There is nothing more uplifting and surprising then seeing the joyful smile on a child’s face when he or she is in the midst of the heart-wrenching period of getting diagnosed and then treated for their cancer. Impossible? Not when the Dragonfly Foundation gets involved. The Dragonfly Foundation provides distractions from the emotional, physical and financial toll of cancer and bone marrow transplants. They establish connections at a time when patients, siblings and caregivers feel the most alone and isolated. Through their efforts, numerous Dragonflies have been distracted from the physical and emotional pain of treatment, as well as the post-traumatic stress associated with the diagnosis of a serious illness. The Foundation was co-founded by, Christine Neitzke and Ria Davidson, close friends for more than 20 years. Both of their families have been devastated by cancer. In 2010, Christine's son, Matt, had Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Ria's mother-in-law, who lived with Ria's family, passed away 6-months after her diagnosis of brain and lung cancer. During the course of Matt’s long and challenging treatment, Christine and Ria realized that the outpouring of love and support that Matt experienced, because of his family and friends’ network, was not the norm for other patients. From that came an idea generated by their personal pain and generosity of spirit - The Dragonfly Foundation. Why are they called The DRAGONFLY Foundation? In selecting an object to represent their mission, they turned to the dragonfly, a small insect that flies extremely fast, has endured for 300 million years, and whose image was embossed on samurai armor as early as the 16th century. The dragonfly exemplifies the virtues of living life to the fullest, and is a symbol of strength, survival and victory! After all, the dragonfly has been around for over 300 million years. With time of the essence, The Dragonfly Foundation acts quickly to bring comfort and joy to children and young adults living with, and sometimes dying of, cancer and blood diseases requiring bone marrow transplants. Taking care of a child or teen with cancer is daunting -- and resource intensive. Think about how difficult it is for a parent, spouse or caregiver, with other children, job responsibilities, and/or financial challenges. The Dragonfly Foundation recognizes that patients, siblings/offspring and parents/spouses/caregivers experience isolation, loneliness, fear and anxiety related to the diagnosis and the physical, emotional, and financial toll of treatment. While only one person in the family actually receives treatment all are affected. We provide relentless support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing, transformative experiences with events tailored to the special needs of young patients with a high risk of infection. For example, families can attend events in donated private boxes or suites, The Landing (our patient/family space) or at other Dragonfly events. Families have the opportunity to come together, support each other, and have a brief respite from the reality that fills their days. A friend of the Foundation said: “I was with the Dragonfly Foundation when they began. The need was obvious, as I had just been through a very harrowing experience when my granddaughter almost died before getting treated for her leukemia. Her experience demonstrated to me, a health care professional, how important it is to treat the spirit and not only the disease. Wish The Dragonfly Foundation had been there for us.” PROGRAMS OFFERED INCLUDE: Patient & Family Programs • Gifting • Multiple Weekly Events • Adopt-a-Family • Urgent Needs • Tips Books The Landing & Dragonfly Suite at US Bank Arena • Scheduled Events • Open Play Hospital Programs • Care Bags • Quality of Life Enhancements • Urgent Needs • Technology • Community Connections • I Am Still Me • Beads of Courage The Dragonfly Difference The Dragonfly Foundation holds a unique place in the landscape of non-profit organizations focused on pediatric cancer. This is The Dragonfly Difference: • We support patients from birth to age 30 • We provide 3-12 patient events PER WEEK • We provide distractions, gifts and entertainment for the patient and their families. • In many cases, the fundamental needs of a family are left to one organization and quality of life support to another. TDF is there to provide comprehensive care. For more information, please visit Dragonfly.org.