Camp Happy Times

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Meet the Kids You're Helping


Diagnosed at 3 Months Old - Sickle Beta Thalassemia Zero

Addison enjoys visiting The Valerie Fund Center, where she gets to play in the playroom with all the fun toys, read books, and do crafts. Lauren and Mr. Mike from Child Life always bring her surprises - even Barbie dolls! With the kindness and compassion from all the staff and the services they provide for Addison, we know our daughter is provided for beyond measure. We are so grateful for everyone at The Valerie Fund for easing the stress on our family during these difficult times, while still managing to put a smile on our daughter’s face.

Addison’s favorite experience at The Valerie Fund Center was when they did a magic show. She thought it was amazing!
-written by Addison’s Mom


Diagnosed at 16 Months Old - Ependymoma (brain tumor)

Camila loves the days at the pool at camp and playing with the other campers. The Valerie Fund help us emotionally and financially. The support they give Camila is filled with love and shows her she is not alone. Camila will be in treatment indefinitely. She enjoys singing, dancing, and playing with her Barbie doll.
-written by Camila’s Mom


Diagnosed at Age 6 - Anaplastic Pleomorphic Xanthoastrocytoma (APXA)

Every time I am at the Valerie Center, all of the staff treats me like a member of their family, it doesn’t feel like I’m at the Doctor’s office. They play with me, tell jokes with me, and we have a good time.

The Valerie Fund has helped our family get through long hospital stays, bringing me games to play and supplies to make slime. They gave us gift cards to order food while I was in the hospital and made sure my brothers and sister were ok at home. We loved making slime so much that my twin sister and I are donating over 100 slime kits back to the hospital for other kids going through similar situations.

I enjoy arts and crafts, dancing to and listening to Taylor Swift, making videos with my sister, and gymnastics. I also love riding my scooter, doing my mom and my sister’s hair, and playing with my cats and dogs.


Diagnosed at Birth - Sickle Cell Disease

When I was in the hospital, The Valerie Fund staff helped me feel better. The Child Life Specialist brings activities that help me keep my mind off the pain I have. I was excited to be able to take part in Camp Happy Times during COVID when the camp was virtual. We were all mailed a huge box of camp supplies and I got to participate in virtual camp along with my sister. They had a glow dance party and they even sent us glow sticks to participate. It was so fun being able to do this with my sister.

I like to play outside, especially riding my bike and basketball. I also like playing with my Barbies and spending time with my friends, family and dog. I like to do flips, dance and cheerleading.


Diagnosed at Birth - Sickle Cell Disease

I was diagnosed with Sickle Cell disease at birth, and was fortunate to be placed in the best care from the start at The Valerie Fund Center at CHOP specialty care unit in Voorhees. Thanks to their amazing care and preventative measures, I can proudly say I have never suffered from a sickle cell pain crisis. I am so fortunate that The Valerie Fund was able to connect me to all the people and services that have helped me not only survive, but thrive.


Diagnosed at Age 1 - HR B-Cell ALL (Leukemia)

Whenever Charlotte has to go to clinic, she looks forward to the toys and crafts that are always available to her. Child Life Specialist Brie gave Charlotte a doll early in her treatment that she could practice giving meds to. This doll helped tremendously with Char taking her oral chemo meds.

For the past two years, our family has attended The Valerie Fund’s Morgan Stanley Rec Day at The Turtle Back Zoo. These days have come at times when we’ve needed a break from the reality of childhood cancer the most. They’ve provided Charlotte with amazing memories outside of her treatment, allowing her to be a kid. For that, I’m forever grateful.

Charlotte will be in treatment until March 2024. When we are not at clinic, she loves playing outside with her little sister Ella, going on nature walks, and singing along to every Disney movies she’s memorized! Char also loves baking banana bread, cookies and muffins with her Gramma!
-written by Charlotte’s Mom


Diagnosed at Age 6 - Pre B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

I dressed up in costumes for every visit to The Valerie Fund Center for treatment. The doctors and other kids loved guessing who I would dress up as next! My parents always had support and help from people at the Center. Everyone became like a family to us and we will be forever grateful.

Now that I am two years post bone marrow transplant, I am back at school full time after four years away! I am riding my horses again, playing baseball and basketball, and love riding my four wheeler in the cornfields. I have also organized a toy drive for the treasure box. I like to pay it forward every chance I get.


