Times are tough. In our corner of the world, where sports and family are intertwined, we have seen heartbreaking hardship. We couldn’t just look away. We chose to act, to do what we could to help those in the community who needed a lift. That’s why the RB Foundation was established. Since 2003, we’ve helped numerous families and dispersed more than $450,000.
The RB Foundation has provided financial support in the form of monetary assistance and athletic scholarships to scores of families that have fallen on hard times. Perhaps they lost a parent or child, had a family member recently diagnosed with a severe and uninsured medical condition, or lost a job. Everyone’s story is different. What binds them is their need for our help in a dark time. Someone to provide financial assistance and a kind word. Someone to gently remind them they have not been forgotten and that a brighter future lies ahead.
Here's are a few of the people we've helped
Angela H. is a college student that lost her father to cancer while attending high school. She persevered on and through generous donors to the RB Foundation, we were able to aid Angela with a college scholarship.
Mikey G., since his birth almost two years ago, has been through the unimaginable. Born with Â˝ a heart and malrotation of his organs (organs on the wrong side of his body), Mike has been inpatient at Boston Children’s frequently. While he is currently home, caring for Mikey is a full time job for his mom and dad. As a result, his father Tom has had to miss a lot of work, thus they have been unable to keep up with the amounting medical bills, and everyday bills such as groceries and gas. Due in part to donors, we have been able to give them support during this difficult time.
Christine G., a 45-year-old Somerville native, exemplifies what it means to find the good in every situation. Diagnosed with a spinal cord tumor in 2007, the doctors were able to remove it and Christine returned to teaching. Unfortunately, three years later, the scar tissue grew back and required a second surgery â€“ one that left her paralyzed. Now a paraplegic, Christine’s insurance will no longer pay for physical therapy. Through your generosity, we have been able to donate funds so that she can continue her therapy at Journey Forward in Canton, and fight to reclaim as much of her life as possible.
Chloe R., at 11 years old, was an active girl, dancing in 26 shows at the Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker at the Wang Center. However, after being bit by a tick, that all changed. Chloe became so ill during her adolescents that she missed half of herÂ high school years.Â Able to graduate in 2011, Chloe has continued to fight her Lyme Disease. She has undergone treatment with several antibiotics and IVIG treatment. Due to her chronic Lymes Disease, she developed POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or an irregularÂ heart function) and has had several concussions from fainting several times and hitting her head. Actively raising awareness and funds for tick-borne illnesses through Spaulding Rehabilitation Clinic, Chloe now is seeking to eradicate her Lyme Disease. Through the generosity of our donors, we have been able to donate funds to help Chloe travel to Germany to undergo hyperthermia treatment to eradicate the Lyme disease from her cells.
Myung H. , at just 9 years old, was diagnosed with full blown Lyme Meningitis. Having been misdiagnosed initially, Myung’s symptoms progressed to include tremors, high fevers, headaches, depression, palpitations, joint pain, and extreme fatigued. Treated, but not cured, Myung continued to push through. Unfortunately, at the age of 16, Myung was diagnosed with late stage neurological Lyme disease. This disease presents with debilitating illnesses which left Myung isolated, homebound, and bedridden. Many of the tests and treatments that Myung has undergone are not covered by insurance, creating a severe financial burden on the family. Through your generosity, we have been able to donate money to Myung and his family, while he seeks specialized treatment in Germany.
Clare S. is a Walpole resident battling Stage 4 lung cancer. She has tried a variety of treatments to slow the progression, allowing her to work part time. Still, her income does not come close to covering the costs of her treatments. A single mother with two children in college, Clare has a huge heart and gives all that she has to help others, especially the children she works with.
T.J. is a Walpole resident with a huge heart – and four kids to care for despite multiple surgeries and severe health problems. Because he’s unable to work and requires more surgeries, finances have been a severe challenge. Due to mounting medical expenses, he lost his home and his car was repossessed. He has volunteered for the Foundation in the past and now, in his time of need, we’re there to help him pay for food and basic necessities for his family.
