Last month, Morris County resident Grace Eline was one of 13 guests invited to the State of the Union by President Donald Trump and the First Lady. #HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino sits down several special guests, including Grace herself.
Bunny Flanders, Director of Communications at The Valerie Fund, shares the incredible mission that was started by Sue and Ed Goldstein in 1976, after the loss of their daughter Valerie to childhood cancer. They experienced first-hand the added burden of traveling to Manhattan for treatment, and the high costs of treatment. Sue and Ed vowed to help families in similar situations gain easier access to more customized care.
Now, the Valerie Fund treats 6,000 children per year at seven treatment centers. They also award post-secondary scholarships to children as another way of easing the financial burden on these families.
Grace’s grandfather, Dan Reichard, saw the expert care being given to his granddaughter, and was himself, inspired. Dan’s idea was to create a “show house”, which showcases the talent and vision of some of the area’s most extraordinary interior designs. You can find more information on the house, located in Plainfield, NJ on The Valerie Fund’s site.
Grace, who is now cancer-free, speaks very highly of her time in the White House. She says Melania Trump, who “smelled like…Chanel” was very nice, and even extended an invitation to return to the White house anytime!
Now that her priorities have shifted back to just being a kid, Grace enjoys playing sports like basketball and softball, gymnastics and painting. She has even served as the honorary captain of the New York Jets!
The Valerie Fund clearly had a profound account on Grace, who discusses her time at sleep-away camp, Camp Happy Times, as being special to her because of the comradery between her and other children who have shared experiences. At only 10-years-old, Grace already want to use this experience to help others, by hoping to one day become a doctor. She hopes that her experiences and first-hand account of treatment to help her patients.
To learn more about the Valerie Fund and the April 25th Grand Opening of the show house, visit: thevaleriefund.org/showhouse/