The Izzy Foundation is a non-profit organization that aims to provide support for families affected by pediatric cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Their aim is to “design spaces, provide services and support to children with cancer and their families by implementing inpatient and outpatient services for pediatric patients at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, in Providence, Rhode Island and nationwide”. The organization’s founding was inspired by a woman named Isabelle Marie Wholrab, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma and faced her diagnosis with resilience and grace. Izzy, inspired by Isabelle’s family, has made spaces for families to feel comfortable during their stays, granted immense access to academic scholarships for cancer patients, survivors, and their siblings, and continues to spread awareness. Their slogan “Live, Laugh, Love and Play” demonstrates their hard work and positive attitude.
Lexi Delano ’25 and Kylie Fordyce ’25, aided by Student Congress, have brought the Izzy Foundation to campus by spreading awareness and creating fundraisers. The phrase “Friars Make Change” has motivated the group to back a foundation in order to emphasize the need for philanthropy around campus in addition to devoting time to spreading awareness and raising funds for an amazing cause.
Delano has been an intern for the Izzy Foundation and a gracious advocate for them. “I heard about The Izzy Foundation nowhere other than a PC basketball game at the Dunk!” she shared. “I immediately wanted to get involved and be a resource to patients and families going through the most difficult times in their lives. I had such a rewarding experience at Hasbro Children’s as an intern in the Izzy Family Room this summer, and I knew that I wanted to bring awareness to this amazing cause with the support of Friars on campus! It has been an amazing start to the fundraiser so far.”
Fordyce shared her hopes for PC’s involvement. “PC was built on the morals of generosity and helping those who need it. That is why we decided to create a month of events to spread awareness and raise money so that the Izzy Foundation can help even more lives. We are so lucky to be PC students and should use our resources to help others and have fun doing so!”
On Monday, Feb. 6, the kickoff event for the month-long fundraiser occurred in McPhail’s. Members from the foundation came and spoke, pizza was served by Providence Coal Fired Pizza, and treats were donated from Sarcastic Sweets. Friars were able to immediately start making a difference in children’s lives once the donation page launched. 2 percent of the $3,000 goal was reached within the first twenty-four hours, an impressive feat. As the month of February progresses, more events centered around the Izzy Foundation in order to increase donations will occur. The group paired up with Colleges Against Cancer to make Valentine’s Day cards for children at the Hasbro Hospital and send out candy grams, from which the proceeds will be donated. Keep an eye out for Karaoke Night, Motivational Mondays, Izzy-inspired merchandise, and so much more!
Last Friday, Feb. 10, a few members of Providence College, including Lexi, Kylie, and myself, volunteered for the Izzy Foundation’s Winterfest. At the event, a recipient of the Izzy Foundation academic scholarship for 2023 shared his cancer journey and was joined by Izzy’s parents, who also shared an inspiring speech.
If you’re interested in donating or in the case of looking for more information, follow @friars_support on Instagram! Text “Friars Change” to 53555 to donate.