the hospital.

Upcoming Fundraisers

December 14, 2017 starts at 7PM

Join CURE Childhood Cancer Association and Nosh for the Tackiest Holiday Party of 2017.

Chef Joe and Co. will be whipping up a special dinner and cocktail menu for the night featuring Black Button spirits, with proceeds going to CURE Childhood Cancer Association.

As always, come dressed to impress in your tackiest, puffy paint, pom pom, sequined outfit for a chance to win a Dinner for Two from Nosh or a 20 Person Tasting Tour from Black Button.

If gaudy sweaters aren’t your thing, check out the Gifting Tree. Choose from 100 ornaments for a chance to win a boatload of prizes including sports memorabilia, booze and gift cards to your favorite local establishments.

Looking to get into the Holiday Spirit a little early? Share your Tackiest Sweater Selfie with us and use the hashtag #NoshforaCURE on social media to win a $100 Visa Gift Card. Sage Rutty, LLC will be donating $1 for each tacky sweater pic posted so get to snappin’.

Eat, Drink, Dine and Party the night away for an amazing cause!

It’s that time of year, wash away the salt and traces of winter all while supporting CURE!

amazon smile

Don’t forget to use Amazon Smile when doing your holiday shopping!

Did you know that Amazon Smile works JUST like Amazon except you can be supporting your favorite charity while shopping?! If you select CURE (see link below), a percentage of your purchase will be donated to us! Shopping AND helping local families? Can it get any better?! Just click here to be taken to the Amazon Smile site. Once you’re there, make sure you add it to your bookmarks so you remember to give to CURE every time you shop Amazon.

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Mint Salon will be hosting braid bars all over Rochester to benefit CURE starting in February! Stay tuned for more details!

Painting with a Twist Fundraiser:


To benefit CURE Childhood Cancer Association

January 21, 2018

Henrietta Location

6 – 9 PM

Bring your own alcoholic beverages. CURE will provide some soda and snacks. (If you have a special snack you’d like to share, the more the merrier!!)

3259 S Winton Rd #104, Rochester, NY 14623

Our friends at Coredello’s Pizzeria are generously donating $2.00 to CURE from every large pizza sold between January 11 – 14 in loving memory of Lydia Tata! Stop into Coredello’s and grab a yummy pizza while also supporting our families!

We are excited to announce that we have partnered with Rite Aid and are now an official KidCents charity! KidCents is a program created by The Rite Aid Foundation that allows Rite Aid customers to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar and donate their change to help support kid-focused charities.

Here’s how you can enroll in the KidCents program and round-up to our charity:

Step 1: Enroll in wellness+ with Plenti (Skip to Step 2 if you are already a wellness+ with Plenti member)

  • Visit and click ‘Sign In’ on the left
  • Click the box on the right to ‘Enroll in wellness+ with Plenti
  • Complete registration process for wellness+ with Plenti
  • Click through to finish signing up in Plenti
  • When finished with both processes, you will be directed to

Step 2: Enroll in the KidCents Round-Up Program

  • Visit
  • You should see your account logged in on the left. If not, sign in with the account information.
  • Click ‘Start rounding up today!’ dial on the left

Step 3: Designate Your Charity

  • Click ‘Select a Charity’ on the left
  • Type ‘CURE Childhood Cancer Association’ and click ‘Select This Charity’

By rounding up, you are helping us to reach our goals by simply shopping at Rite Aid. Feel free to invite your friends and family to participate in the program. Imagine the change that your change can make!

Thank you for your support!

The Sathya Sai International Organization (SSIO) is a free, non-denominational voluntary organization based in 126 countries. Its members share a common goal – to practice the teachings of love and service taught by their spiritual teacher, Sathya Sai Baba. The SSIO put together 50 bags filled with foods and comfort items for our families during the holidays. The SSIO is extremely happy to be involved with CURE Childhood Cancer Association. The children of our organization played a very important role in preparing these 50 holiday gift bags. Thank you CURE for helping us realize this special need and giving us an opportunity once again to be a part of this.

Thank you to the Clarcq family who made a generous donation to CURE from the proceeds of a lemonade and hot chocolate stand they hosted. They also donated this awesome new Childhood Cancer Awareness flag!

Thank you to everyone who donated to CURE on ROC the Day! Thanks to you we were able to raise $1,600!!!

Thank you to Kaleigh from Kaleigh’s White Bags of Hope who sold raffle tickets for a wreath and a Bath and Body Works basket at a local craft show and used the proceeds to buy all of these toys for our kids!

Thank you to our friends at CURE Bears for Hope and Love who donated two huge bags full of bears just like these!

A big thank you to our friends at Race With  Grace for once again hosting an incredible event! We had so much fun on Thanksgiving and appreciate everyone who came out!

We Want To Hear From You!

