The Scarlett Fund

Jaden Reyna, Editor

Helping the community + getting volunteer hours = The Scarlett Fund.

The Scarlett Fund is a non-profit organization that helps better the lives of children with cancer. The organization was founded by Jennifer James, whose daughter’s name is Scarlett. 

In 2013, Scarlett was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma -a type of cancer. Her mother realized that there wasn’t a lot of funding for pediatric cancer at the time, so in 2014 she started the Scarlett fund.

The Scarlett Fund raises money completely for pediatric cancer research. One way money is raised is through marathons.

Jennifer James has run 11 marathons, including the New York City Marathon, London Marathon, and Boston Marathon.

She dedicates each mile to a different person who has been diagnosed with cancer, primarily children. 

The most difficult race for Jennifer was the London Marathon because of the record-breaking heat. But since she had already raised money and dedicated each mile to different individuals, she felt that nothing could have stopped her from running the race.

Jennifer’s organization also writes cards to kids who have been diagnosed with cancer. Since the beginning of the organization in 2014 they’ve sent out around 50,000 cards to children and their families, as well as raised close to 4 million dollars.

The written cards with positive messages go to either an individual family or the Memorial Sloan Kettering, a cancer center.

Scarlett is also very involved in the organization. She was 6 years old when she started treatment in 2013 and has been cancer-free since December 2019. 

Now she visits schools in New York City to teach other students about pediatric cancer.

An easy way to get volunteer hours is to write cards through the Scarlett fund, impacting children with cancer in a positive way. The letters can be sent to children individually, or to Memorial Sloan Kettering.

At Archbishop Mitty High School, a sophomore named Lilly Tebaldi created a club dedicated to writing cards through the Scarlett Fund. So far, they’ve had one hundred people sign up, and about ten to fifteen people at every meeting. 

Tebaldi has also had personal experience with the Scarlett Fund, which began her involvement in the organization, now the West Coast Cards Ambassador.

On November 13th, 2018, a little girl named Graysen Hooper was diagnosed with Leukemia. Tebaldi often babysat the one-and-a-half-year-old, so she was very worried when she heard the news.

Tebaldi was stuck by Hopper’s side throughout her treatment, and one day they mysteriously got a package from New York. Hooper’s family opened the box and saw a care package from the Scarlett fund, with a bunch of letters for the family. 

Hooper, being so young, could not yet read, but she laughed and enjoyed looking at the pictures drawn in the cards. Her family was touched by the messages written to them. 

Tebaldi was also touched by the kind gesture, watching Hooper look so happy even in a tough situation. So she decided to reach out and get involved.

She has also spent a lot of time making gift baskets for kids through the Scarlett fund, as well as personalized letters, pen-pals, and short videos. Tebaldi also met people from different hospitals that work with the Scarlett fund, such as Stanford Children’s Hospital.

“I think the biggest thing is the connection… I’ve never met Jennifer but it’s kind of like there’s this piece of you that just connects with people because of this situation you’re all in ” Tebaldi said when asked what one of her favorite things about working with the Scarlett Fund was.