myHERO Campaign Brings Awareness to Caregiver Population

Los Angeles-based foundation launches awareness campaign for National Family Caregiver’s Month to highlight struggles faced by the caregivers of terminally-ill children

October 26, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Los Angeles- An overlooked population of caregivers gets highlighted this November during the myHERO campaign: the caregivers of terminally-ill children, the heroes who these children turn to for comfort and protection when battling terminal illness.

November is National Family Caregiver’s Month, but the terminally-ill children’s caregivers-parents and close relatives-are not often recognized for the care and comfort they provide. Launching November 1, the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation (ASRL), founded by Valerie Sobel in 2000 to honor her son she lost to a brain tumor, will be engaging in the myHERO campaign, focusing on bringing national awareness to this population of caregivers, the heroes to terminally-ill children.

The recent two billion dollar health care cuts in hospitals and clinics across California alone had a dramatic effect on safety net programs that provide relief to these caregivers. As a result, millions of California children and their primarily single parent caregivers are facing even greater problems affording the health care they need. It is not surprising that their cries to ASRL for monetary assistance have quadrupled since April 2009.

Nearly 70% of the households aided by ASRL are headed by single mother caregivers. “This invisible community has few emotional or financial resources, and little to no support,” observes Valerie Sobel, Founder of ASRL.

ASRL partners with 12 leading pediatric hospitals nationwide, empowering social workers to identify urgent cases and refer them for swift assistance. Within 24 hours of a request, ASRL provides emergency assistance to caregivers of terminally-ill children without red tape or bureaucracy. Since 2000, ASRL has given nearly four million dollars in assistance to 9,300 family members.

This November, myHERO calls on the online community to share the stories of their children and caregivers. From November 1-30, 2009, donations through myHERO will go to help caregivers with terminally-ill children. Follow myHERO on Twitter @asriveroflife. Help the Foundation by tweeting to bring national awareness and support to these caregivers, using the hashtag #myhero.