The 1 Voice Foundation is a nationally recognized non-profit organization that provides support to children with cancer and their families. Its mission is to connect them with financial, emotional, and educational care while funding research to find a cure for cancer.
The 1 Voice Foundation offers 25 programs in the Tampa Bay area for childhood cancer patients and their families, all of which come at no cost. The 1 Voice Foundation is the voice for pediatric cancer patients of western Florida and owns and operates the only private cancer research lab in Tampa Bay.
On May 4, the 1Voice Foundation opened the first, fully accredited K-12 school for children with cancer in the nation. This accomplishment provided a safe place for immunocompromised patients. The foundation teamed up with the Hillsborough County school district to provide a safe environment for schooling. “It’s probably the most meaningful thing I’ve done as a board member,” says Stacy Hahn, a member of the Hillsborough County school board, in an interview with ABC.
The opening of the 1Voice Academy was a big step in the right direction for pediatric care, but that is not all 1Voice has done for the childhood cancer community.
The 1Voice Foundation offers many programs for the kids, their siblings, and their parents, such as TOTS: Together Oncology Toddlers, a program designed to provide support to kids five years of age or younger. They participate in playtime groups, crafts, music, and pet therapy. This develops support systems between parents and their children.
Other programs include Helping Hands, a financial assistance program to help financially struggling pediatric cancer families; Tuesday Tutoring, a tutoring experience for children who are falling behind academically; and SIBS: Strength in Brothers and Sisters, a program specifically designed to support siblings of pediatric cancer patients.
The 1Voice Club here at Newsome provides volunteers the opportunity to help in many different events, programs, and even one-on-one bonding with the kids.
“Being a part of 1Voice has taught me so many teamwork and leadership skills, as well as empathy. Working with the children battling cancer and their families has made me feel grateful and inspired because the children are so happy and brave despite their battle,” 1Voice Club president Ella Notel says. 1Voice has not only impacted the lives of the children but also the lives of the volunteers, creating so many memorable moments for everyone involved in the organization.
“While volunteering with 1 Voice, I got to be there while my best friend, Laurel, a seven-year-old girl, beat cancer. This was such a huge turning point in my life and has inspired me to serve the pediatric cancer community in the future,” Notel continues. Notel says she is so impacted by 1Voice and her experiences with the program that she wants to be a child life specialist in the future, helping and impacting as many kids’ lives as she can.
The impacts made on all parties of the 1Voice Foundation range from small successes such as a patient getting an “A” on their next spelling test, to big victories like beating childhood cancer.
“I have impacted the kids’ lives in 1Voice by being a friend to them and listening to what they are going through,” Notel says. The goal of 1Voice is to be the voice of pediatric patients of west central Florida, and listening to them is the first step to finding the cure for childhood cancer.
For more information on the 1 Voice Foundation and how to support childhood cancer patients, visit https://1voicefoundation.org/.