WALLINGFORD, CT — For the second time, the Tariq Farid Foundation is providing support to pediatric cancer patients and their families, with a $20,000 grant to The Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer. The Foundation made a similar contribution in 2014.
The Tommy Fund provides emotional, educational, medical and financial support to families with children who are receiving cancer treatment out of the seventh-floor clinic that bears its name at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven.
Many patients’ parents have given up their jobs and careers to focus on the needs of their child, and their budgets are stretched thin. Working closely with pediatric oncology social workers, The Tommy Fund is able to react swiftly to the families’ pressing financial needs, by paying a variety of bills including rent, mortgage, and utilities, and helping with the cost of wigs, transportation, and meals. In addition, The Tommy Fund sponsors annual holiday parties for patients, family and staff; funds a licensed professional who provides reflexology work to caregivers; and provides refreshments at the pediatric oncology clinics.
For Connecticut entrepreneur and philanthropist Tariq Farid, the decision to support this worthy cause has very personal meaning.
“Few things can be more emotionally and financially devastating to a family than learning that a child has been diagnosed with cancer,” said Farid, founder of Edible Arrangements, headquartered in Wallingford, CT, and numerous other companies. “I know this first-hand because it happened to my family shortly after we had moved to the United States.”
At the age of four, Farid’s younger brother was diagnosed with leukemia.
“The shock of the news and fear of what the future holds is bad enough,” Farid said. “But added to that is often a financial burden and hardship on the family. Parents often have to choose between taking time off from work to comfort their sick child at the hospital or risk not being able to pay the rent or mortgage. Our family struggled with all of these issues. Fortunately for us, there were people ready to help us through this difficult time so that my parents could focus on helping my brother through the treatments that saved his life.”
Last Thursday, Farid and his wife Asma visited The Tommy Fund Pediatric Hematology Oncology Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven to present the check. They were given a tour of the clinic by Peter Parente, Board President; Arthur Lemay, Executive Director, Smilow Cancer Hospital Network at Yale-New Haven; and the clinic’s social workers Marisol Lasselle, LCSW and Katie Henry, LMSW.
Parente thanked the Tariq Farid Foundation for its support of The Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer.
“With the help of donors like the Tariq Farid Foundation, we can offer programs that are a refuge for these families,” Parente said. “The financial assistance we provide is a lifeline to help them through the crisis.”
The Tommy Fund was established in 1952 and is an all-volunteer organization, with the exception of part-time administrative support. In 2015, a total of 58 children and 65 caregivers benefited from the support of The Tommy Fund. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.tommyfund.org.
About The Tariq Farid Foundation
Founded in 2013 by Tariq Farid, the Founder and CEO of Edible Arrangements, the mission of the Tariq Farid Foundation is to alleviate suffering by providing for the basic needs of food and healthcare, and to improve lives through the support of education and skill development opportunities that enable individuals to reach their full potential. More information on the Tariq Farid Foundation is available at tariqfaridfoundation.org.
Photo captions: Photo 1: Tariq Farid, Founder and CEO of Edible Arrangements, greets clinicians and board members in the reception area of the The Tommy Fund Pediatric Hematology Oncology Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven; Photo 2: Tariq Farid, Founder and CEO of Edible Arrangements (fourth from left) and his wife Asma (third from left) receive a tour of The Tommy Fund Pediatric Hematology Oncology Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven; Photo 3: The Tariq Farid Foundation presents a grant of $20,000 to The Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer, to provide financial assistance to families of children with cancer. Pictured here (L-R) are Asma Farid; Arthur Lemay, Executive Director of Smilow Cancer Hospital Network at Yale-New Haven; Marisol Lassalle, LCSW; Tariq Farid, Founder and CEO of Edible Arrangements; Katie Henry, LMSW; Peter Parente, Board President of The Tommy Fund; and Kelly Hebrank, Director of the Tariq Farid Foundation.
Tariq Farid Foundation