Ridgefield resident, Rachel Langberg, is on a mission to help children of cancer patients with her nonprofit, The Silver Platter Foundation
The community is invited to Gallo on Thursday, November 16th from 6-9pm to support The Silver Platter Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Ridgefield resident, Rachel Langberg.
After watching her sister Hillary Silver battle Multiple Myeloma for nine years while caring for her two young children, Langberg was committed to helping the children of cancer patients - specifically, those who suffered from blood cancers. Here, we introduce you to Rachel and give our readers an inside look at this special Foundation. Please consider joining us at Gallo on November 19! If you can't be at Gallo but want to support The Silver Platter Foundation, click HERE to make an online donation.
Tell me a bit about what inspired you to start the Silver Platter Foundation.
My sister Hillary is my inspiration and motivation every day. She lived with multiple myeloma for nine years while raising two young boys. Because it is an incurable blood cancer, she was always receiving some sort of treatment, often suffering from the pain brought on by this disease. As bad as she had it (missing out on time with her kids when frequently in the hospital, too sick to participate in family activities and vacations, and her children knowing only life with a sick mother), Hillary always said that there were people who had it worse. I’ve come to learn how very true that is.
And the name - Silver Platter?
Hillary’s last name was Silver. Such an easy name/word to work with! I came up with a few variations and she chose the one she liked best—The Silver Platter Foundation. I was so grateful to get this organization established before she died, so she could help make a few major decisions like this one.
The Foundations focus is on the children of those battling adult blood cancer. Tell me about your mission behind this.
Well, the focus is really on the families. We provide almost any goods and services to make life a little easier for families affected by adult blood cancers with children living at home. We’ve paid household bills, provided food and clothing gift cards, paid rent and moving costs, cleaning services, transportation, etc. Through our Facebook Giveaway Program, we have provided Chromebooks and paid for after-school activities and school supplies. So, you can see that some of this support directly aids the child and some of it helps the entire family.
Heartwarming story of a family you’ve helped?
Oh, great question. These stories are really so heartbreaking. The application required to receive assistance gives us a small glimpse into the desperate efforts that the families make to provide as much normalcy as possible. We rarely hear many details. There happens to be one woman who reached out to me after Hillary died. She was our first recipient and quite possibly our biggest fan! She became a friend of mine on Facebook, giving me the opportunity to follow her story. Still in her 40s, she has undergone multiple stem cell transplants and a variety of chemo treatments to keep her alive for the past 11 years. As her body started to fail earlier this year, with almost no options left, her doctor squeezed her into a trial that he had not used for such a sick patient. She literally said her good-byes, knowing the likely outcome which she had seen so many times among her multiple myeloma friends. Miraculously, there are no signs of cancer four months later and she feels well. Throughout her illness, she made the most of her situation regardless of how awful she felt, traveling to 48 states, going to concerts, etc. She knows her days are limited and doesn’t want to miss out on what life has to offer. This story is very unusual for people with multiple myeloma. She continues to inspire all of us around her.
How can Ridgefield help support the Silver Platter Foundation?
Ridgefield is an incredible community full of kindness and generosity. I am so thankful to be part of that. I would love for Ridgefielders to come out and support us at our fundraisers and blood drives. We’ll be at Gallo on Thursday, November 16th from 6-9pm raising money for the increasing number of applications we are receiving. (Recently, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society stopped funding support to patients with multiple myeloma. We are already seeing the results of that with families desperately seeking assistance in any way they can get it.) And, if donating blood to save lives is something people are interested in doing, they can mark their calendars for our next blood drive on Saturday, January 20th from 9-2 at Ann’s Place in Danbury.
Anything you wish I asked?
Your questions were terrific and I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity. Thank you! I just want to mention that almost all of the money we raise goes directly to families in need. Our overhead is extremely low and everyone who works with us are volunteers. No one gets paid. This is important to me so that our donors know that their generosity goes where it is needed! And a huge thank you, Kerry Anne, for being one of our guest bartenders next week!
Learn more about the Guest Bartending Fundraiser at Gallo HERE.