Programs: Helping families in Central Virginia survive childhood cancer


Our programs are for families with a child who has been diagnosed with cancer.

We provide support and care to ease the burdens brought on by extended hospital stays, help families connect with others who share a similar journey, raise funds for cancer research, and provide bereavement support.

Helping Heroes

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Our Helping Heroes acts of kindess make it easier for parents to be with their children in the hospital or at the clinic while getting treatment.

Long days at the outpatient clinic, hospital stays, and unexpected trips to the emergency room often leave families with little time and energy to take care of the daily tasks of life.  The Helping Heroes Program helps create a sense of normalcy when illness disrupts the usual flow of family activities. Through the use of a personalized care calendar, we are able to help families keep up with day to day activities.  A team of trained and dedicated volunteers deliver meals, shop for groceries, run errands, do yard work, and assist with other everyday household chores.   

You can support Helping Heroes acts of kindness:

Heroes Bags & Backpacks

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Connor loves taking backpacks full of games and toys to kids who were just diagnosed with cancer.

We provide backpacks and tote bags to families with a child who has been diagnosed with cancer and is being treated at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU. The tote bags and backpacks are intended to help families through this time of crisis and relieve some of the strain and stress during this difficult time in their lives.

Soon after being diagnosed, kids receive a backpack from Connor's Heroes full of games and toys that will help distract them from the discomfort of treatment and the boredom of spending hours in a hospital. Parents receive a tote with practical resources to help them in the months ahead such as gas cards, gift certificates for housecleaning, and gift certificates for family portraits. 

You can support Heroes Bags & Backpacks:

Superheroes and Sidekicks

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Our Superheroes & Sidekicks do all sorts of fun activities, like going to a Richmond Squirrels game on a warm summer night.

The Connor’s Heroes Superheroes and Sidekicks™ Program helps to support children with cancer and their siblings. Kids that are fighting cancer not only feel sick and endure tremendous pain, they also fight isolation from friends, low self-esteem, and the boredom of long hours of clinic and hospital treatments. And, their siblings can feel neglected and lonely.

Our mentors treat kids to quality time by spending time with them at clinic, the hospital, home, or at any number of special events to play, do crafts, catch a movie or a ballgame, ride a bike, go for a walk or just hang out together.

The Superheroes and Sidekicks™ program uses teen and adult volunteers to commit to supporting, guiding, and being a friend to a young person for a period of at least one year. 

You can support Superheroes & Sidekicks:

  • Be a mentor by volunteering 4 hours a month for a year
  • Donate $800 to fund matching a trained mentor to a child

Bone Marrow Transplant Unit Support

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In addition to decorated patient rooms, our kids love special visits.

Having a bone marrow transplant can keep a child in the hospital for a long time. To bring some delight to their day, we decorate the hospital room before the patient arrives with their favorite colors, cartoon characters, or sports team. We also give the kids an extra boost of support by giving gifts on the day of transplant and day of discharge.

We also created the “Room of Possibilities” up on the Unit.  This family room is a wonderful place for families to spend time together outside of the confines of the patient’s hospital room.  With comfortable furniture and soothing murals on the walls, the Room of Possibilities has cabinets stocked with toiletries, books, and games.  It also has a computer, television and Wii gaming system for families to enjoy.

In addition to supporting the pediatric patients on the bone marrow transplant unit at the VCU Massey Cancer Center, we also provide support for the staff.  Each month, we provide funding for a counselor and snacks for the staff to attend “Issues and Tissues.”  We also fund the Jamie Hess Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Research Fund.

You can support this program:

Pediatric Cancer Research Endowment Fund

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In 2008, we donated over $60,000 to the Pediatric Cancer Research Endowment Fund and the Jamie Hess Fund.

We couldn't believe that pediatric cancer research was not being conducted in Richmond, even though pediatric cancer is the #1 disease killer of children and we have a world-class cancer research facility at VCU.

In November 2007, Connor’s Heroes established this fund in the Department of Pediatrics at the VCU School of Medicine and VCU Massey Cancer Center with an initial gift of $10,000.  

After many years of meetings, raising money, and working with the VCU Department of Pediatrics and VCU Massey Cancer Center, we’re thrilled to announce that our goal of bringing a nationally recognized pediatric cancer researcher to Richmond is just around the corner!

The Endowment Fund became fully funded earlier this year with a $500,000 gift that was matched through the Glasgow Incentive to create a $1 million Fund!

Because of our advocacy efforts and helping to raise nearly $500,000, the fund we created has been named the Connor’s Heroes Pediatric Cancer Research Fund!  That money will be used to provide direct funding for the research that will be conducted.

You can support pediactric cancer research:

Bereavement Support

No one likes to think about children losing their battle with cancer, yet childhood cancer is still the leading cause of death by disease for children.  Connor’s Heroes continues to provide support to families even after their children become angels.  We created the “Heroes Angel Fund” to provide financial support to families who otherwise could not properly say goodbye to their child.  We also provide continuing support to families by delivering thoughtful gifts, cards, grief support information, and visits during the first two years of a family’s grief journey.

You can support our bereavement programs:

  • Make a donation
  • Donate gifts and cards

Art Sessions

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Travel Fund

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When a family is faced with needing second opinions or taking part in clinical trials that are outside of Central Virginia, Connor's Heroes is there to give the parents gift cards toward travel expenses.