Elli Haskes Realizes Her Wish to Help Children through CTBTA

|| September 2, 2017

Elli Haskes.jpgWhen 16-year-old Elli Haskes from Cheshire, Connecticut decided to help children whose parents have been diagnosed with brain tumor, she really delivered.  

In March of 2016, Elli wrote to the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance ("CTBTA") with an idea to create care packages for children who have parents with brain tumor.  She and her father subsequently met with the CTBTA's Executive Director to discuss the concept further, where Elli was invited to meet other members of the brain tumor community at subsequent CTBTA gatherings.  

Elli personally knew of the difficulty all too well that many children and families face when a parent is diagnosed with brain tumor.  She lost her own mother, Rena Haskes, to glioblastoma when she was just five years old.  As a result, she wanted to reach out to other children like her to let them know that they are not alone and that someone, who uniquely understands, cares.

Since that first meeting at the CTBTA, Elli has created and delivered more than 25 care packages under her program which she entitled, "A Package of Wishes."  Each package contains an age-appropriate toy or a gift card, a personal note from Elli, and a sticker with the CTBTA logo on it.  Elli worked with local businesses and generous members of the community who helped to build the care packages, and she appeared at the CTBTA's Path of Hope last year to receive items, gift-cards, and monetary donations from many of the event's participants.

She has since attended a CTBTA check presentation at Hartford Hospital, where she presented her efforts to hospital administration and delivered care packages; participated in a Hartford Healthcare brain tumor support group meeting, bringing additional care packages with her; met with a social worker at Smilow Cancer Center at Yale New Haven Hospital to deliver even more care packages to the families of brain tumor patients; and personally delivered care packages at the homes of children who have lost a loved one to brain tumor.  Elli is looking to make her program bigger and better every year and has expanded it to her high school, where she is getting other students involved in creating care packages for children in families facing cancer.

Elli was recently named as a CTBTA Junior Ambassador and will represent the CTBTA in greater Litchfield County.  She will return to this year's Path of Hope on Sunday, October 1st at Olde Mistick Village in Mystic, CT, personally collecting items beginning at 8:30 A.M. up until the run/walk begins, when she will participate with her own team this year.  Volunteers will help her collect items thereafter.

You can help Elli's efforts by contributing the following items at the Path of Hope:

For Children Ages 10 and Under    For Children Ages 11 and Over
  • iTunes gift cards
  • iTunes gift cards
  • Coloring books
  • Adult coloring books
  • Picture/Simple books
  • Books
  • Small stuffed animals
  • Movie theater gift cards
  • Movie theater gift cards
  • Target gift cards
  • Target gift cards
  • Other merchant gift cards
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Color by number

To learn more about how you can become a CTBTA Ambassador, please e-mail us at volunteer@ctbta.org.  To learn more about how to meet Elli at the Path of Hope, e-mail us at pathofhope@ctbta.org or register now and join us at the event.

 Related Content:  A Special Request from Elli Haskes

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