A $100,000 donation to the Plainview-based Lexiebean Foundation will allow it to double the amount of help it gives to families with children who have cancer, the foundation said Wednesday.
The first piece of that donation, a check to the organization for $8,100 from the John and Janet Kornreich Charitable Foundation, is expected to be issued today, Lexiebean Foundation president Joseph Falabella said. The donation will be distributed to the foundation over two years.
“This is going to help us increase what we give to these families and the amount of families that we can actually reach to help,” Falabella said. Last year the foundation gave out roughly $40,000 to 32 families with children who have pediatric cancer, he said.
The organization helps families pay bills, such as car payments and utility costs, and gives them a gift basket with toys, puzzles and gift cards for the child and his or her siblings.
Part of the reason for paying bills is that for some families, time spent at the hospital and with doctors means losing income when they can least afford it, he said.
Falabella and his wife, LeaAnn, founded the organization in memory of their daughter, Alexandra, who was 9 when she died of medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer, in 2009.
“She was a kid that really cared about other kids even when she was going through what she went through,” he said. “We wanted to keep that alive.”
They focus their efforts on Long Island, where every year the New York State Department of Health reports cancer strikes an average 66.4 children up to 19 years old in Nassau County and 79 in Suffolk County. The Falabellas met John Kornreich, a Wall Street money manager, at the Sunrise Day Camp, which serves children with cancer, in Wheatley Heights this summer when they were sponsoring a lunch.