Creating Brighter Days for Kids with Cancer

About Isaac's Rays of Hope

Isaac Wargo Isaac's Rays of Hope was founded by a family all too familiar with the ins and outs of having a child with cancer. In August 2007, at just three weeks old, David and Lisa Wargo's son, Isaac, was diagnosed with a rare cancer called Infantile Fibrosarcoma. Isaac underwent multiple surgeries to remove a recurring tumor on his neck as well as received chemotherapy to remove the cancer which has metastasized to his lungs. Living more than an hour away, traveling to and from the hospital several times a week, and having three other sons to care for, the Wargo's experienced financial and emotional hardship first-hand.

Almost 6 years later, Isaac is doing remarkably well, but David and Lisa have not forgotten the kindness and care they received from their family, friends, and community along their journey. They now have the desire to pay forward this generosity and do what they can to provide support to other families in similar situations. Thus, Isaac's Rays of Hope was founded.

Our Mission

Based out of Jerseyville, IL, Isaac's Rays of Hope and its volunteers work diligently to help families who have a child or children who are diagnosed with cancer or life-threatening illnesses receiving treatment and care in the Greater St. Louis Metro Area. Our mission is to provide positive distractions to children (and their siblings) undergoing treatments and coping with extended hospital stays, often associated with their illnesses, and in addition, help ease the financial and emotional stresses that childhood cancer places upon the entire family.

Our Goals

"See a need, fill a need." We couldn't agree more with this saying in the movie, "Robots." That's why we don't limit ourselves to what we have to offer to the children. Through our volunteers' hard work and dedication to create brighter days for kids with cancer, we have provided a variety of ways for young patients, from the "little bitty" to the "young adult", to experience endless smiles! From tutus and capes, to "teen" bags and "chemo" shirts, we are striving to fill the needs of all ages.

Throughout the year, Isaac's Rays of Hope strengthens its efforts to raise money for families of children diagnosed with cancer or life-threatening illnesses. Financial support can be found in the form of gas cards, food cards, paying utilities, medical deductibles, and more. We strive to ease some of the financial burden that a cancer or other life-threatening diagnosis can cause. This is a time for parents to be focused on the well-being of their children, and with our support, we are striving to achieve this. From getting local schools involved in Hats for Heroes to honor their peers going through difficult times, to Home Run Derbies, to migrating pink plastic flamingos onto unsuspecting lawns, we make it fun for everyone!
The average length of treatment for children with cancer is 3 months to 3.5 years. Non-medical expenses, on average, assume approximately 38% of a family's gross annual income. These expenses include, but are not limited to travel to and from the treatment center, accommodations and meals away from home, and daycare expenses for other young children in the home. In addition, approximately 43% of families have a parent either give up or reduce employment to care for the child. These lost wages, along with out-of-pocket medical expenses account for nearly HALF of a two parent income. The financial strain is considerably greater in single parent families. It is not uncommon for childhood cancer families to lose all assets and emotional stability in the process of providing the best possible care for their child.
To see if you qualify for financial assistance, please contact your child's Hematology/Oncology social worker at your child's place of treatment in the Greater St. Louis area.

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