A message from Celia

2021 was a milestone year for Connor’s Heroes. It was our 15th anniversary. The largest number of families in our historymore than 100 families — received our personalized support. Families received more financial assistance than ever before – nearly 4 times the amount of support since 2018. And 2021 marked Celia’s fourth year as our Executive Director. In this blog post, Celia reflects on and looks ahead to a pivotal year for Connor’s Heroes.

To our community of heroes and hero families:

In March 2018, the Connor’s Heroes Board Of Directors named me as Executive Director. They trusted me to carry on the Goodwin family’s legacy of Connor’s Heroes in caring for local children with cancer.

If this past year taught me anything, it was to surround myself with people who care. I thank you for being a part of MY community of heroes.

My time with Connor’s Heroes started back in 2010 as a volunteer. As I grew in my roles, so did my relationships with the brave children in treatment. Three of them — Valentin, Anna, and Sophia — remind me how easy it is for you and me to be a hero to a child with cancer.

I met Valentin in 2013 when he was just three years old. Because his family lived down the street from me, I saw them frequently. Valentin, his brother Florian, and I spent many afternoons at the Visual Arts Center during our Heroes Art Sessions. When Valentine relapsed in 2017, I visited him in the hospital. I brought him his favorite things: a pepperoni pizza, an Orangina, and lots of legos.

I got to know Anna in 2014 when I chaired the 4th Annual Heroes Art Ball. As she stood on stage, I could feel the outpouring of support for the childhood cancer heroes there that night. She has grown up so much since our Heroes Art Ball together. Now Anna attends our monthly Heroes Art Sessions as a volunteer and is giving back to Connor’s Heroes in her own special way!

Sophia was diagnosed with leukemia just two weeks before I started as Executive Director. She was one of the first heroes I met in my new role. Whenever I see her at our family events, she greets me with the biggest and most beautiful smile!

Why do I love being Executive Director of Connor’s Heroes? It is because of Valentin, Anna, Sophia, and the hundreds of childhood cancer heroes.

Today, Valentin, Anna and Sophia are post treatment. They continue to be a part of Connor’s Heroes. Whether it’s coming to an art session, a pizza party, or volunteering to decorate a BMT patient’s hospital room.

It is because of you, Valentin, Anna and Sophia were surrounded with a community of heroes who helped their families. You can make sure the next family whose child is diagnosed with cancer is supported by the many programs Connor’s Heroes has to offer.

Join me for our biggest night of the year. The Heroes Art Ball returns on Friday, May 6 at The John Marshall Ballrooms. The Heroes Art Ball funds our many programs — like our Heroes Bag and Backpack and Heroes Art Sessions. The gala promises to be a magical night for the childhood cancer heroes who are the guests of honor. And for you.

While the last few years have been full of challenges, you should be extremely proud of the many ways (big and small) you helped a child with cancer. Thank you for believing Connor’s Heroes can bring hope to a family throughout their child’s cancer journey.