• Printer Friendly Version

SIBSPlace Kids to Benefit from Annual Auction

Posted: Apr. 20, 2015

At SIBSPlace (Survivorship in Brothers and Sisters) in Hewlett, NY, Annika learns that she is not alone – the other children who attend have stories just like hers. They also have seriously ill parents or siblings who are suffering with cancer or another type of devastating illness.

Like Annika, they secretly worry: “will my mom die?” When they tell their stories, Annika identifies with them and it encourages her to share what she is feeling. Her mom is in need of a lung transplant, exploring waiting list options. SIBSPlace helps Annika prepare for her lengthy separation from her mom.

The SIBSPlace parent group discusses the same separation plans with mom: Grandpa will stay with Annika, while grandma accompanies her daughter out of state for the approved transplant. Annika and her mom will use FaceTime, Facebook, letters and phone calls to communicate regularly. It is six months later; mom is home, breathing unassisted and feeling better than she has in years. She looks the picture of health and hope. Mom and Annika, now seven years old, are happily reunited and looking forward to a future together that will not have the physical or medical restrictions that for so long have limited their lives and relationship.

A donor-funded, free therapeutic support program for well children living with a brother or sister with cancer or other devastating illness, or a parent with cancer, SIBSPlace is the only program of its kind in the United States. It has served 377 families and 599 children since it was founded in 2000.

The opportunity to support the SIBSPlace mission of compassion presents itself Saturday, May 2, when the 2015 SIBSPlace Annual Auction is held at The Seawane Club in Hewlett Harbor (NY) from 6:30-10:00 p.m. An essential free community service of South Nassau Communities Hospital, SIBSPlace is celebrating its 15th year of free service to families throughout Nassau County.

The esteemed honoree of this year’s auction is Long Beach philanthropist and residential real estate developer Mr. Joseph Iorio. The event, spearheaded by a committee of concerned community members, is co-chaired by Karen, Samantha and Michael Lentin. Guests will bid on over 200 featured live and silent auction items including exclusive memorabilia, entertainment packages, and precious jewelry, including a New York Mets corporate luxury suite and first-pitch extravaganza. Courtesy of the Gold Pure Food Products Family, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a baseball fan to throw out the ceremonial first pitch when the Mets face the San Diego Padres on Tuesday, July 28 at 7:10PM and then enjoy the game with 40 guests from a private luxury suite. In addition to scrumptious foods and fine beverages, CitiField luxury suites provide the finest accommodations and furnishings, including HDTVs, comfortable sofas and lounge chairs. To view all the items up for auction, checkout the SIBSPlace Auction catalog at http://www.southnassau.org/sibsPlaceAuction/index.cfm.

“On behalf of the children and families who need SIBSPlace as well as the entire South Nassau family, I thank the businesses that helped us obtain the luxury goods, rare memorabilia and entertainment packages; each person who will bid generously throughout the evening, and the auction’s volunteer committee for its steadfast efforts to make the auction a memorable event for all,” said Suzanne Kornblatt, LMSW, director, SIBSPlace/Child & Family Life. “Their selflessness and generosity empower SIBSPlace to fulfill its mission and vision and to expand to meet the needs of the families and children it serves.”

For more information or to purchase tickets to the event, call South Nassau’s development office at 516-377-5360.

SIBSPlace encourages expression, self-awareness and the development of coping skills for children ages 5 to 17. The goal of the program is to help children understand and cope with feelings they are experiencing due to a sibling or parent suffering with cancer or other type of devastating illness. SIBSPlace provides a comprehensive program of support and guided recreation in which personal needs, unexpressed feelings and confusing experiences can be addressed by the well siblings. A typical visit includes homework support, dinner, therapeutic art and verbal activities, psycho-educational group interaction, mentoring and tutoring. It is also host to weekly parent and bereavement support groups and a 6 week summer camp program that includes field trips for fun, skill building and cultural learning. Other special activities include animal therapy and field trips to local attractions.

South Nassau is the only hospital on Long Island to win four major awards for quality in recent months, including for nursing excellence, patient safety and top rankings from U.S. News & World Report & from the Joint Commission.