May 3, 2021

Penny’s Wish

When two-year-old Tackle Kids Cancer (TKC) MVP (most valiant patient) Penelope came to Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health Children’s Cancer Institute last summer, team members were blown away by her energetic spirit and bright smile. She loved to sing and was happy to show off her dance moves to anyone who was willing to watch.

Sadly, Penelope passed away in February after her courageous battle with neuroblastoma, a very rare cancer. Before she passed, Penelope and her parents, Cassandra and Jack, made a wish with Make-A-Wish New Jersey in hopes that a donation could be made to Tackle Kids Cancer that would benefit all children undergoing pediatric cancer. Funding pediatric cancer research through Tackle Kids Cancer is important to Cassandra and Jack, as only 4% of the national cancer research budget is allocated to pediatric cancer, and only three new cancer drugs were developed for children in the past twenty years.

Earlier this month, Penelope’s wish was granted through a donation to Tackle Kids Cancer to honor her memory and help other children fighting their own battles with pediatric cancer. Make-A-Wish New Jersey and the New York Giants also had an exciting surprise for Penelope’s parents – a special visit from #TeamTKC Captain Eli Manning.

Members of the media, including Tackle Kids Cancer friend Bruce Beck, attended the event. Watch Bruce’s story here.