The words — “Johnston Memorial Cancer Events” — are prominently printed at several locations inside Hasbro Children’s Hospital, which recently completed a full renovation from top-to-bottom by way of extraordinary philanthropic support that raised $25 million for the project.
Michele P. Brannigan, Senior Gifts Officer/Campaign Manager, explained that “the hospital is fully modernized with bright and beautiful public areas and patient’s rooms because of the JMCE’s generosity and their gifts that went towards renovations over the last few years.”
Moreover, the JMCE’s work is under glass — and in lights — on the new and impressive “Wall of Gratitude” located in the lobby. The display also features the Johnston-based Goodfellas Motorcycle Club, recognizing the group for its “extraordinary efforts” in recent years.
The JMCE is also prominently displayed on a donor sign as people enter the fifth floor and in honor of the unique non-profit there’s a special wall plaque next to the highly acclaimed pediatric oncology unit. The plaque reads: “In grateful recognition of Johnston Memorial Cancer Events, In Honor of Sal Gelsomino, Anna Mazzulla, Laura DeAngelis, Raymond Johnson, John Furia and Frances Grasso,” in whose memory all funds are raised.
Brannigan, while speaking on behalf of the hospital, offered: “The Johnston Memorial Cancer Events’ strong commitment to the families we serve is an inspiration to all of us. The fact that they completed their $100,000 pledge to help modernize the hospital a full year ahead of schedule speaks volumes about the community they’ve built and strength of their mission to help children living with cancer.”
She paused, then with sincerity ringing in her voice, went on: “Their new commitment in support of pediatric cancer research is so exciting and points to the hope we all feel for the discovery of new treatments and, hopefully, the promise of a cure one day.”
Perhaps Dr. Rishi Lulla, Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, was the most excited all the people who attended the JMCE’s recent presentation of another $30,000.
Dr. Lulla, in fact, attended the celebration which was held inside the well-appointed Izzy Room located on the fifth floor and named in honor of Isabelle “Izzy” Wohlrab.
As a dozen JMCE members enjoyed coffee, bagels and muffins, prior to what has become an annual check presentation, Brannigan explained that the room is “supported by the Izzy Foundation and provides respite and resources to families with children being cared for on the fifth floor including those children with cancer.”
“We have a fantastic team here,” Dr. Lulla said of everyone at Hasbro. “Thank you — again — for all you have done for us through the years; your commitment to our patients and raising money to support pediatric cancer research.”
Under Dr. Lulla’s leadership Hasbro Children’s Hospital’s pediatric cancer research enterprise has grown and as Brannigan explained: “Today our patients have access to all the latest therapeutics and research trials. The gift from the JMCE will support the work being done in pediatric cancer research.”
Deb Johnson presented Dr. Lulla with the check for $30,000, which drove the JMCE’s total donations to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in the past 11 years to nearly $300,000, with more money promised in 2023.
The close-knit group of friends who make up “TEAM JMCE” were on hand, including Judi Graham, Phyliss Gelsomino, Dewey Uriati, Cheryl Jason, Vin LaFazia, Linda LaFazia, Julianne DeAngelis, Erie DeAngelis and Michele Capraro.
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