Diagnosed at Age 2 - Wilms Tumor

The Valerie Fund was instrumental in making treatment as easy as possible. We benefited from the nutritionist, educational support, child life, social work, and beyond. Every time we went to treatment, a load was lifted off me because I knew we were taken care of. They helped me get through the hardest part of my life. Georgia has said that she misses treatment and I know that it is because she misses the people and the care she got.

Having a Valerie Fund Child Life Specialist helping at in-patient, out-patient and even ER visits was a blessing. One day Georgia was fussing, so Kelly “geared up” her office for water play. Georgia had the time of her life making bubbles and filling syringes with bubbly water. She made a mess but the happiness was worth it.

Georgia is one year cancer free and is thriving in pre-school, dance class, and distance running.
-written by Georgia’s Mom


Diagnosed at Age 8 - T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

My favorite times are when Child Life Specialist Miss Brie lets me pick a Lego set to build to pass the time. I also love getting massages during treatment. The Valerie Fund hosts fun events like a trip to the zoo with other cancer families. They also surprised us with a back-to-school gift card. Outside of treatment I enjoy playing soccer and playing video games.


Diagnosed at Age 14 - T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

It was my first time being at camp Happy Times this year and being so welcomed was my favorite. My favorite memory though is spending late nights with my bunkmates. The staff at The Valerie Fund has always been so efficient and friendly. There was always someone I could speak to. Outside of treatment I like to hang out with my friends. I love playing sports like lacrosse and football. I enjoy giving back to my community as well.


Diagnosed at Age 18 - Ewing’s Sarcoma

I was diagnosed during COVID, right after finished my first semester of my freshman year at college. Starting chemotherapy, alone, on my 19th birthday was devastating. During treatment, everyone from The Valerie Fund Center came to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ and gave me a cupcake. This small gesture lifted my spirit so much, and is a memory I will always treasure from my Valerie Fund experience.

Two weeks after my diagnosis, my femur broke and I was wheelchair bound for 4-6 months. During this time, the social workers helped my family make sure we had everything we needed – getting a ramp installed and a hospital bed, among other things. The Education Liaison, Caitlin was extremely helpful in assisting me in taking my leave of absence in college. Caitlin was absolutely amazing, and made the whole process completely seamless, and she still continues to help me from time to time.

I plan on going to medical school to become a pediatric oncologist.


Diagnosed at Age 9 - Thrombocytopenia

The Child Life specialist makes a very scary and difficult situation much easier on Kaitlyn. We feel very lucky to have amazing and compassionate doctors and staff working with our daughter. It was at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital that Kaitlyn decided that she wants to be a Hematologist! Our family, friends and staff at The Valerie Fund, as well as Dr. Muhlbauer, truly support Kaitlyn as we navigate this rare blood disorder.

Kaitlyn is a very talented artist and musician. She loves anime and art in general, plays clarinet for the school band, has been playing electric guitar for three years and is currently loving running Cross Country at her school!


Diagnosed at Age 6 - B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

The support from The Valerie Fund was amazing for Madison during such a hard time with COVID. Kaitlyn Murtagh was a wonderful advocate for school, helping advocate for Madison’s IEP. Natalie Nageeb was wonderful in helping Madison achieve braveness and being strong within herself as she tapped into her feelings about Cancer and COVID, all while only being 6 years old. Child Life Specialist Brie was that sunshine of a person who out a smile on Madison’s face with puzzles and crafts to distract her.

Madison is now finished with treatment and is so happy. She plays with her friends and has sleepovers without worrying about getting fevers and going to the hospital. She plays softball and plays third base. She loves to dance and make videos of her dancing.
-written by Madison and her Mom


Diagnosed at Age 12 - Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

I am a sophomore at Berklee School of Music, thanks to the Weintraub Family Scholarship I was awarded by The Valerie Fund. When i found out I had cancer it changed everything for me. I realized that life could end at any minute and when it did you want to be happy with what you had accomplished. It was that epiphany that inspired me to pursue my passion for music.


Diagnosed at 20 Months - Wilms Tumor

Sydney was so scared of doctors and nurses at the beginning of treatment. Now she loves going to see her doctors. The love and care of everybody at The Valerie Fund Center changed her perspective. Caitlyn, our social worker, always checked on us. The child life specialist makes sure that Sydney has so much fun at the clinic, making us less anxious for chemo treatment. Sydney receives scans every 3 months. She is currently in P3 in preschool. She loves playing doctor and with her doll house.
-written by Sydney’s mom

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