James Lavin and Owen Higgins, both 17, three-sport athletes, lost their lives on Dec. 22, 2016 in a tragic auto accident. The Foundation ran a calendar raffle, as well as sought out private donations, to aid their families.
Heidi T. is a single mother of Ethan Simoes, an energetic 9 year old who loves to play hockey. He currently plays on the Walpole Express. Ethan, his two siblings and mother are all battling a life threatening illness called mitochondrial disease. Heidi and her daughter are affected the most and have IV lines and feeding tubes. The boys are still struggling and often have over 112 hours of nursing care in the home every week. They have been in and out of the hospital. The medical bills and co-pays are astronomical. The family has lived in temporary housing and was just approved for a Habitat for Humanity house. Palliative care is involved with this family.
Levi W. is a 9 year old boy who was a hockey goalie. He was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. Doctors were able to remove most of it, but not all of it. He has been undergoing aggressive proton radiation therapy. He spent a long time in Spaulding Rehabilitation Center. Due to the tumor and surgery, Levi lost hearing in his left ear, facial muscle control due to nerve damage and was unable to walk or speak. He has 5 siblings and mom left work to care for him around the clock. The family came to last years gala. We also just purchased two gym mats for him to use at home during his physical therapy sessions.
Maggi E. was a former Walpole citizen of the year and was recently diagnosed with an incurable form of lung cancer (non-smoker). She has three children and was always very active in the community. She has sat on many boards in town and is not able to work due to her medical treatments. Her medical bills are extremely high. Our goal was to help off set some of these medical bills.
Katherine W. is a 28 year old teaching assistant who is suffering from cancer for the third time. At age 23 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, underwent surgery and chemotherapy. It has returned throughout her body including bones. Se is undergoing chemo again. She was a UMass Boston athlete who played hockey and softball and scored high academic achievement. She was inducted into the UMass hall of fame.
John M. from Norwood is also a Boston Police officer who was shot in the face. ( Was recently on the news) He is currently in a rehab facility and has a very long road ahead of him. He would like to rejoin the force as soon as he can. His medical bills are also sky rocketing.
Mark D. is a Boston Police Officer who was in a horrific motorcycle accident in 2013 and is still in rehab. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and it is a constant struggle for him to get through rehab. His older brother took him in and they need assistance. The medical bills are extremely high.
Liam M. is a 10 year old boy with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. Until recently boys with DMD usually did not survive beyond their teen years. Thanks to medical advances in cardiac and respirator care people with DMD are living much longer. Liam is now wheelchair bound and currently participating in a drug trial at MGH. Liam and his family are fighting to find a treatment that will slow the progression of Liam’s illness. Through your support, the foundation donated to Liam to help defray his medical bills and were able to support Liam’s efforts to partner with the Jett Foundation and purchase a van large enough for his wheel chair.
Lori S. has been granted full custody of her grandson, who is severely autistic. Lori and her husband live a very meager life and can barely provide for their grandson let alone the extra services an autistic child requires. He does receive some services through the town. But, that is not enough to ensure he gets all of the help he needs. Through your generosity we were able to purchase an iPad for the family so that Lori’s grandson can develop his speech and promote functioning.Â
Jo Jo B. was diagnosed with liver cancer inÂ March of 2017. At just 18-months old, Jo-Jo would undergo surgery on June 9th, where doctors were able to remove all of the tumor along with 80% of his liver. More than two months after the surgery, Jo-Jo continues to undergo treatment for cancer at Boston Children’s Hospital. Your donations have enabled us to provide funds for JoJo’s family so that his parents can focus on his care.
Anne Marie D. and her family went through unimaginable losses in April of 2016 when beloved father and husband Jim passed away during an operation for a second double lung transplant due in part to undetected cancer. Just six days later, it was discovered that Anne Marie’s son Nathan’s cancer had returned. Originally diagnosed during his father’s initial lung transplant, Nathan went into remission and he and his wife adopted a 3-year-old son whose birth father had passed away. Scheduled for surgery to treat his cancer, it was discovered that Nathan’s body was riddled with lymphoma. Unfortunately, Nathan was unable to beat his cancer and passed away in March of 2017. Nathan left behind not only his mother, but his wife and his adopted son, who has now gone through anÂ inconceivableÂ loss twice in his young life. Your support has enabled us to support Anne Marie and her family with these unexpected losses.
