Photo: Reilly Fountain (not the child in the story)

Shannon Milligan, Realtor at RVA Home Team brokered by eXp Realty
“I love CJ’S Thumbs Up because they help many critically ill children here in RVA with grants, easing the financial burden on their families. In addition, their Meal Fairies initiative allows families to enjoy a delicious, hot meal inside the hospital, so they don’t have to ever be far from their child. It’s amazing the legacy Roger and Rachel have made for their child, CJ!”

While Liza was being treated at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, her parents took turns at her bedside 24/7 for three days straight. Not only did they get very little sleep during this time, but they also didn’t eat much, grabbing snacks from the vending machine or nibbling on food from Liza’s meal tray. Food was simply not their priority right now.

On the fourth day, CJ’s Meal Fairies, a program of the CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation, which provides assistance to families of children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses, brought lunch to the hospital. When Liza’s parents walked into the lounge and saw the free meal waiting for them, they both were overwhelmed to the point of tears.

“It was the first real meal we’d had in days,” says Liza’s mom.

Not to mention, just getting out of their daughter’s hospital room for a little while and sharing lunch with other families in similar circumstances provided some invaluable support for her parents.

When another family was behind in their bills during their baby’s three-month hospitalization. CJ’s Thumbs Up, which also provides emergency financial assistance, picked up the tab for their electric bill. Instead of the family returning to a house without power, their homecoming was a joyous one. That’s precisely why CJ’s Thumbs Up exists!

Support families of children with life-threatening illnesses by volunteering or donating today at CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation!