Charlie’s Champions Foundation was created by Tara and John Schmitt in the name of their son, Charlie (12yrs old), who was diagnosed at 6yrs old with Leukemia, he battled the blood disease for 6 straight years and is now cancer free. The mission of our foundation is to raise awareness and funds to benefit Pediatric Cancer research and Psychosocial healing programs most specifically at the Cancer Center For Kids – Winthrop University Hospital,NY.
After receiving the devastating news that our son had cancer we were immediately advised to put Charlie in the care of Dr. Mark Weinblatt and the Cancer Center For Kids. This was a most difficult decision in a time of confusion, fear and heartache. Pediatric cancer was not a topic we were knowledgeable on, most people aren’t and hopefully will never have to be beyond basics.
Now, six years since diagnosis, Charlie is in solid remission. We now know that we are truly blessed to have the Cancer Center For Kids in our backyard at Winthrop University Hospital. It is the only “ambulatory suite” on Long Island. This allows patients to have small procedures done in the cancer center without the trauma of being admitted into the hospital. Another unique aspect of the Cancer Center for Kids is the employment of 2 child psychologists, 1 child life specialist and a social worker. These are the people that help the children deal with the unimaginable and help them carry on with their lives -the lives they were meant to live. These positions are funded solely by donations.
Winthrop’s Cancer Center for Kids is an exceptional, state of the science facility where children are given the best possible chance for recovery through superior medical care, constant nurturing, and unconditional support. The center has taken our son, Charlie, and our family through the most difficult of times. For this we are grateful and passionate about creating ways to continue funding this unique place.