When Alicia Rose lost her battle to a rare cancer in 2002, her parents Gisele and Mario DiNatale were inspired by their daughter’s fight and spirit and wanted to honor her and other children like her. In 2003, they funded their first Teen Lounge at a local children’s hospital and the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation was born.
The foundation has a mission to provide strength and support for teens through various programs to enhance the quality of life for adolescents with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses nationwide.
Since 2006, the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation has supported teens at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach through various Victorious 4 Teens programs.
“Through our own experience, we saw an opportunity to help support and improve the quality of life for hospitalized teens,” says Gisele DiNatale. “When Alicia was battling cancer, all she wanted was to feel like a normal teenager and we noticed there wasn’t a lot for teens to do to help take their mind off treatment, and feel normal.”
Teenagers are often overlooked, with a lot of donation efforts targeting the younger kids. This can leave hospitalized teens feeling left out and frustrated when they are already missing out on school activities and the independence that comes with being a teen.
In January, the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation teamed up with Safelite AutoGlass to deliver one of the latest Victorious 4 Teens programs to Miller Children’s & Women’s, Alicia’s Art Cart. The program provides the Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program with a portable creative outlet that can go from the Teen Lounge to bedsides. It also provides funds for the Child Life Program to continue to re-stock the cart with age appropriate arts and crafts activities and materials throughout the year.
“Alicia’s Art Cart goes beyond crayons and colored pencils and gives my team a chance to add new and exciting crafts for our teens,” says Rita Goshert, manager, Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program, Miller Children’s & Women’s. “The best part is my team will get to customize what goes in the cart, and we can add new crafts and activities as we go.”
With Alicia’s Art Cart, the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation continues its long-standing partnership with Miller Children’s & Women’s. The foundation is adding on to existing programs such as Teen Kits and Bandana Pillows that are periodically sent out to teens at Miller Children’s & Women’s. They also recently donated $11,000 towards the creation of a new Teen Lounge and fun activities for teens.
“We are so thankful to the Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation for all their support of our teens and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them in the Victorious 4 Teens programs,” says Goshert. “Connecting with teens isn’t always the easiest for Child Life Specialists and all these programs help us strengthen those bonds.”
(Original Source Article published by Miller Children's Feature Articles)
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About Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation
Alicia Rose Victorious Foundation (ARVF, Corp.) is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization founded in 2002. ARVF is dedicated to providing age-appropriate Victorious 4 Teens programs, for hospitalized teens and young adults, battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Since inception, over $2.5m has been dedicated to Victorious 4 Teens programs, including funding 65 Teen Lounges, located at children’s hospitals in 38 states across the country. ARVF also distributes over 2000 Teen Kits & Bandana Pillows annually to hospitalized teens and young adults. For more information about ARVF and to find out how you can help hospitalized teens, visit www.victoriousfoundation.org.