Children’s Cancer Research Fund is proud to announce that our family support programs will now be known as The LeJeune Whole Family Wellbeing Programs, named in honor of the incredible generosity of Larry and Jean LeJeune.
Though Larry and Jean both passed away in 2021, their passionate commitment to their values will continue to be reflected in the family support programs that their legacy gift helps bring to life. We are profoundly grateful for their dedication to CCRF.
The LeJeunes cared deeply for children, family and their community throughout their lifetime. “The importance of family was my parents’ greatest legacy, and that didn’t stop with our family,” said their daughter, Renée LeJeune Hallberg.
Kids and families often experience isolation, inability to cope with stress and shock, as well as low self-esteem and confidence because of cancer. If we leave these challenges unaddressed, children and families can develop mental health disorders that persist for life — including anxiety, PTSD and depression. The LeJeunes understood we needed to do more so kids and families could go on to lead happy, healthy lives.
The LeJeune Whole Family Wellbeing Programs take a child-and family-centered, holistic approach with peer support and mental health resources. They create community, reduce barriers to getting assistance and facilitate meaningful experiences to improve quality of life.
"We need to do all we can to make the cancer journey easier and more hopeful for families. This gift is just one way we hope to make a difference," said Larry LeJeune.
The family programs include:
A safe, cost-free annual in-person or virtual summer camp for kids who have battled cancer. Kids facing even the most intense cancer treatments can enjoy the healing power of play and friendship.
A national peer support program we fund and partner with that offers online resources and in-person retreats to caregivers.
The Big Dreams Tour:
A creative, interactive experience that uses virtual reality technology and music to help kids process their experiences and have fun.
Thanks to the LeJeune family, children like Deklyn connected with kids just like him during Camp Norden’s virtual program last year. He had not played with other kids for two years because of cancer, and the camp gave him the chance to make new friends who understood his experience. “I want to let other kids know this helped us!” he said.
The LeJeune legacy gift will create lasting change for years to come, helping launch our next generation of family wellbeing programs.
These include initiatives like classroom-based programming to help kids combat feelings of isolation, sibling virtual support communities and mental health care designed specifically for families.
Beyond the immediate impact on the kids and families served, the LeJeunes have also moved others to give back and make a difference in the childhood cancer world. Their example reminds us of the power of philanthropy to create long-term healing and transform lives. Because of them, and in honor of those to whom they have given their support, survivors and their families can thrive.
“Through their time and treasure, they shared that love and support where children needed it most. [These] wonderful [programs] will provide resources and comfort to children and families on the cancer journey,” said Renée LeJeune Hallberg.
Gift planning is a way for you to be remembered by what matters most to you. Your values, passions and generosity will continue to make an impact or children fighting cancer. Let us know if you're interested in leaving a legacy gift - we would love to hear your story and ensure your personal goals are being met.