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- Glen Cove Mother Honors the Memory of Her Son by Giving Back to Pediatric Patients at Winthrop
- January 16, 2017
Mineola, NY – Standing in a patient’s room, watching him enjoy his favorite video game on a brand new flat screen television, equipped with an X-box One, Josephine Pedone of Glen Cove feels something very special. Ms. Pedone, who has come to Winthrop’s Hagedorn Pediatric Inpatient Center, is witnessing a long-time vision to honor the memory of her son, Nicholas, an avid gamer who tragically lost his battle to stage 3 neuroblastoma in 2013, come to fruition.
“A part of Nicholas is now here at Winthrop,” she said. After Nicholas’ passing, Josephine and Nick Pedone founded the Nicholas Pedone Foundation in their son’s honor, and its mission is clear – to deliver smiles to courageous kids who are fighting cancer and encourage them to always Fight Hard, Smile Big.
Wanting to give back to the local Hospital where Nicholas, a patient of Winthrop’s Cancer Center for Kids (CCFK), spent many of his days during treatment, the Foundation decided to fund its first project at Winthrop. Now, their generous donation of $25,000 towards the “Game on” Project has helped to complete a major television and gaming system upgrade in each of the private rooms within the Hospital’s Hagedorn Pediatric Inpatient Center, where CCFK patients like Nicholas, spend their time during hospital admissions. This includes eight 46-inch flat screen televisions, equipped with Xbox One game consoles, new wiring for the systems, as well as an extensive game and video equipment library.
“Nicholas loved his video games so much that often, when staff knew he was being admitted, they made sure to have the then-transportable TV stand and gaming system ready to go in his room,” said Ms. Pedone. “We wanted to make sure that every patient undergoing treatment at Winthrop had the opportunity to enjoy playing video games and watching movies in the comfort of their own room, as we know first-hand just how much of a difference that can make.”
The Foundation’s generosity has no doubt made a lasting impression on both the staff and patients at Winthrop.
“I continue to be amazed by families like the Pedones,” said Nicholas’ doctor, Mark Weinblatt, MD, Chief of Pediatric Oncology/Hematology at Winthrop, and Director of the CCFK. “There is no doubt in my mind that this extraordinary example of selflessness and love will brighten the days of countless patients as they fight hard and smile big.”
“We knew that the project would have a tremendous impact on our patients, but its impact has extended far beyond anything we could have ever imagined,” said Nicole Almeida, CCLS, Director of the Child Life Program, who was just one of the many Winthrop staff members who worked to make the Foundation’s “Game on” project a reality. “Not only do our patients get to enjoy the latest gaming systems and beautiful new flat screen televisions, family members are also benefitting. Moms and dads can catch up on their favorite shows or watch a special movie with their child. This helps take their minds off of being in the Hospital, which is something we are always striving to do through our Child Life Program.”
“When days, and sometimes even weeks, are being spent in the Hospital for treatment, having these systems at their fingertips can make all the difference,” echoed Ashley Carlo, Manager of the CCFK, who has heard multiple testaments first-hand as to the positive impact that the Nicholas Pedone Foundation’s latest project has had on the lives of pediatric oncology patients and their families.
Furthermore, Ms. Pedone remarked that she even learned of a friend whose family member got to enjoy the new items during a recent Hospital stay at Winthrop.
“We are a local foundation, supported by so many members of the local community,” said Ms. Pedone. “It is rewarding to know that those who have supported us are also among those who are being impacted by this project.”
The work of the Nicholas Pedone Foundation doesn’t stop here. In fact, it extends beyond this project as the Foundation continuously delivers “smilePAK care packages” to children battling cancer, as well as has other hospital outreach projects in the works.
For more information about the Nicholas Pedone Foundation, visit www.fighthardsmilebig.org. For more information about pediatric cancer care at Winthrop, call 1-866-WINTHROP or visit www.winthrop.org/cck.
Mark Weinblatt, MD, Chief of Pediatric Oncology/Hematology at Winthrop, and Director of the CCFK (left); Josephine Pedone, Founder of the Nicholas Pedone Foundation (second from left); and Michelle Capobianco, Board Member, Nicholas Pedone Foundation (right); join with a patient, who enjoyed playing hockey with Xbox One on a brand new flat screen television, thanks to the generous donation made by the Nicholas Pedone Foundation.
(L.-R.) Nicole Almeida, CCLS, Director of the Child Life Program at Winthrop; Michelle Capobianco; Leonard Krilov, MD, Chairman of Pediatrics at Winthrop; Mark Weinblatt, MD, Chief of Pediatric Oncology/Hematology at Winthrop, and Director of the CCFK; Josephine Pedone; Stephanie Meier, Assistant Vice President, Women & Children’s Services at Winthrop; and Ashley Carlo, Manager of the CCFK.