Bite Me Cancer, the organization that provides support to thousands of teens battling the disease at hospitals around the country, is gearing up for its ninth annual wine dinner to be held Sept. 29 at Westwood Country Club in Vienna, Virginia.
All funds raised from the event will go toward the Teen Support Bag Program. The bags are given to teens fighting cancer and include a rotating variety of items such as Amazon gift cards, adult coloring books, stress balls, hats, journals, water bottles, gamebooks and other age-appropriate items. The newest bags include a newly designed water bottle and beanie cap.
“Our annual wine dinner fundraiser has become very important since its inception, especially since it’s grown so much,” said Nikki Ferraro, who founded Bite Me Cancer after her own experience fighting a rare form of thyroid cancer at age 17.
In addition to the dinner, the event will include a silent auction and a live ask along with Ferraro’s keynote speech and other presentations. Sponsorship opportunities are available.
“Being able to offer our bag to teenagers who deal with cancer has been a very important goal of mine since I came up with the idea after the foundation was created in 2010 when I was a teenager,” she said.
“I certainly saw firsthand how teenagers with cancer ‘fell through the cracks’ between the younger pediatric support services and the adult services. I wanted other teenagers to know that they were not alone and that I had developed something just for them.”
The Teen Support Bags have been given to almost 11,500 teenagers across nearly 200 hospitals located in every state and Washington, D.C. Currently, each bag costs around $85 to put together and ship out.
“As the wine dinner fundraiser continues to grow, I hope we will have an even greater impact with our Teen Support Bag program, allowing it to expand further and reach even more teens in need,” Ferraro said.
“The community’s continued support and participation in this event will be instrumental in ensuring Bite Me Cancer’s ability to make a positive change in the lives of these young individuals. We are an all-volunteer organization, and the 50-plus members of our committees/board are so dedicated. I appreciate them so much, as well as all of our donors.”
Bite Me Cancer also delivers meals to the families of teens/children with cancer on INOVA Children’s Hospital’s pediatric oncology floor. The foundation has been expanding offerings for local teenagers with cancer by hosting fun and free events at Dave & Buster’s in Fairfax, Virginia.
In the past, Bite Me Cancer also hosted teens with cancer and their families through donated suites for Nationals and Capitals games. Organizers hope to offer more events, such as donated corporate suites at sporting events, as another way of brightening the lives of teens undergoing cancer treatments.