The Sarah Grace Foundation is extremely grateful to all those who support the Sarah Grace mission throughout the year and to those who have made this years Holiday Extravaganza a huge success. Due to the pandemic we’ve been unable to hold our typical annual toy drives but instead have adopted 15 families through our Adopt-a-Family program and Sarah’s elves are busy ordering and drop shipping specific toy and gift requests that also include gift cards to assist with meals, transportation and household expenses.From our hearts, to your homes; a most gracious Thank You!

November 1: Kerry Hahl
November 2: Lucy Barrone
November 3: Brian Canty
November 4: Enza Cammarasana
November 5: Krissy Frith
November 6: Sheila Doherty-Ganassa
November 7: Marie Encizo
November 8: Jo Ellen Smith
November 9: Eileen Puerta
November 10: Nancy Clark
November 11; Charlotte Meyer
November 12: Debbie Nanocchio
November 13: Dr. Michael Hans
November 14: Dr. Michael Hans
November 15: Jo Ann Parda
November 16: Antonella Farrell
November 17: Lisa Christie
November 18: Betty Ann Liotta
November 19: Dr. Michael Hans
November 20: Lois Silverman
November 21: Sue Powell
November 22: Gail Zaino
November 23: Dolores Garger
November 24: Mike Tassone
November 25: Marcie Larkin
November 26: Dr. John Marino
November 27: Kathleen O’Shea
November 28: Alex Anagnostakos
November 29: Krissy Frith
November 30: Heather Kean

November 9, 2020

Dear Sarah,

Been thinking about you, perhaps more lately than usual.   So much confusion, heartache and uproar in the world his year.  Wondering what you’d have to say or think about it.  Our lives this year have been isolated from quarantines due to a pandemic requiring masks and gloves to go anywhere.  We’re used to that because of what we went through when you were here and battling your cancer.  So many families this year have that empty chair at the table that we have lived with for 18 years and it is a stark reminder once again about how short our lives really are and how we should appreciate every day.  Every day is truly a brand new gift that should be unwrapped and treasured.  Additionally, we’ve made huge changes this year including leaving our home in NY, the home where you and James were raised; trying to start a beginning in a brand new place. 

I’ve often found myself asking why you and not me but this is something a higher power must have an answer for.  Although we’re in a new place I can still feel your presence guiding and protecting us like the guardian angel you are.  I wonder what would be different if you were still here and if we would have made this move at all.  Your life has had such a huge impact on so many people and our work through the Foundation that carries your name is leaving an indelible mark on everyone it touches and provides a purpose to keep going.  What you went through has to mean something and hopefully the mission of your Foundation is providing that.  I hold onto the hope that we will meet again someday and perhaps I’ll receive the answer I long for as to why you were taken from us so young.     

To my angel

I dream a dream that will never be

a life with you, James, mom and me.

Loving you was easy but losing you

is a heartache that will never leave.

My heart is full of memories of how

you loved to sing, you loved to laugh

and always looked for another craft!

Our home holds our memories

but they are more resident in our hearts

Although life goes on without you

and will never be the same,

we live our lives for you

until heaven calls our names!

God Bless you my Angel !



My dear Sarah,

March 31, another year, this year you’d be 30!  Who would have thought 30 years ago that we’d only have 12-1/2 years to harvest the memories to hold us for a lifetime?  Who would have thought that you would be gone before us – it’s the wrong order of things for a parent, any parent to outlive their child.  Bob Hope sang “Thanks For The Memories… Of faults that you forgave, Of rainbows on a wave…”  Thank you Sarah, for the memories of your smile, your laugh, your beautiful personality and so much more.  As we prepare to move and leave the home you were “raised” in we take those beautiful memories with us.  A home, we’ve come to realize, is not the walls, the furnishings, the windows or the doors; home is where our hearts take us no matter where that is.  Perhaps the change will do us good as we will surround ourselves with the memories of you, and James, and all the things life has taught us.  We are forever grateful for the memories you left us with and what your short life taught us.  It’s not the material things that make a home it’s the love and serenity that dwells within it and fills our hearts.  What’s in our hearts and our minds can never be taken from us. 