Erin M. is a 22-year-old senior nursing student at URI who was in a horrific auto accident last August. It took the Jaws of Life over 30 minutes to pry her from the mangled car. She suffered a traumatic brain injury, brain bleeds, collapsed lungs, and almost lost her arm. Miraculously, she survived and has been working hard in outpatient therapy to regain use of her arm and return to nursing school. Her dream is to become a pediatric nurse so she can help others.
Phillip L. is a 10 year old Walpole boy who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia for the second time. He recently underwent a bone marrow transplant and needs to be in isolation at his home for at least a year. He lives with his grandparents and frequently goes into Boston Children’s Hospital. The medical bills and cost of parking have been tremendous. Phillips teacher comes to his home and tutors him. He is a happy energetic boy even though he has been through so much at his young age. He is a fighter.
Chris B. died unexpectedly of a heart attack at 41. He left behind a wife, Kelly, and two adolescent boys who are very involved in sports and activities in their community. Kelly is working hard to make ends meet and give the boys normalcy during this difficult time.
Paul Z. was a 36-year-old model of fitness who collapsed at the finish line of a marathon while waiting for his wife. Sadly, paramedics were unable to revive him. His wife is working nonstop to provide for her two grief-stricken boys during this difficult time.
Chris O. was a Mass State Trooper who passed unexpectedly last February, leaving behind a devastated wife and two children. He was a very active member in his community.
Jennifer K., after running a 5k with her son, unexpectedly suffered a massive cerebral brain hemorrhage in her brain stem, Jennifer has had numerous brain surgeries. She spent 23 days in ICU at Umass Memorial Hospital and then was moved to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital where she spent 54 days and then was moved to a skilled nursing facility in Sterling, MA for 43 days. After 120 days out of her home, Jennifer’s insurance capped off and she was sent home with an option to have outpatient therapies. Jennifer’s therapies have decreased to one day a week. Rich Khlare, Jennifers husband lost his job due to all the time he spends caring for her. Jennifer is still having trouble with vision, walking, and talking. She will have an upcoming surgery at Mass Eye and Ear to help correct some of her visual problems. Our donation allowed Rich to purchase much needed health insurance for his wife Jennifer. He is now able to book her surgery at Mass Eye and Ear. Jennifer and Rich have two sons.
Roger C., a lifelong Walpole resident and father of two young children was recently diagnosed with cancer. He has ben unable to work due to severe pain he is experiencing and his aggressive medical treatments. In addition Roger’s son Charlie has just been diagnosed with Pertheus Disease. A rare childhood condition that causes avascular necrosis of the hip. The treatment is immobility for 6-12 months to allow the bone to grow back correctly. Charlie will be in a wheel chair for the majority of his day.
Julie D. is a 43 year old mother of two who is battling cervical cancer. Her husband was unemployed and she had to stop work to undergo aggressive treatments. Our donation has helped them stay afloat during this time. As of now Julie is done with treatments and had her final surgery in the fall. She is now declared cancer free and her husband has started a new business venture “DeLuca Farms”.
Joann T. is a Walpole woman who was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer (non-smoker) and is no longer able to work. She has two daughters. Her monthly medication costs are upwards of $2500 and is not covered by insurance. She is a wonderful person trying her hardest to prolong her life a few years for her daughters. Her most recent CT scan showed stability, Meaning the cancer is not spreading. The Tarceva is doing its job of stopping the growth. She will continue to have chest CT’s every 8 weeks. Her most recent brain MRI was clear again. This is great news. The RB Foundations donation helped with the cost of her monthly medications.
RB Foundation has helped numberous families over the years.