The Barkann Family Healing Hearts Foundation would like to introduce your family, friends, and colleagues to our Holiday Hearts program. This year’s annual program will begin on Monday, November 2nd. Please join our team as we look to provide financial assistance and holiday cheer to families who need a boost during what should be a most special time of the year for everyone.
Our Holiday Hearts program is seeking financial support which will directly impact the children and families that we serve through our mission. Monetary donations received will be given directly to the families and their children so our financial support can be visibly seen and felt during the most charitable time of the year – the holiday season! Your generous donations can be made starting November through the end of the holiday season in December.
Please share your love and open your hearts this holiday season by helping to put smiles on the faces of many children and provide financial support to their families.
Holiday Hearts Families
Click on a family below to read their story.
Hi my name is Rich Hughes, I have the worlds greatest fiancé and 5 beautiful kids. Unfortunately though times have been very difficult and my oldest two children as we have had to move back to my Mom’s because I am currently battling cancer for a second time.
I was first diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma back in 2012. I spent my first month in the hospital to receive my first two chemo cycles. Finally after 9 months of chemo therapy I was in remission.
Before any of this happened, I was in perfect shape. I never drank or smoked. I was a volunteer firefighter in Bristol Borough and Bristol Township. In 2013, I was awarded full custody of my oldest two children. I moved them to the Poconos in hopes to have a better life.
Sadly though in October of 2016 I was rushed via ambulance to the hospital. I was diagnosed with Bacterial Meningitis that crossed by brain as well as my Spleen to bleed and into my stomach. That is also when I was diagnosed with Mantel Cell Lymphoma for a second time.
I was in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator for a week.
For the last year I did traditional chemo for the cancer. Now I am on a pill called Imbruvica. The side effects of the pill are very nasty. It causes fevers, as well as thin blood and sever bone and joint and muscle pain. I have been hospitalized 3 times in the last month alone because of it. I am now facing eviction from my home that I have lived in for the last 3 years. I am terribly concerned about what to do for my children for Christmas.
Like I said before I had to send my oldest two back to live with my mom because of everything that is going on. I have my other son who is one of the three children that lives with me. He is 7 years old and non verbal autistic. He still requires diapers as well. So as you can see my life is very difficult at times.
In closing anything that can be done to help my family while I continue to go through this struggle during this upcoming holiday season would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much and God bless you all.
Madison: Anything Barbie, trolls, baby dolls, doll accessories, Disney DVDs (any kind), art supplies, coloring books, cheap android tablet, clothes size 6/7.
Jackson: He has autism so any kind of toddler toys that light up, sing, and move around he loves. He has a tablet so google play cards for new games are nice, anything Pete the cat, clothes size 7/8 boys.
Lillian: Anything paw patrol, baby dolls and barbies, doll accessories, anything nickelodeons Rugrats, any Nick Jr. DVDs, anything Peppa Pig, coloring books and crayons, clothes size 6/7.
Jennifer has several diagnoses since birth such as Tetralogy of Fallot, Hydrocephalus, Thoracic Insufficiency, chronic respiratory failure, short spine, missing ribs, infantile spasms/seizures, cleft lip/palate repaired, hip dysplasia, hernia, cortical visual impairment, and GERD.
Jennifer will need to have continuous surgeries for VEPTR expansions; thus these occur every few months in some instances. Jennifer has a twin brother Jason.
Sherri Carrier-Chisholm, mother, has also experienced some medically needed surgeries as well this year. This will be a great opportunity for the family to enjoy a family day out together. They are thankful for the invitation that you have extended for them to join in the Barkann Holiday Hearts events.
Children: Jennifer (2-years-old), Jayson (2-years-old), Jesse (11-years-old), Josh (14-year-old), DJ (16-years-old)
Parents: Sherri Carrier-Chisholm and David Chisholm
Jennifer and Jayson: Musical toys, developmental toys and books.
Jesse, Josh, and DJ: They all enjoy sports. Sports equipment, sports games and football. Josh especially would like a football.
Dear Barkann Family Healing Hearts Foundation,
My son is a 35 year old father of a beautiful 4 year old little girl. He married the love of his life in August of 2011. They started their family and when their daughter was only 8 months old received devastating news; my son’s wife had breast cancer at the young age of 29. At first there was hope. Although she would need to undergo radiation, chemotherapy and a double mastectomy, she was told that her cancer was “curable”. My son transported his wife to and from every appointment multiple times a week. He gave up his job and took a job with less pay but more flexible hours to be able to support his wife and daughter.
