Grace West's Treehouse Fund

I'm a family friend of Grace and family. I met Grace through one of my associates who is her cousin. Andrea Verdone Gorsegner is orgnizing a team of people to help Grace's wish come true.. to have her very own tree house! Please read below for all the information pertaining to this project. It is the original post Andrea had posted for this project. The original post can be read on the FaceBook page: Infinite Love for Natalie Grace[phone redacted]7.190964064381897&type=1&theaterLike Grace, Andrea's daughter Natalie is battling childhood cancer (high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia)

Here is her message:

This is Andrea and I need your help with a VERY IMPORTANT project that I’m organizing for a local (Freehold, NJ) 11-year-old girl Grace who is currently fighting neuroblastoma.

Everything is ...happening NOW so I need all hands on deck! If at the end of this note you want to help me…PLEASE MESSAGE ME ONLY THROUGH NATALIE’S FB PAGE: INFINITE LOVE FOR NATALIE GRACE. THANK YOU!!!

First, a little bit about Grace from her mama Sharon:

“Grace West is a 5th grade student at West Freehold School. She will turn 11 years old on June 20th of this year. Gracie is affectionately known to her family and friends as "Cookie". She is an excellent swimmer, soccer player and student. She is extremely artistic and creative and has a wonderful sense of humor.

In November of 2013 Grace was diagnosed with an aggressive form of pediatric cancer called neuroblastoma. Grace has been receiving treatment at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). To date, Grace's treatment course has included 5 rounds of chemotherapy, a stem cell harvest, surgery to remove her primary tumor and most recently a clinical trial of liquid radiation called MIBG therapy that was injected into her system to target the widespread cancer cells (2x). Grace will undergo more rounds of chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant which will require her to be hospitalized at CHOP for a prolonged period of time. Upon her completion and recovery from the stem cell transplant she will begin traditional radiation therapy followed by a prolonged course of immunotherapy.

Throughout her treatment Grace has shown immeasurable strength, perseverance and determination. She has faced every challenge with a smile on her face and with an incredible sense of humor and wisdom well beyond her young years. She has captured the hearts of her doctors and staff at CHOP, and everyone she has met on this journey. She is a true source of inspiration and strength to all her family and friends who are amazed by her every day. Grace is true to her nickname. She is a tough "Cookie.”

Okay, now that you “know” Grace, here’s what I’m doing and what I need your help on. A couple of weeks ago someone reached out to me asking if in any capacity I could help a little girl who has a single wish…to have her very own TREE HOUSE!

Being that my husband is in the hardwood flooring industry, I asked him if he thought that we could pull together a building team (all pro-bono) to grant Grace’s wish ASAP. Dan sent a text to his builder friend Kevin (Pennell Construction) who without hesitation said that he was in. I then reached out to my friend Catie who is an architect to see if she could help us…DONE, she’s in as well. THEN, while talking to my dear friend Dena Sherwood yesterday (founder of AWOCCF/The Truth 365), I was telling her how the hardest part will be getting all of the materials we need, informing her that this is NOT going to be any ordinary tree house, that I want this to an ACTUAL house that just so happens to be in a tree…meaning I want real windows, siding, roof, and I want it to be BIG (Any of my friends who know me know that it’s GO BIG, or GO HOME)! Dena immediately called her WONDERFUL builder husband Billy who right off the bat said he had some windows that he could donate to us, AND, he had a friend who would run the electric as well!! But BEST of all, Billy then offered to sacrifice the first day of his family vacation to help us with the build which is breaking ground this Saturday June 21st (the day after Grace turns 11)!! So as of now, we have 2 builders, 1 architect, 1 electrician, a hardwood-flooring guy, and me : ).

This is AWESOME, but we need SOOOO much more in order to pull this off in a timely manner!! A little later today I’ll be receiving the list of materials that we’ll need and I’ll be reaching out to two different building supply stores in the hopes that they’ll donate all that’s required (fingers crossed). Friends of Grace have raised $1400 for this tree house, so we have a little bit to get going, but this is a mere drop in the bucket for what we’ll actually need. Here’s where ALL OF YOU come in!

As I said we’re going to begin building with the help that we have this Saturday. But in the next couple of weeks, I will DEFINITELY need others. SPECIFICALLY, I am looking for people who specialize in CARPENTRY/FRAMING/BUILDING; ROOFERS + SIDING (we’re going with vinyl); INSULATING/SHEETROCKING; PAINT/WALLPAPERING; and an INTERIOR DESIGNER who can sit down with me for a couple of hours to go over a few things that I want to do. ALSO, I’m DESPERATE for monetary donations (and quick)! We’ll be doing most of our shopping at Target + Michaels (although definitely most at Target) and would GREATLY appreciate any amount in gift cards…even if you want to send Visa gift cards so we can have a little more flexibility, that’s great too! In addition to using the money to purchase materials and merch for the tree house, I’ll also need cash to feed the help!

I KNOW that I am asking a lot (per the norm), but please, even if this means that instead of donating to our fundraiser, you donate to this project…I MUCH rather make this tree house happen pronto for Grace, then to exactly hit that $150K goal of ours come September (although in my heart, I know that we’ll get there). I was going to give you all an update on that today…but I need to make this project a priority for the next few weeks, so please stay tuned as an update is coming!!

 ALSO, while I greatly appreciate the many of you who I’m sure will reach out to say that you can be another set of hands on building day…what we really are looking for here is quality of help over quantity. I’m NOT meaning to sound ungrateful, it’s just that we don’t have a lot of time, and sometimes having too many people trying to do one thing gets WAY too complicated. BUT that said, if you or someone you know has a skill that you feel could benefit our project (that I don’t have listed)…or if you have something AWESOME that you can donate that will enhance this project…by all means, reach out to me and let me know!!

THANK YOU for reading this all the way through. My internet has been down and is only now working again so if I haven’t returned a message…hold tight, I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

OKAY, so for anyone who does not want to donate through here Monetary+ Gift Card donations can be sent to our P.O. Box 4064 Middletown, NJ 07748, however if you live local to Middletown, NJ then just let me know and we can arrange a drop off/pick up of the donation in an effort to save some time! Please DO NOT donate for this tree house project via our will you send us a dollar website because I want to be sure to keep the finances separate from our fundraiser. I have NO DOUBT that in a few short weeks Grace will be relaxing in her new little house with her brother and a few friends, but we’ll never get there without the help from some of you WONDERFUL souls! SHARE, SHARE, SHARE THIS PLEASE!! ANYONE WHO CAN HELP WITH A SPECIFIC SKILL OR PIECE OF MERCHANDISE TO DONATE, Contact me (Andrea) via Natalie's page!!

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Jessica Hanat 
Freehold Borough, NJ
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