ONCE AGAIN, JAY’S WORLD OPENS ITS HEART TO WINTHROP’S CANCER CENTER FOR KIDS
Cupid was on a mission when Jason “Jay” Napolitano met his future wife, Christina, a volunteer at the Camp Sunrise on Shelter Island. Jay could never have foreseen that many years later they would be welcoming baby Ava into the world at Winthrop-University Hospital, where grandparents Ralph and Mary Ann Napolitano were celebrating an early Valentine’s Day with a $10,000 donation to the Hospital’s Cancer Center for Kids (CCFK). The CCFK is the largest outpatient facility in Nassau County treating children with cancer and blood disorders. The Foundation’s latest gift is a valentine that enriches the programs and services the Center offers to its patients and their families.
(L.-R.) Mary Ann and Ralph Napolitano, Founders of Jay’s World Childhood Cancer Foundation Inc.; Christina and Jay Napolitano, with their daughter, Ava; Mark Weinblatt, MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Winthrop and Director of the CCFK; and Linda Sweeney, Pediatric Development Manager.
Ralph and Mary Ann Napolitano established the Jay’s World Childhood Cancer Foundation Inc. in 1994 when Jay was diagnosed with leukemia and successfully treated by the Center’s team led by Mark Weinblatt, MD, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Winthrop and Director of the CCFK. The family’s experience inspired them to contribute more than $600,000 to help create a world-class unit at Winthrop for pediatric oncology patients and their families.
During the past 19 years, the Foundation has funded the CCKF’s complete blood count (CBC) Laboratory and the Practice Manager’s office, along with a state-of-the-art Blood Lab Machine, laptop computers, essential medical equipment, and scholarships for children who have or have had cancer and are planning to attend college. The family has also underwritten the Jay’s World Children’s Cancer Unit at Winthrop’s Hagedorn Pediatric Inpatient Center, which consists of five rooms with family-centered amenities and state-of-the-art air filtration systems for patients with challenged immune systems.
“In this case, love truly conquers all,” agreed Mary Ann and Ralph Napolitano. “Our son and his wife have a beautiful baby, and we’re very proud grandparents. What better way to celebrate than giving back to the Center that made it all possible!”
For more information about the Cancer Center for Kids at Winthrop-University Hospital, visit www.winthrop.org/cck.# # #