What We Do
When Connor was diagnosed with leukemia in May of 2005 our lives changed forever. The range of emotions experienced was incredible. Throughout his treatments and eventual bone marrow transplant, we felt everything including shock, fear, anger, and frustration. However, the emotion felt most strongly, and the one that lingers still to this day is the feeling of helplessness. There is little that you can do to comfort and reassure your child when the future is so uncertain. We know that others felt that sense of helplessness too. Our family and friends wanted to help and support us but didn't know how to do that.
In 2006 The Connor Flanagan Foundation was founded. It was the way that we were able to turn that feeling of helplessness into something more. When Connor was in the hospital from May of 2005 through November, the one thing that he missed was "real" pizza. We decided then to sponsor Friday Night Pizza Parties on the oncology floor of Children's Hospital. Every Friday 25 pizzas from a local pizzeria are delivered to the resource room. Patients, families and staff get to enjoy pizza, salad, socialization and a few moments of normalcy.
We had no idea in 2005 that eight years later Connor would still be fighting medical battles, and we had no idea that The Connor Flanagan Foundation would have become what it is today! Today we are a registered 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. In addition to pizza nights, we also provide a coffee service for parents on the Medical ICU Floor of Boston Children's Hospital, where it is sometimes impossible to leave your child for even a few minutes to go to the lobby to buy coffee. With the generosity of so many people over the years we have been able to do more than we ever could have imagined to help ease the feeling of helplessness for patients and families. Most recently we have purchased iPads for patients to use. This allows them to stay connected with people at home through Facetime and social media. The iPads also provide a distraction during medical procedures and lengthy hospital stays. We have also provided funds to create "sibling" bags. As difficult as it is to be a patient in the hospital, it is equally difficult to be a sibling. The first time you see your brother or sister in that bed hooked up to various machines can be petrifying. As siblings force themselves to do this, the burden is made a little bit easier with a bag full of items chosen just for them. The Connor Flanagan Foundation also helps families that are brought to our attention, with financial burdens. Trips to the hospital become quite costly when gas, parking, and food are figured in. Many times cleaning and renovations need to be done at home before children can be discharged.
With your generosity you have helped us help so many others. We are where we are today because so many people have embraced our motto: "Life Is A Team Sport." We can't do it alone, but together we can help others through the burden of a serious illness. Although you might feel helpless, we can tell you first hand that the support of others does not go unnoticed and it does help in ways you may never know!