In 2014 they received the worst news they could hear. Her cancer had metastasized and she now had a diagnosis of Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer. They quickly learned of the dire statistics, yet both of them fought, becoming advocates and voices for those in the Metastatic Breast Cancer community.
My son gave up even more to care for his wife. He would often go weeks or months without pay to try to be the primary caretaker for both his wife and daughter. This continued for 3 years. He would work for a few hours here and there if there was another family member who could stay with his wife for a period of time.
He would try to supplement his missing income occasionally by playing music so he could try to make the bare minimum needed to provide appropriate care for his wife and daughter. In the last weeks of her life, my son rarely left her side. Sadly, on September 9, 2017, my son’s wife and the mother of his daughter lost her battle with Metastatic Breast Cancer.
My son is now left to pick up the pieces. He tries his very hardest to provide a wonderful life for his little girl while still trying to work through his own grief and help his daughter through hers. He is now a 35 year old widower with a 4 year old daughter.
A beautiful 4 year old with a joyous heart and the same whimsical spirit as her mother. They have both been through so much in such a short period of time and unfortunately will still be grieving and healing for a very long time. It would mean so much to help to give them some semblance of a holiday season, their first one without a wife and mother.
Thank you So Much!
Father (Age 35):
Pro Tools Software for recording Music
Gift Card to Wegmans
Computer for recording Music
Gift Card to Bunns Natural Foods in Southampton, PA
Gift Card to Organnons Natural Market – Newtown PA
Portable Solar Charger
Daughter (Age 4-5):
Arts and Crafts
Sleeping bag for camping
Gift Card to Create Me Pottery – Huntingdon Valley PA
Gift Card to Bowlero (bowling) Feasterville, PA
Games age 5
Allison is a bubbly 8-years-old who loves to listen to music and dance. She enjoys musical books and the Wiggles. Alison was born with trisomy 21, central and obstructive apnea, chronic respiratory failure, and a diseased mitral valve. Alison has overcome many challenges as well as her family! Alison is no longer on ventilation 24-hours-daily. Allison has a sister Elizabeth, 11 years-old, who enjoys reading and dancing with Allison. The Stahelek family is excited to attend the Barkann Foundation’s Holiday Hearts Party at Sesame Place.
Parents Margaret & James Stahelek
Allison: Musical Books and anything that incorporates the Wiggles.
Elizabeth: 6th grade level chapter books.
J.D. is a four year old boy who is diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, seizure disorder, cerebral palsy, quadriplegia, muscle spasticity, chronic respiratory failure and severe developmental delay.
He is dependent upon supplemental oxygen, uses a ventilator to help him breathe during sleep, and is unable to eat by mouth. J.D. enjoys toys that light up, play music or have different switches. He wears size 5 shirts and size 4 pants.
His 4 year old cousin, K.D., recently moved in with him from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
J.D.: Toys that light up, play music or have different switches. He wears size 5 shirts and size 4 pants.
K.D.: She likes play sets such as My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop. She is a size 4 top and bottom.
Toys that both children enjoy include: Fisher Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo, Bright Starts Press & Glow Spinner, Zoomer Zupps Tiny Pups, Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Sing a Song Medical Kit, Fisher Price Beat Bow Wow Interactive Learning Toy, and Disney Minnie Mouse R/C Vehicle.
N.B. is a 12 year old boy who is diagnosed with static encephalopathy, cerebral palsy, quadriplegia and ventilator dependence.
He has a tracheostomy and is on a ventilator 24 hours/day. N.D. has developmental delay and is non-verbal.
He enjoys musical toys and watching videos. N.B. has eight siblings/half siblings and is cared for by his grandparents. Siblings are C.B. (14), H.B. (11), Ra.B. (6), B.B. (12), C.B. (10), S.B. (9), Re.B. (6) and P.B. (3).
Light Up Toys, Gift Cards, Musical Toys, Videos.
A.C. is a 10 years old boy. He lives with his mother and his younger brother. A.C. has a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord resection, asthma, seizures, spasticity, GERD, neurogenic bladder and chronic respiratory failure. His technology supports are a trach, a vent, a gastronomy tube and more recently a respi-end tidal monitor. The major symptoms that he currently has are the epilepsy and the respiratory failure.
Cartoon videos, and books.
DeAngelo is a 10 years old boy. He likes to be outside and play with objects that shine or vibrate. DeAngelo has Brachio facial Syndrome, feeding difficulties and blindness. His mother reports that he was recently diagnosed with Shard Syndrome. He uses a trach, just weaned from ventilator and gastronomy tube. He lives with his parents and 3 siblings (two brothers, 5 and 21 years old and one sister 13 years old).
Toys that shine or vibrate.
