The year 2012 started off with support for our family from close to 20,000 people following our story on Facebook.
John and I had to make a decision: Did we want to crawl into a hole or did we want to start fighting back against Childhood Cancer with the support of all of these wonderful people. Our family continued to grieve over the loss of our precious daughter and sister, but John, Madison, Katie, and I decided we needed to start fighting for a cure in Gabby’s name. We contacted a lawyer and started working on the legal aspect of creating a foundation. We reached out to friends and supporters to form our executive board.
February of 2012 was the official formation date of The Get Well Gabby Foundation in Memory of Gabriella M. Vogel. With that our fight changed and we started on our new quest to increase awareness and raise money to help others dealing with Childhood Cancer.
February 2012: A Valentine’s Dip for John
We challenged our Facebook followers to get us to 30,000 followers before Valentine’s Day. If we reached our goal, John was going to jump in the freezing Atlantic Ocean with Cancer Sucks written on his back.
We made our goal, and on a very chilly morning our family went to Bethany Beach for John to take his dip into the Atlantic. He was wearing only his bathing suit with Cancer Sucks written on his back and walked right into the Atlantic Ocean and froze his everything off!!!
It was worth it, since we follow through on our goal, all in the name of Gabby.
May 2012: Cure Search Walk
We joined in the fight against Childhood Cancer at the Cure Search Walk in Philadelphia. Cure Search is another foundation that was established to raise money and awareness for Childhood Cancer. Our team was made up of several friends, family, and faithful followers that wanted to walk in memory of Gabby. It was a beautiful day and we were recognized by Cure Search for our teams fund raising efforts.
June 2012: Reading Phillies
We sold 200 tickets to The Reading Phillies game. There was a whole section devoted to The Get Well Gabby Foundation but unfortunately it was right in the beating sun! Katie and Madison were able to throw out a first pitch and we were granted a few other opportunities while there at the game.
July 2012: Blue Rocks
We gave away over 200 tickets to the Wilmington Blue Rocks game. The tickets were divided between the Oncology departments at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Nemours/AI DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington. We made several families and kids happy with a day out to a minor league game that they might not have been able to attend otherwise.
August 2012: Fight for the Gold Night
We attended the Fight for the Gold night at the Wilmington Blue Rocks game. This night is devoted to the children who are being treated for cancer at Nemours/AI DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington. We participated in the pre-game parade on the field with several other Delaware foundations and children fighting this deadly disease.
September 2012: Softball Tournament
We hosted our first annual softball tournament in Kimberton, PA. We had 10 teams play together for the day to gain the title of champion. The team Bistro on Bridge was the ultimate winner of our tournament. They are excited to come back in 2013 to try to hang onto their champion title.
In addition to the softball games, the day was filled with a bake sale, raffles, a concession stand, and activities for the kids.
We are already in the planning process for our 2013 tournament.
More September: Our Second Annual 5K
September was a busy month for us, since we also hosted our second annual 5K run in Phoenixville, PA.
Over 200 people come out that day to run or walk our 5K course around the National Christian Conference Center’s property. We had a 50-yard dash for the kids who attended.
Among the people who attended we had two very special people come specifically for our race. Jennie and Hannah came all the way from Chugiak, Alaska just to run in our 5K. This aunt and niece duo is running races in all 50 states. They choose The Get Well Gabby Foundation 5K for Pennsylvania because they were so touched by Gabby’s story and what our foundation was doing.
October 2012: Gabby’s Birthday Celebration
October 9th we celebrated Gabby’s birthday and an awareness event for other children that are currently battling cancer or who have battled cancer. We had activities for the kids, a face painter, baked goods, a DJ, and several balloons to release.
We released Gold balloons for those kids that are fighting cancer, white balloons for the kids that we lost to cancer, and pink balloons to celebrate our beautiful girl in heaven.
More October: Piggy Paint Releases Gabby colors!!
The Get Well Gabby Foundation worked to partner with Piggy Paint nail polish to create two colors specifically for Gabriella and The Get Well Gabby Foundation. The first color is a pink shimmer called Gabriella and a gold shimmer called Believe. The two colors are packaged together with a pedicure set. Proceeds from the sale of the Pedi-“cure” sets benefit the foundation to help support our mission.
Visit the Piggy Paint Website to see the colors and order them if you have not had a chance.
November 2012: Book Drive
We finished collecting books for our book drive in November. We collected new books for the Oncology units of three local children’s’ hospitals.
With your help, the foundation delivered close to 1,800 books to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Nemours/AI DuPont in Wilmington DE, and Hershey Medical Hospital in Hershey PA. The books needed to be new to ensure they were free of allergens and germs.
The book drive was such a success, we will hold book drives twice in 2013.
December 2012: Book Drive Drop Off
The Get Well Gabby Foundation provided lunch and dropped off books to each of the three hospitals. Nemours/AI DuPont allowed the members of the foundation to come onto the Oncology floor and serve lunch to their patients as well as help them choose books for the kids that were in-patient.
The Get Well Gabby Foundation provided Christmas to a family in need this holiday season. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia offered us a name of a family that has two children that are battling cancer. They could use some serious holiday cheer. We played Santa and sent this family many of the gifts their children wanted for Christmas.
Year End 2012:
As the year comes to an end, we were given an opportunity to help out Nemours/ AI DuPont Hospital for Children with two very important projects they are working on.
Dr. Kolb, the director of the center for cancer and blood disorders has asked The Get Well Gabby Foundation to be a part of a ground breaking research opportunity for the four hospitals in the AI DuPont system.
They also asked us to fund the child life playroom that is currently under construction as part of the new hospital expansion.
Both of these projects satisfy our mission to fund research for Childhood Cancer as well as assist in the care and well being of families being treated for cancer.
This is a great opportunity for Nemours/AI DuPont Hospital for Children as well as The Get Well Gabby Foundation. See more information regarding these two projects and our involvement at the beginning of 2013.
Looking Forward to 2013
We had quite a year in 2012, and are gearing up for everything we plan to accomplish in 2013.
Within the first few months of 2013 we will introduce our new website, release our official press release regarding the grant we are giving to Nemours/AI DuPont Hospital for Children, hold our first national fund raiser with a Pajama Day, and introduce everyone to Gabby’s new baby brother… whenever he decides to arrive.
Please continue to share the story of Get Well Gabby and our Facebook page and our websitewith your friends and family. The more people we have following our foundation, the more we will be able to accomplish in the upcoming year in the fight against Childhood Cancer!
Thank you to everyone who helped to make this a successful year. I look forward to continuing our fight against Childhood Cancer.
Carolynn (Forever Gabby’s Mommy)