by AMY LEHRER

Our humanity often inspires us to help those in need. Sometimes we experience excruciating pain and then make it our mission to spare others this same trauma. And other times we merely recognize the burdens of others and decide to help.

Judy and John Champ’s four year old son Conner died of brain cancer despite aggressive chemotherapy, radiation, and steroid treatments. This experience forced the Champs to recognize what was truly important – spending time loving their son, finding the best facilities and treatments for him, and preparing him for death by reading books and discussing heaven—and what was not as important at this critical time—working, paying bills, and dealing with insurance companies. Meanwhile, two inspired moms of Conner’s two best friends, combined with friends and neighbors, joined forces to raise money to pay mounting bills so the Champs could focus their physical and emotional energy on Conner.

This fundraising effort became the nonprofit organization Conner’s Cause for Children. “After our bills were paid,” Judy Champ explained, “Conner’s Cause began to help other families who had a child who was afflicted with a life threatening illness.” Over the past eighteen years more than 4,000 families have received money to pay for utility and phone bills, gas, groceries, special equipment needed by the children not covered by insurance, revamping of vehicles or homes to accommodate wheelchairs, and travel expenses to obtain care and treatment. According to board member Karen Gliner, the goal is that “No child goes without access to treatment or dignified in home care because of a family’s lack of resources.” Most families who need assistance are referred by social workers or health care providers, but some families find Conner’s Cause via word of mouth or through the organization’s website.

Those wanting to contribute to Conner’s Cause are encouraged to attend future fundraisers like the upcoming Summer Lovin’ Luncheon Boutique and Fashion Show that occurs June 3 at The Santaluz Club, buy art at community charity partner Art N Soul on 101 in Encinitas, raise their own funds, or make their own very welcome donations of any size.

 

To make a tax deductible donation or learn more about Conner’s Cause for Children, visit www.connerscause.org.