We are currently looking for interns for the upcoming Summer 2018

If you are interested please reach out to Holly Dutcher at

Has CURE helped you? We would love to hear stories about how CURE has helped you and your family. These stories will be shared with grantors, donors, on our website and social media. We want the community to know their contributions are making a difference! Submissions can be sent to

What programming would you like to see at CURE? We are working on developing more Parents’ Night Out events (where would you like us to set one up??) as well as joint programming with other local organizations. What would you like to see us work on? Please send suggestions to

Wish List Items Needed:

We are so grateful to the community for all of the wonderful donations we receive throughout the year. We could not service all the families we do without this generous support.  If you or a community group you belong to is looking for something to do for a charity, please consider donating items from CURE’s wish list so that we can continue to provide for our families.

Items Needed:

  • A cure for childhood cancer, blood diseases and brain tumors!
  • Gift cards for Wegmans, Tops, Wal-Mart, Target and gas cards
  • Small pocket/purse-sized calendars
  • Paper towels and toilet paper
  • Items for teens or young adults
  • Toys for kids under 3 years old

We ask that all items be new and recently purchased.  Thank you!

Bereaved Families Corner

Coping With Grief During the Holidays

It is no surprise that holidays can be stressful. There are gifts to buy at crowded stores, friends and family to see, parties to go to (or host), traveling in possible wintry conditions, and dealing with possible financial strain. If you have suffered a recent loss, the holidays can become even more stressful.

Unfortunately, there is no fool-proof plan for coping successfully with your grief over the holidays. Grief is individual, and what helps heal one person may not be helpful to someone else. There is not a right or wrong way to handle holidays or other important family celebrations (e.g., birthdays, anniversaries) but there are things that you may find helpful.

Coping strategies:

The anticipation of the holiday typically is worse than the actual day. Plan ahead for how you will handle the holiday. If appropriate, discuss your plan with family and friends. You may decide to celebrate a particular event or holiday different than you usually would, such as by having a gathering at a different place or traveling instead of staying at home. You might consider doing something special in memory of your deceased loved one, such as setting a place at the table or visiting the gravesite.

Talk to loved ones how they can help you through this day, keeping in mind that they may be struggling too. Many people are well-intentioned and want to be helpful but are unsure how. Don’t pretend to be ok if you are not. Seek out support.

Educate yourself on the grieving process and on healthy grieving. You can read a book, attend a lecture, join a support group, or to for grief counseling.

Decide what you can and can’t do this holiday season. Maybe you will send out Christmas cards but not as many this year, or you might forego it altogether. Or if you typically have the holiday meal at your house, you may ask another family member to host instead.

Avoid excessive alcohol and/or medication use. Numbing the pain may help temporarily but typically will result in a longer more difficult grieving process.

Try to keep yourself as physically healthy as you can. Keep a regular routine of eating, sleeping and exercising.

Allow time to feel sad if you need to but let yourself enjoy the holiday too. This does not take away from your loss or mean that you did not care for the deceased.

Take some time for yourself if necessary. Holidays can be overwhelming and grieving can be exhausting. Some people like being around others while others prefer times of solitude when grieving. Avoid total isolation though, as this can lead to depression.

Seek professional assistance if you need it. Some people find that they can get enough support from family and friends, but others may need additional help from a qualified counselor.

If you don’t feel like putting up the large tree, or if you want to do this in addition to your regular tree: Decorate a small table top tree with your child’s favorite ornaments and special ornaments you may have to honor their memory or their favorite things and interests. Use a favorite small blanket or even an article of their clothing for the tree skirt. Place a picture or two of your child and other children.

This full article can be found here.


Christmas Dinners:

Blessed Sacrament Church (259 Rutgers Street, Rochester, NY 14607)
Holiday Dinner (December 18 @ 6:30)
Call Mary Jo Lightholder for more info (585-442-5279)

Cameron Community Ministries (48 Cameron Street; 585-254-2697)
Holiday Meal (December 25, 12 – 2)
No cost. No carry-out.

St. Peter’s Kitchen (Behind church at 681 Brown Street; 585-235-6511)
Christmas Dinner (December 25; 12:00 – 1:00 PM)
Anyone in need is welcome. No reservations required. No carry-out. No cost.


The following agencies are accepting applications for Christmas food baskets and/or toys for needy families.
All agencies require an interview and clients must present the following documentation for proof of eligibility: proof of income; identification for each family member, including social security number; and photo identification, proof of current address for the head of household.
Not all agencies cover every area of the city; be sure to check each listing for Zip Codes covered. For additional information, contact the appropriate agency at the number given.

