Tackle Kids Cancer Receives Generous Donation from Immaculate Heart Academy Softball Team

From left: Gianna Stirone, Immaculate Heart Academy; Derek Hanson, M.D., program head, Pediatric Neuro-Oncology, Children’s Cancer Institute, Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center; Emily Gyongyosi, Immaculate Heart Academy; Ashlyn Corra, Immaculate Heart Academy; Catherine Thomas, Immaculate Heart Academy; Lindsay Gilchrist, Immaculate Heart Academy; Gabriella Cangiamila, Immaculate Heart Academy; Diana Fasano, coach, Immaculate Heart Academy; and Stephen Percy, M.D., interim chair, Department of Pediatrics, Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center.

The Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation is pleased to announce that Tackle Kids Cancer, a philanthropic program benefiting the Children’s Cancer Institute at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, received a generous donation in the amount of $6,892 from a softball team at Immaculate Heart Academy.

“Tackle Kids Cancer is incredibly grateful to the students and softball team from Immaculate Heart Academy,” said Amy Glazer, director, Tackle Kids Cancer and Annual Giving, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation.   “Efforts such as theirs are not only raising valuable funds, but are helping to change the lives of children with cancer.  Their commitment to pediatric cancer research demonstrates true compassion.  We are most appreciative.”

The proceeds are the result of a fundraiser the team held in memory of their former coach, Anthony LaRezza, who had cancer and passed away in February 2016. The team hosted the third annual Anthony LaRezza Softball Invitational with proceeds benefiting Tackle Kids Cancer, and also created an online fundraising page to solicit donations from families, friends and the community. All money raised for the Tackle Kids Cancer program funds critical research and innovative patient care programs.

Tackle Kids Cancer is a philanthropic initiative of the Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation dedicated to finding a cure for pediatric cancer.  Funds raised support pediatric cancer research and innovative patient services at the Children’s Cancer Institute at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital.  To date, Tackle Kids Cancer has raised more than $5 million to support its mission.

About Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital
Hackensack Meridian Health Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital provides comprehensive medical and surgical pediatric care in more than 30 sub-specialties, all integrated within a state-of–the-art child and family-focused facility. The Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital is designated by the State of New Jersey as a children’s hospital. It is also one of a select group designated a full institutional member of the Children’s Hospital Association.  This designation honors the contributions of a dedicated team of health care professionals, team members and volunteers who have made the children’s hospital a world-class healing environment for children and their families for many years.  More significantly, this designation builds on that commitment of care for children that Hackensack University Medical Center has always provided.  The Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital received a Top 50 national ranking in Pediatric Neurology and Neurosurgery in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-18 Best Children’s Hospitals.  The Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital  includes the Children’s Cancer Institute and Pediatric Emergency Department and offers the following services, programs and sub-specialties: The Audrey Hepburn Children’s House – a state-designated Regional Diagnostic Center for Child Abuse and Neglect serving Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Morris, Sussex and Warren counties; Adolescent Medicine; Audiology: Blood and Marrow Transplantation (the only one in New Jersey); Cardiology; Community and CPR training; Child Life Services; Center for Pain and Palliative Care; Day Accommodation Suite; Dermatology; Gastroenterology and Nutrition; Genetics: Healthy Futures – Pediatric Weight Management; Hospitalists; Infectious Diseases; Inpatient Care Unites, Institute for Child Development; JUDY Center for Down Syndrome; Molly Center for Children with Diabetes and Endocrine Disorders; Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU); Nephrology; Neurology; Otolaryngology; Pediatric Intensive Care Unit; Pediatric Surgery; Pulmonology; Rheumatology; Social Work; and the Steven and Richard Bader Immunological Institute. To learn more, visit