The Showcase Magazine - Articles


The Emmanuel Cancer Foundation

By Lauren Holstein



Your kindness can make a difference in the lives of others.


For the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation (ECF), they count on it. The ECF is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide free, in-home, and specialized services to New Jersey families facing the challenges of pediatric cancer. Efforts began in 1981 when seven-year-old Emmanuel Vizzoni was diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma just weeks after his birthday. The diagnosis led to emotional and financial hardships for his family. Sadly, Emmanuel passed away just two months later. To assist other families experiencing the trauma of childhood cancer after Emmanuel’s death, his parents, Susan and Joseph Vizzoni established ECF two years later.

Based on their passion and vision, the foundation is privately funded by the contributions of individuals, corporations, foundations, and community groups to create tailored packages that support families in need. The support provided by ECF can come in a variety of ways, thanks to their trained professionals and dedicated volunteers. The hallmark of their program includes in-home professional counseling. ECF has a team of caseworkers who are available 24/7 for individual and family counseling, emotional support, and bereavement counseling. They can also assist with insurance advocacy and medical providers. Another core service includes emergency financial aid when a family is in danger of losing services that would render them homeless or without the basic services they need to survive, such as rent, auto insurance, and utilities. The limited emergency financial relief can be a critical resource, allowing parents and families to focus on fighting pediatric cancer instead of expenses. In addition to counseling and financial assistance, families are also offered material assistance. Simple tasks like grocery shopping and maintaining the home may become a burden during this time. Dedicated volunteers provide families with food deliveries and household items, can help prepare birthday celebrations, and provide ongoing assistance as needed.

Throughout the years, ECF’s small staff and volunteers have accomplished remarkable things for New Jersey families facing pediatric cancer. Without any government funding, nearly 2,000 families have received free support and services. There have been 193,159 food and material assistance opportunities provided to families and $29,505 worth of gift cards collected and distributed. During this time, caseworkers have made over 576 home visits annually and provided 1,500 hours of additional free services. Additionally, volunteers have logged close to 5,000 hours a year on behalf of ECF families.

If you’d like to help replace fear with hope and assist families during their hardship, become one of the dedicated volunteers at any of ECF’s regional offices. Special projects volunteers are needed for tasks, including clerical support, organizing a food drive and/or local fundraiser, planning special events, delivering food, tracking and acknowledge birthdays, and more. Your generosity can have an impact.

For more information on how to receive their services or to refer a family in need, reach out through any of the contact information below. Help can begin within the first phone call.

For further information please visit www.emmanuelcancer.org

Call or email Barbara at 908-322-4323 x17 email bkopel@emmanuelcancer.org