We haven’t forgotten you Sarah, we never will, or the courage you exhibited throughout your illness.  We will continue to honor your memory through the children our Foundation continues to bring smiles to.  Our mission, your mission, will thrive in Hicksville and expand to Florida so that other children may be comforted through your eyes.  Life here is upside down right now, driven by a horrible pandemic that has caused life as we know it to cease.  I remember one night when mom was working and you asked me what was for dinner.  I answered that I was making pancakes and you replied “daddy…pancakes are for breakfast”.  I told you then we were having ‘an upside down day”.  Now all our lives are upside down. However, we are survivors and learned through our experience while you were sick and when you passed that “normal is highly overrated”.  While we honor another birthday without you we also pray for all the families, friends and our supporters struggling through this unprecedented time.  In “A Christmas Carol” Tiny Tim says ‘God Bless us, every one’.  What better statement can anyone make at this time, God Bless us all and God Bless the world as this has united the people, not only of our great country, but the world as a whole.  Isn’t it a shame that it takes a critical nightmare like this to bring people together?  Why can’t that always be the case?  After all, we’re all we have floating around in space on this big, blue bouncing ball called earth!

You never could have imagined how many lives yours would touch.  Maybe that’s why you were always in a hurry, your beautiful brain knew somehow that you had 12 short years to cram it all in.   They say we start our lives as angels in Heaven and before we are born we’re given a choice of years, sort of a contract.  Sarah, I wish you had signed a long term contract because you’d still be here with us and we could celebrate your birthday “live and in person” instead of by words and memories. 

I miss you my dear Sarah and you’re always in my thoughts.  I think you would be proud of what your Foundation has accomplished and you would be very proud of James and the fine man he has become and the choices he has made.  Losing you while he was so young helped shape James into who he is today and I believe you are with him at every moment, guiding him and protecting him.  His love of life and for Kylie, his beautiful wife, demonstrate everything he learned growing up and that includes his time spent with you and his experiences through your illness and death. 

After losing a son Dwight Eisenhower commented “There is nothing in life like the loss of a child, you never get back to the way things should be”.  Any parent who has lost a child, for any reason, knows that to be the case and any parent who loses a child knows that things will never be normal again.  A parent never gets over the loss of a child but somehow they find the strength to try and understand it, deal with a new “empty” sense of normal and they try to get through it.  However, no parent should ever have to feel such a sense of loss.  We are blessed that we had you with us for 12 years and were able to secure so many beautiful memories to keep us afloat.  Our family puzzle will always be missing a piece and always have an empty place at the table in honor of you. 

Sarah, thank you for being my little girl, my beautiful angel and watching over all of us.  I think I can speak for mom and James that we always feel your presence as our guardian angel.  So tonight we’ll honor your memory but your favorite meal of McDonalds will have to wait until things here get back to normal; whenever that will be.  I hope you are at peace; I love you Sarah, Happy Birthday. 

auf wiedersehen my angel.

November 9, 2019

Dear Sarah,

Today marks your 17th anniversary of becoming an angel.  You’re on my mind every day but especially today, the anniversary of when you left us.  Author Vivian Greene wrote “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”  I remind myself of that quote on a daily basis along with praying for the courage to “accept the things I cannot change”.  The storm of your suffering and loss has passed but the rain remains and using courage you gave us we are able to continue.  Accept what I cannot change; therein lies the challenge.  How can a parent accept and understand why a young child loses their life to cancer?   Sarah, you had so much love, energy, excitement for life that it astounds me that we lost the battle, your battle.  I miss you more every day; it seems the older I get my mind reminisces more about the past – about so many things – and all I’m ever left with are questions that no one can answer.  The memory of those bleak days never seems to diminish.  After losing his first born Dwight Eisenhower once said “There is no tragedy in life like the loss of a child, things never get back to the way they were”.   No words could express the sentiment more truthfully.