Baden Street Settlement (152 Baden Street; (585) 325-4910)
Serves E. Ridge Road (north), Inner Loop (south), St Paul Street (west), Portland Avenue/Carter Street (east); portions of 14605, 14604 and 14621
Apply at the above address between November 1, 2016 and November 22, 2017, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday – Friday
Cost: none

Cameron Community Ministries (48 Cameron Street; (585) 254-2697)
Christmas Food Basket: starting December 1, 2017 9:00am in person with ID to sign-up.
Holiday Party December 20th 4-6 pm. Kids under 18 and meet Santa and receive a gift.
Cost: none


Community Place of Greater Rochester (585) 288-0021 and 327-7200
Christmas food baskets: sign-up begins 2nd week of October.
Serves 14609, parts of 14605, 14607, 14610, and 14621
Cost: none.

Irondequoit Community Cupboard (4275 Culver Road; (585) 336-9107)
Area served: Irondequoit. Sign up in person only.

Maplewood Edgerton (MEEK) (121 Driving Park Avenue; (585) 458-4682)
Serves 14613, portions of 14615 and portions of 14608
Registration for Christmas food baskets is Monday, November 27, 2017 at 9:00am.
Cost: none

Salvation Army (100 West Avenue; (585) 987-9500)
Serves all of Monroe County
Apply at the above address between November 7 and 11, 2016. Monday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Tuesday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Wednesday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Thursday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Friday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Head of household must bring photo ID, proof of address, proof of income and proof of ID for each additional household member.
Christmas distribution: Toy Shop: December 20-21, 2016 @ 9:00
Food Bag distribution December 22, 2016
Cost: none

St. Peter’s Kitchen (585) 235-6511
Children’s Toy Store
Areas served: 14604, 14608, 14611, 14619, 14606 (Mt. Read area)
November 13-27, 2017 during lunch hour 12:00-1:00.
Please bring budget sheet, social security info or benefits card plus recent piece of mail.

SWEM Community Services (350 Chili Avenue; (585) 235-4494)
Serves 14428, 14514, 14546, 14559, 14606, 14608, 14611, 14614, 14619, parts of 14623 (west of Genesee River), 14624
Call the above number (no messages, please) between November 1 – 23, 2017
10:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Monday – Friday (No holidays or weekends)
Cost: none

Bereavement Group:

illustration of the forget-me-not flowers over white background

The first Wednesday of each month

Hosted by Kiersten Kunick and Adella Ivison

200 Westfall Road, Rochester 14620

Next meeting is December 6, 2017

From 7-830pm

No reservations required

ROC City Sicklers:

ROC City Sicklers Logo

The third Tuesday of each month

UR Medicine

Conference room ACF A/B

Next meeting is December 19, 2017


Free Parking

Food provided by Wegmans

Are you looking for someone to help tutor your child? Boost provides supplementary tutoring for children with cancer and other chronic diseases, which may prevent normal educational development. This group of teachers will not supplement the tutoring being provided by the school, but will act as a “boost” to a child by helping him/her better understand material being presented at the child’s grade level. Our tutors use their teaching expertise to fill the gap left when traditional schooling is not possible. The group is currently in need of volunteer tutors. For more information please go to or contact Linda Bolan at 585-317-7269.

Educational Consultant Services from CURE

Do you have questions and concerns about your child’s schooling after diagnosis of cancer, brain tumor or blood disorder? CURE can help. Kathryn Wissler, M. Ed is available for educational consultation with Pediatric Hematology Oncology Patients seen at Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong.  If you would like to speak with Kathy Wissler either in person or via phone, please contact Kiersten Kunick , CURE Parent Advocate, at 585-697-4470, or call the CURE office at 585-473-0180 and she will make a referral. This service is provided free for CURE families.

Outpatient/On treatment Support Group:

Kiersten Kunick will host an Outpatient/On treatment Support Group for parents at the CURE office once per month.

This meeting will be held from 12pm – 1pm on the 2nd Wednesday of every month.

Join us and connect with other outpatient caregivers!

Feel free to reach out to Kiersten

Long-term Survivor Support Group:

Adella Ivison will host a Long-term Survivorship Support Group for caregivers at the CURE office once per month.

This meeting will be held from 6:30pm – 8pm on the 4th Wednesday of every month.

Join us and connect with others about late effects and more.

Feel free to contact Adella at

Facebook Live:

Kiersten Kunick and Adella Ivison, Parent Advocates, go live on Facebook every other Wednesday at 12pm.

They can answer any questions during this time, share upcoming news, provide support and connect parents with other parents.

Have a topic you’d like to hear about? Feel free to reach out to Kiersten or Adella and share!

Brian Bisgrove Home of Courage:

The Brian Bisgrove Home of Courage , located an hour away from Rochester) is a retreat and respite home for families with children who have life-altering conditions.   Children and their families are invited into the beautiful , handsomely-appointed log cabin for a 3 or 4 day stay of rest and repose, all comepletely free of charge.  At the Home medically fragile childere can experience a different kind of healing, one of the mind and spirit.  Its a place to let go of anxiety and stress and focus on the family.

The website (with more detailed information on the Home and the application) is