Meg and her daughter Rachel spoke before Congress at the very first Childhood Cancer Days and Meg continues to be active in the lobbying efforts of the movement. After Rachel finished treatment, Meg dedicated herself to giving back to the families of children with cancer. Meg started the very first Hospital Teas, which provided support to the parents as they faced their child’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. Meg feels that the families need to have moments of fun throughout treatment and DC Candlelighters has been able to provide parties regularly to give the families time to enjoy each other and forget about cancer for a while.
Jen is privileged to join the DC Candlelighters’ embrace families in the DC Metro area. Her compassion and respect for walking alongside the community comes from a personal journey with her daughter, Monique, and husband, Rick, as they were diagnosed in 2008. Receiving the support of so many organizations and individuals will forever be held close to her heart. From then to now, she is set on giving back and embracing all of you. Whether it is calling out Bingo numbers on family night or planning events or speaking on behalf of support for DC Candlelighters events, Jen is committed to our cause.
Michelle’s son Alex was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma in 2000. He lost his battle with cancer in 2002 after a long fight to survive. If it had not been for organizations like DC Candlelighters to assist her family through the journey, she doesn’t know how her family would have survived. It is Michelle’s pleasure to serve on the board of this organization and assist other children and their families as they navigate their way through the treatment of this horrible disease.
Madonna first became aware of the work of DC Candlelighters when her son, who was 3 1/2 at the time, was battling Stage IV Rhabdomyosarcoma. DC Candlelighters provided support for Madonna and her family through encouragement, visits and a surprise Christmas in July for her son and his brother. DC Candlelighters touched Madonna and her families’ hearts and she feels truly blessed to be able to work with this group.
Laura, known to most of her medical colleagues as LTM, is passionate about the DC Candlelighters organization because of the services provided to families with children who are diagnosed with cancer. One of her mottos is “Go Big or Go Home”, and “In A World Where You Can Be Anything—Be Kind”. Her goals are to provide substantial financial, emotional and educational support to families through the DC Candlelighters programs. You might ask why Laura is so passionate about this specific organization. When you hear those four words “Your child has cancer” it takes your breath away, the biggest kick you will ever feel in your life, you feel like you are living a nightmare. Once the shock is over you must fight for remission, a cure, survival of your child while still trying to have some sense of normalcy. There is nothing normal about Cancer! DC Candlelighters is the organization that will help you find that balance.
Laura remembers an Angel that was with her and her family during her child’s 11 year fight; that Angel’s name was Margy Jost. She was an advocate of DC Candlelighters. Margy was Laura’s friend, her confidant, her Angel on earth. Laura aspires to be like Margy. Please walk with Laura to provide support for these children and their families and honor Margy’s Memory.
Connie is a former licensed clinical social worker and oncology counselor who retired from Life with Cancer and the Inova Health System in June 2016 after 17 years of service in pediatric oncology. She is happy and honored to continue her long collaboration with DC Candlelighter’s in support of families now as a volunteer.
Sheri is a founding member of DC Candlelighters. Her son was diagnosed at age 2 with T-cell Leukemia in 1998 and is a long-term survivor in his twenties now. Sheri is honored to be a part of this incredible organization and especially enjoys the interaction with families at various events throughout the year. In her spare time you’ll catch her at the Kennedy Center or Arena Stage taking in a play or musical.
Andrea first became aware of the DC Candlelighters in 2018, when her son Andriko was diagnosed with embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma. Andriko lost his battle six days before his sixteenth birthday, in 2020. It was his legacy wish that the DC Candlelighters continue to help others, as they helped him. For this reason, Andrea chose to dedicate her time to the DC Candlelighters. She is the author of Blue-Celled Boy and Semper Polaris, which chronicle the experiences of brothers coping with cancer.
Pat is very aware of the financial and emotional upheaval that families experience with any type of cancer diagnosis. Pat lost her husband and a granddaughter to cancer and is a cancer survivor herself.
Sharon is honored to join DC Candlelighters as a board member having received support from this organization when her daughter was diagnosed with cancer at age 9 in 2008 and subsequent relapse in 2009. Both Sharon and her daughter are survivors of Hodgkins Lymphoma. Sharon, her husband, and daughter volunteer with various pediatric cancer groups to help other families.
Amy’s son Reed was diagnosed with large B cell diffuse Lymphoma in July of 2012. He has been in remission for almost 5 years. She got to know this wonderful group when her son was in the hospital and knew she had to get involved. She is active in raising awareness and funds for various childhood cancer organizations.
Asia first heard of DC Candlelighters when Meg, the President of DC Candlelighters, came to the hospital room where her son was receiving treatment for Leukemia. For Asia, a mother of a freshly diagnosed 2 year-old, to meet someone who went through what she was going through, was very powerful. Asia remembers when Meg told her she was a cancer mom. Meg shared some success stories of children who had similar diagnosis’ to her son’s, and gave her a sense of hope. Up to this point she didn’t know anyone who shared a similar experience. This visit started a new chapter for Asia and her family, through DC Candlelighters they have met other cancer families and have attended many of the fun events that the foundation organizes. Asia joined DC Candlelighters in hopes that she can give the same sense of joy and normalcy her family experienced years ago to someone else.
Rachel’s daughter Lucia was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia when she was only 4 years-old on January 1, 2018. The Smith family received a lot of support from DC Candlighters during and after Lucia’s cancer treatment. Rachel joined the board because she is very grateful for the organization and would like to give back to the Childhood cancer community. Lucia is doing well and the family continuously supports fundraisers that can help find a cure for cancer.