 I remember you today with memories of your beautiful smile, your laughter and the courage that you exhibited while you were sick and you’ve passed that courage on to us enabling us to carry on.  I’m always left wondering what you would be like all grown up; what you’d be doing?  I guess I’ll never know the answer to those questions.  I know you’re always with us, just in a different way; watching over us.  Mom and I are packing up the house preparing to move which has forced us to take the final steps of moving and sorting what you left us.  Sorting and packing your things seems like we are disturbing your memory and moving things from where / how you left them.  I know you were never coming back but preserving your things made day to day more bearable; now they’re just boxes in an empty room. 

I miss you Sarah, you’re always on my mind and I hope you’re proud of the work we’re doing in your name as we preserve your memory.  What you went through has to have meant something and with the courage you gave us we foster on to inspire and encourage other children with cancer to be as strong and vibrant as you were.  We also carry on the tradition of your favorite meal; so tonight, in your honor, we’ll have McDonald’s with fries – right out of the fryer!   I love you Sarah; I’ll love you forever!



November 9, 2017

I’ve heard people say that ‘it get’s easier with time; you get past it…’ but I’ve learned that is the farthest thing from the truth.  You can’t ‘get past it’ when time has frozen.  Today, November 9, marks 15 years since Sarah earned her wings and became an angel.  She was my angel from the day she was born but now, after all she had been through, 9 months of pain and suffering; she was an angel that belonged to everyone.   I cannot remember ever feeling more emotion than I did at that moment when, after two hours of emergency room panic and hope, the doctor turned to me and said ‘she’s gone’.   Fifteen years later you would think it would all be a blur but in my mind it is as clear today as it was, as it happened, all those years ago.  Can it really be 15 years?  I know time has past because I am older, I feel so much older, and the pain and heaviness of my heart is difficult to bear.  Emotion; yeah – that’s a roller coaster ride.  After all these years I still cry and the simplest things may set me off; it’s like the emotional plug came out the day Sarah died.   

Sarah was so full of life and wanted to do so many things.  She wanted to be an artist, a teacher, fight for causes; such as bullet proof vests for police dogs.   Sarah was always thinking of somebody else, she was quiet (at times) and perhaps a bit shy but she was always looking out for others.   We had such fun times, camping all over, swimming, hiking, strawberry picking, apple picking, pumpkin picking, and I can’t forget baking.   I love to bake, at least I did then – it’s not so much fun anymore, and Sarah and James were my little helpers.  Baking was fun, delicious (especially all those  Christmas cookies), and educational.   We always tracked how many cookies we baked, it was my way of teaching math.   One year we baked over 1,000 Christmas cookies and eventually ran out of people to give them to.   We baked pies – great apple pies.  I think the best were when we picked apples all day and when we got back to the trailer at the campground we sat at the picnic table and prepared apples for baking.  Thinking ahead, I had all the ingredients with us.  By late afternoon pies were in the oven in the trailer and everyone walking around the campground enjoyed the smell of great apple pie.   Then there was the time we picked strawberries and one of our dearest friends had come prepared with everything necessary to make ice cream.  Freshly picked strawberries turned into ice cream, what a treat!

You know that favorite movie you love to watch over and over?  This is my favorite movie, all of us together, out having fun and expecting the most out of life.  Life never goes as you planned, that’s reality, but life; the end of it, shouldn’t come to your children.   Sarah, I miss you more every day but we carry on with your memories, your strength and the mission of the Foundation that bears your name. 

Everytime I hear your favorite song I laugh, I cry and I smile picturing you singing it; having fun and full of life.    That’s how I choose to remember you – full of life!  You’re alive in my thoughts and within my broken heart and I choose to remember all the great times we had.  

So tonight I’ll have McDonalds, your favorite ‘gourmet’ meal, and remember all that fun!


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