The following was compiled from a press release from Circle of Care.

Circle of Care, the Wilton-based organization that provides financial and emotional support to families facing pediatric cancer diagnoses in CT, has received a grant for $150,000 from 4-CT towards its COVID-19 Relief Fund for the families it serves. The Connecticut COVID-19 Charity Connection (4-CT ) is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit that unites donors—private philanthropists, community foundations, and individuals—with statewide non-profit programs to quickly and accountably get funds into the hands of those affected by this crisis who need help most.

“We are so grateful to 4-CT for their commitment to filling the gap and supporting the most vulnerable among us,” Liz Salguero and Liz Vega, interim executive directors, said in a joint statement. “This grant will go directly to help families already struggling with the high cost of cancer treatment and loss of work, ensuring their housing and food needs will be met. The COVID-19 pandemic is having a devastating impact on families living with cancer in Connecticut and this grant allows us to increase our reach to double the number of families receiving financial assistance.”

They explained that COVID-19 has pushed working families to the edge. Many face a near-impossible choice:  if they go to work outside the home, they risk exposing their immune-suppressed children to a life-threatening virus, but the loss of income places the security and well-being of the entire family at risk.

Ted Yang, the co-founder of 4-CT, said, “Families of children with cancer are in a difficult situation that the COVID-19 crisis only made more critical. 4-CT is glad to be able to provide aid so that these families can focus on healing their children.”

“Among the families we served in 2019, a staggering 50% of families with a child in treatment needed financial assistance to avoid personal economic collapse. Our partner hospital social workers at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital and Connecticut Children’s expect that number to rise to 85% in 2020. This grant adds incrementally to our program and allows us to expand our scope to reach many more families in need and raise the amount of financial support per family. Thanks to 4-CT and other generous foundations stepping up to help this vulnerable population our Covid-19 Relief Fund is just over 60% funded, “ said Salguero.

Founded in 2003, Circle of Care has helped over 2,800 families in treatment for pediatric cancer in Connecticut through their financial assistance, dream-room makeovers, day-of-diagnosis care packages, and more. Visit the Circle of Care website for more information on Circle of Care for families of children with cancer.

“We’re here in quarantine, I just wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Ever since my daughter has been diagnosed with cancer in 2019 Tammi and the team have been there financially in ways I could never imagine. I lost my job and had to stay home to care for my kids. I was able to keep up with my monthly bills with your help, and I am forever grateful. Holidays, birthdays, even when I don’t expect it you guys were there with presents, birthday cards. To us, you guys are like family. Nevaeh’s birthday was this March and you surprised her with a room makeover but due to the pandemic, it has been pushed back. We are still so excited. We love you guys and hope you stay safe and continue to do a great job with OTHER families with kids battling this monster.”  Christina Jones, Neveah’s Mom