Founded in memory of seven-year old Emmanuel Vizzoni who lost his battle with cancer, ECF provides in-home emotional support, material assistance, and emergency financial aid to any New Jersey family facing the challenges of caring for a child with cancer. To learn more about his amazing organization, please visit www.emmanuelcancer.org.
Background and Mission
The Emmanuel Cancer Foundation (ECF) was founded by Susan and Joseph Vizzoni whose seven-year old son, Emmanuel, was diagnosed Burkitt's lymphoma in 1981. The Vizzonis experienced the enormous emotional and financial hardships that families endure when a child is diagnosed with cancer. In 1983, following Emmanuel's death, the Vizzoni family established ECF to assist other families experiencing the trauma of childhood cancer.
The mission of ECF is to provide a variety of specialized services, at no charge, to any New Jersey family facing the challenges of caring for a child with cancer. We accomplish this through: professional in-home counseling; advocacy on behalf of the families; material support such as food, clothing, toys, and household items; and emergency financial relief.
Words from an ECF Mom
The next time you are in a public venue – the grocery store, a movie theater, a sporting event – look around you. You will see many different types of faces from many different types of backgrounds. Each and every type is the type of family that ECF helps. Single families, grandparent households, divorced, separated, rich and poor, young and old, families with children who have heard the words that John, Nikirah, Ashley, Jorge, your child, our child, their child has cancer.
When I heard those words I had no idea who to turn to outside the hospital. I felt as if I was in a Lifetime Movie Special. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me or anyone I knew but it did. As a single working mom of three girls I learned that cancer affects families in my neighborhood, in my child’s school, and now my own household. Since my own child’s illness and death I have learned of several other families who heard those words and I tell them to call ECF for help.
When I was lost trying to figure out how to navigate the maze of medical terms, working to pay bills, get my other kids to school and still spend time with my dying child, I found ECF. ECF became my navigator. They helped pay bills when I missed work, they sent me a clothes dryer so instead of spending hours in the laundromat I could spend the last few months with my child. Groceries and toiletries were delivered because I often forgot we were low on toilet paper or food. They bought smiles to my children’s faces with a holiday party and gifts.
I had someone to talk to who understood what living the nightmare of childhood cancer means. I had someone to advocate for me and hold my hand when the tumor spread. When my precious daughter finally left her suffering behind, ECF offered hope and a shoulder to cry on even now, two years later when most think I should have moved on and be over losing a child. They understand that although I got up, continued working, finished school and even bought a home that I was and am still missing a limb. So they continue to offer me and my other two daughters an ear of support, a hug when I need it and a light in a world that has too much tragedy.
After my daughter died I remember driving and thinking the world should have stopped. Everything should be different, someone should notice and then I saw a rainbow….To me ECF represents one of the rainbows in this world. In all that downpour when it seemed like the rain would never stop and I felt overwhelmed by the storm, ECF was the ark which helped provide food, shelter, and most of all someone to listen and understand.