Because of your hard work and generous donations, we have been able to help an 8 year-old boy from West Virginia, Ray J. In late February, my husband Jeff & I received a phone call from a gentleman named Eric from Charity Riders to inform us about a family that needed our help. We met with Eric and his colleagues at Domenico’s in Cranberry Township, PA. I received the family’s phone number and spoke with Ray J’s mother, Tara. We discussed his condition and their family’s situation, and I decided they would be the perfect candidates for assistance from the Julie A. Bryant Foundation. The next morning, my son, Michael, went to meet the family at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA and assess their needs. After discussing it with the members of the board, we decided that their family was indeed a special one and that we would do everything we could to help. On our next visit to Children’s Hospital, we brought some donations and gifts for the family, including personal care products, some of Ray J’s favorite snacks, gift cards, video games, new shoes, and other toys and comfort items for Ray J. & his younger brother, Leo. We also decided to alleviate some of their financial burden by donating phone cards to help the family keep in contact with the hospitals and doctors. Spending this day with their family was a wonderful and emotional experience for all of us. It was difficult to see such a young & spirited boy endure such a hardship, but in spite of his pain, he maintained a smile throughout the visit. I shared an emotional & heart-warming moment with his mother, Tara, when I gave her a special hand-made bracelet. It is meant to serve as a constant reminder of the love, support, & prayers for Ray J. After spending an afternoon with them, we knew what a deserving family we had found. We have continued to support Ray J. and his family with continued visits to Children’s Hospital and to his home in West Virginia. We are still in close contact and we feel blessed to be able to help such an amazing and deserving young man. Ray J still needs our help. The cost of travel and day-to-day necessities are a real strain on the family during their battle with brain cancer. Your donations will help us to help Ray J’s family focus on his health. We also hope we can provide Ray J a special day to forget about his illness and just to have fun!
$1,000 for gas cards to get him to and from West Virginia to UPMC Children’s Hospital
$500 for new shoes and clothes
$250 for entertainment such as tickets to an amusement park and food for the day
$1,000 for groceries and household supplies