What’s New With David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation

Nov 28, 2018
Courtesy of: David's Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation David's Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation founder David Caldarella

Hungry to help those in need? Be part of a community-wide effort to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families on Sunday, Dec. 2, at the annual Pancake Breakfast with Santa at TGI Friday’s in Manahawkin. Admission of $10 includes one plate of pancakes with bacon, sausage, coffee and a soft drink; and Santa Claus himself will make a special guest appearance. The event benefits the David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation and is run by Southern Regional High School’s DDBCF Club, the organization’s junior division.

Concurrent with the breakfast will be a toy and gift collection for the Trident Toy Drive, sponsored by Trident Fitness and Performance and administered through DDBCF and Stafford Township PBA Local 297. New, unwrapped toys for children up to the age of 17 will also be collected at Trident during business hours until Family Fitness Day on Dec. 9.

Meanwhile, Stockton University has teamed up with DDBCF for its monthly “Coffee and Conversations” series (think “Lunch and Learn” but more caffeinated) at The Union Market and Gallery at the Tuckerton Seaport in Tuckerton. Enjoy a cup of coffee and meet health professionals who share their expertise on various topics related to a cancer diagnosis. These events are free and open to the public.

Coming up next is Kristopher Cleary, a Stockton alumnus and professor in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, on Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. He will discuss rehabilitation techniques for oral, head and neck cancers.

Last week, DDBCF founder David Caldarella announced the organization’s all-time giving has exceeded $1 million. The milestone is bittersweet, he explained, because on Nov. 16, a 17-year-old boy battling a cancer diagnosis became the 1,222nd patient/family to receive assistance from DDBCF, bringing the total direct financial giving to $1,000,564.25.

Caldarella credits co-founders Tim Hall and Carmen Malatino, the volunteer board of directors, Executive Director Danielle Corso, “Mission of Hope” giving partners such as Equity Prime Mortgage NJ, and event sponsors. Additionally, patient advocates, advisory board members, service arm partners and “Generation Dream” student groups all serve to support families battling cancer, the deadly disease that affects half of all men and a third of all women.

The service arm – launched last March in partnership with several businesses, in response to a gap in care as it relates to healing of the mind, body and soul after a cancer diagnosis – offers integrative healthcare programs and support services including yoga, acupuncture, massage, meditation, counseling, fitness, nutrition, physical therapy, childcare services and recreation.

“Eight years ago, during my stage IV head and neck cancer diagnosis, I read that ‘kindness is the shadow of God in Man,’ and I commented that those shadows were never more present than during my battle with cancer,” Caldarella said. Today, he feels those shadows are present during every interaction with someone courageously battling cancer. Patients and their families are the inspiration for, and focus of, everything DDBCF does.

“I am so grateful for the public’s trust and generous support of our mission,” he added.

The patient grant requests keep pouring in, which is why ongoing giving is crucial. Those who help DDBCF in its mission are called Beacons of Hope. Consider becoming a Beacon of Hope by visiting bit.ly/DonateDDBCF or the foundation’s Facebook page or by calling 609-489-0011.  —V.F.

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