When Jack Guindon was four years old, he was diagnosed with Leukemia. From 2007 to 2010, Jack received treatment at Baystate Children’s Hospital and the D’Amour Center for Cancer Care. During this time, life was anything but typical for Jack. One thing that provided he and his family a source of joy was Griffin’s Friends.
“Griffin’s Friends made my time at the hospital so much better than it would have been without them,” said Jack.
Griffin’s Friends is a group of volunteers dedicated to providing support to children with cancer and their families. The group raises funds for the Griffin’s Friends Children’s Cancer Fund through Baystate Health Foundation. These funds then go on to bring moments of joy to courageous kids.
“They brought a Wii to my room for me and my sisters to play, as well as snacks to enjoy. But, it wasn’t all about what they brought to the hospital room for me but what happened outside of the hospital,” shared Jack. “All of the pizza parties and bowling parties are the little things that make you feel like a normal kid again.”
Though Griffin’s Friends raises funds in many ways, most notable may be their running challenges. Donning their blue singlets proudly displaying “Griffin’s Friends” across the chest, the group can be found at everything from a 5K to a marathon. Baystate Children’s Hospital cancer patients serve as the “Team Captain” for members of the running group – a position Jack still holds today.
“I’ve never officially retired from the spot,” said Jack. “My hope is to become more involved on the other side of Griffin’s Friends. I want to give back to the group that did so much for me, and I want to give to the kids who are going through what I went through.”
For Jack, the most important thing he wants people to know about Griffin’s Friends is the powerful impact their have on patients.
“They bring so much joy to kids’ lives during what might be the hardest part of their lives,” said Jack. “Everyone in the charity genuinely wants to bring that joy to the kids and make their lives better. I would be honored to have a role making our Griffin’s Friends children feel as special and loved as the volunteers made me feel.”
To support Griffin’s Friends and our pediatric cancer patients, visit GriffinsFriends.com.