#FeelGoodFriday – JE Dunn Gives Back in Charlotte Amid COVID-19

Our city is full of the best people and best businesses.  Every day we learn of something spectacular that our volunteers, supporters, sponsors and partners are doing during this crazy time and it brightens our hearts and gives us hope.  We plan to spotlight these stories through #FeelGoodFriday. Every Friday, we will spotlight something spectacular around us. We hope it will brighten your day too! 

Devon, 15 years old

Today’s #FeelGoodFriday shout out is to the local Charlotte JE Dunn Construction team who helped Leo’s Pride Foundation donate a van to a family in need.

Every year local contractors in the Charlotte area participate in a ping pong tournament.  Our Sustaining Sponsor, JE Dunn, won last year’s tournament and with that winning accolade came the chance to choose their non profit of choice to be the benefactor of the 2020 tournament.  JE Dunn chose Leo’s Pride Foundation, who helps families that have children with rare genetic disorders.

The JE Dunn team had planned on using the funds raised through the ping pong tournament to help a Leo’s Pride family get a van for 15-year-old Devon to get around easier. Devon has a rare disorder that binds him to a wheelchair and his mom has to carry him in and out of their vehicle regularly, making everyday activities and movement challenging.  As with most activities, the ping pong tournament has been postponed due to COVID-19, but the JE Dunn team recognized Devon’s needs still exist, even though most everything else stopped. How did they step up to the challenge? … they made the van donation happen last week anyway!

Devon, his family & their new van

Now that Devon and his family have this new van, they will be able to do all of the activities they love with more ease.

We have felt a connection to JE Dunn since they built the ISF MIBG room at Levine Children’s.  We got to know their team through the design/build process and were touched by their desire to know about Isabella and other kids fighting cancer.  JE Dunn believes every child deserves a future filled with moments of opportunity. They believe they should be provided a good education and any resources they need to live a healthy and happy lifestyle.  We are fortunate our teams crossed paths and they believe in our mission as well! Last year, JE Dunn donated $15,000 to ISF as part of their Annual Poker Tournament. And this year, we are so proud they are a Sustaining Sponsor supporting ISF all year long! This team has heart and passion and we love how they continue to raise others up in our community.

Thank you JE Dunn team for doing spectacular things in our Charlotte community!

‘Tis the Season with Diamonds Direct

‘Tis the 2018 Holiday Season with Diamonds Direct. Diamonds Direct is offering you a Holiday Gift Guide, with the best gifts with the brightest sparkle.  No need to spend endless hours shopping or trying to find that perfect gift for your significant other.  Diamonds Direct has it all figured out for you.

Fashion Jewelry.  Top Trending Gifts.  Classic Diamond Jewelry.  Color Stone & Pearl.  Silver & Gold.  A Holiday Engagement.  Diamonds Direct has the perfect his and her gifts.

Diamonds Direct Holiday Gift Guide

If that wasn’t easy enough . . . Diamonds Direct is even making it easier for you this holiday season.  Diamonds Direct invites you to their Sparkling Winter Wishes, a designer holiday trunk show, on November 16, 17 & 18 at their Charlotte location in SouthPark.  At the Sparkling Winter Wishes trunk show, you can enjoy a 20% Special Savings (some exclusions apply).  Not only can Diamonds Direct offer you gift ideas for your significant other this holiday season, but you can also enjoy a 20% savings at their designer holiday trunk show.  

Diamonds Direct Designer Holiday Trunk Show Details, Showroom Hours and Happy Hour Info

It really is all about the experience at Diamonds Direct.  From the moment you step into their showroom, you feel comfortable. Diamonds Direct educates you and empowers you to make the best decisions.  They want you to understand the quality of their diamonds so you are confident in your purchase for your loved ones.  Trust us, you are in good hands this holiday season with Diamonds Direct.

Beer = Community Cheer!

Community is our future.  When our community comes together, that’s when a difference is truly made. Community is everything.  People.  Businesses.  Families.  Organizations.  We all become one.  Together.  NoDa Brewing Company,2018 ISF Sustaining Sponsor, sets the example.

NoDa Brewing Company always strives to bring the highest quality beer to our community.  But even more than that, they strive to make a difference in our community.

  • You Drink, We Donate.  NoDa Brewing Company supports over 100+ charities throughout the year, and one way they do this is by donating $1 per pint every Monday.
  • Fundraising for Free.  NoDa allows nonprofits to host fundraising events for free in their tap room. Drink a beer and learn about how you can give back! 
  • Beer Bonus.  NoDa also opens their hearts by featuring special beers that continuously give back to specific charities.  Pssst . . . . have you tried the NoDa Margarita Gose that benefits ISF?  

“Todd and I have four kids and cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to have one of them, or our granddaughter, get diagnosed with cancer.  We’re happy to do anything we can to support families that are battling this terrible disease and hopefully finding a cure one day.” – Suzie Ford, Founder and President NoDa Brewing Company

So we say CHEERS to NoDa Brewing Company!  Beer = Community Cheer!

On the Rebound: Cancer Can’t Keep Alex Sidelined

By Levine Children’s, 2018 ISF Sustaining Sponsor

Alex Brogran, Levine Children’s Bone Cancer Patient

Basketball was everything to 11-year-old Alex Bogran – until a sudden leg injury left him sidelined last year. When Alex’s doctors couldn’t find a break or fracture to explain his worsening pain, they called for an MRI.

The results of the MRI were grim: Alex didn’t have an injury – he had osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. “It was scary, but I knew everything was going to be okay,” Alex recalls of the diagnosis. “Everything works out in the end.”

For Alex, treatment would be far from easy. It required months of chemotherapy, plus a major surgery to remove the tumor and replace his knee. But his positive attitude never waned, making one thing clear: Treating cancer is tough, but Alex Bogran is tougher.

The full-court press of cancer treatment

Alex’s treatment required top specialists in oncology and orthopedics, and Levine Children’s Hospital was just the place for him to get all the cancer care he needed. “We’ve got some of the best in the country here, so it’s pretty incredible,” says Javier Oesterheld, MD, a pediatric hematologist and oncologist at Levine Children’s.

The first stage of Alex’s treatment was chemotherapy, which is hard for anyone, but it’s especially difficult for kids and their families. 

Knowing that, Alex’s care team put an idea into action: They devised a backpack that lets patients like Alex complete almost all of their chemo treatments at home. “I think that really changed things for him, to be honest. You saw a new Alex,” says Dr. Oesterheld. “You saw a much brighter, happier kid. That’s really the reason why we offer it.”

For the things that still required him to go to the hospital – like his surgery – Alex’s care team did everything they could to make his time at LCH as comfortable as possible. “It was hard, but they really helped me through it. I look at the positive thanks to them,” Alex says. 

A slam dunk for a more normal life

Since his knee replacement surgery, Alex has hit a lot of milestones. But there’s one milestone that surpasses them all: In February of 2018, Alex celebrated his last round of chemotherapy. 

These days, Alex is in physical therapy, where he’s learning to walk again. And one day, he’ll re-learn to jump, so he can get back on the court doing what he loves most.

Alex will continue to see his Levine Children’s care team frequently, to make sure the cancer isn’t coming back, but he’s well on the rebound. And through it all, Alex’s positive attitude has persevered, as has his never-failing belief that everything always works out in the end. 

Levine Children’s Hospital is part of Levine Children’s, a network of care for kids that includes hospital programs, as well as neighborhood pediatric offices and urgent cares. Year after year, LCH is named one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for their life-changing care in more than 30 specialties.