Jonathan is a 14 years old boy. He likes to visit the Aquarium, go to parks, to the movies, the mall, on cruises and different events. He has Chromosome 7 deletion, chronic aspiration pneumonia, seizures, GERD, visual impairment, hearing loss, hydro nephrosis, mitral valve regurgitation, chronic respiratory failure. In this moment he uses trach, vent, gastronomy tube and wheelchair. Jonathan lives with his mother and his stepfather.
He needs Gerber baby food (stage 1 or 2 fruits and vegetables). His new treatment is mixing Gerber baby food, and the milk he normally use, to feed him through the G tube, for his gastrointestinal condition. Mom informs he has improved a lot with this treatment. He uses about 150 pots of baby Gerber food every month. Mom informs that it is very difficult for family to pay for this treatment.
Ryan is 13 years and Yeshua is 11 years. They like watch movies and cartoons. Ryan and Yeshua lived with their parents and 3 siblings. One of their sisters has Down syndrome and had cancer. Ryan and Yeshua have progressive metabolic neuromuscular disease, seizures, hypotomia, myokymia, nephrocalcinosis, exposure keratopathy, renal calculi, dysphagia, chronic respiratory failure and uses trach, vent and gastronomy tube. Yeshua begin to use an IBP. One of the major symptoms that Ryan has currently is seizures, and Yeshua has respiratory failures.
Cartoon videos and books.
Caleb is a 3 years old boy, he lives with his parents and two sisters (5 years and 6 month). Caleb likes to listen to stories. Caleb has SMA type 1, dysphagia, conoventricular VSD, scoliosis, diassociated nystagmus, GERD, generalized severe muscle weakness, and chronic respiratory failure. He uses a trach, vent and gastronomy tube.
Videos and books.
Washington family: three children, one boy age 6 with developmental delays and behavior issues. Twins age 3 (one boy, one girl) the boy has a disease called EOE which has caused failure to thrive with feeding difficulties. He also has developmental delays. The family has a history of being homelessness but is in their own home now.
Z. J. is a 4 year old with a seizure disorder who is being cared for by her paternal grandmother. She is very delayed developmentally.
A.P. is a two year old girl with a g tube due to a swallowing disorder and severe GERD. She has severe allergies to certain foods and has serious allergic reactions when given dairy products. Mom has a history of homelessness and was in a shelter last year.
J.P. is a 4 year old male with a tracheostomy and g tube, due to congenital anamolies, he also has developmental delays. His older twin siblings (8 years old) were born premature and had long stays in the NICU but are doing well now.
Heather & Ron Ingram have 3 beautiful children- the youngest two (Aiden, 7 months) and (Scarlett, 2) both have Downs Syndrome. Aiden was just born this past spring and has spent lengthy stays at CHOP, leaving them to try and juggle care for their other two young children at home. Ron also travels a lot for work, so Heather has been almost like a single parent at times.
Scarlett and Aiden were both born with Trisomy 21. Aiden is 7 months old. Scarlett is 2 years old. Christine is 9 years old.
Scarlett and Aiden love Sesame characters and their favorites are Abby and Cookie Monster, and light up toys.
The Ingram family is so grateful for the love and generosity they are receiving this holiday season from supporters of The Barkann Foundation.
“My name is Curtis, affectionately called CJ. I was born January 12, 2011 along with a twin sister, Skyler. At birth I developed tracheomalacia. So I had to get surgery to place a trach in my neck so it can help me breathe. With all that, I grew to be normal, walking, talking, playing, dancing and smiling all the time. But unfortunately on December 25, 2013 I had a life changing event happen as a result of me contracting the RSV virus. My airway and my trach was locked by a mucous plug from coughing. I was unable to breathe and was left with out oxygen for over 12 minutes, as a result I was left with significant brain damage, blindness and immovability. But by the grace of god and the power of prayer and my fight I push him and he is here… I am blessed everyday I can love in him… he is truly my superman… the man of steel.”
Curtis, 6 years old, likes any sensory toys that make noises.
Skyler, his sister, also 6 years, likes mind craft, legos, and barbies.
Elvin, his 11 year old brother, is a gamer and likes baseball.
Anthony, 15 years, likes football.
N.B. has 8 siblings. His parents are both deaf and are no longer together but are involved daily in N.B.’s life. The children would be appreciative of anything received from the supporters of The Barkann Foundation and look forward to spending time together as a family this holiday season.
Toy Drop Off Locations:
3 Friends Lane
Newtown, PA 18940
2104 Bath Road
Bristol, PA 19007
1555 East Lincoln Highway
Langhorne, PA 19047
164 Park Avenue
Willow Grove, PA 19090