MaryRose Mazolla is a very mature 12 year-old girl. For her 12th birthday, rather than accept gifts for herself, she asked family and friends to bring donations to Lahey Clinic in honor of her grandmother, after whom she is named. MaryRose’s grandmother receives care at Lahey Clinic and MaryRose wanted to honor her grandmother and to raise funds for cancer care.
Today, MaryRose continues to seek corporate matches for the funds she has raised and continues her cancer awareness crusade in honor of her grandmother who is her best friend. MaryRose has requested matching funds from various teen magazines and other corporate sources and, likewise, she continues fundraising drives during the Ha11oween season – asking family and friends to give donations in honor of all oncology patients rather than offer candy.
During November 2002, Lahey Clinic featured MaryRose in their Lahey Magazine that is distributed to 60,000 households, physician offices, and other businesses. Likewise, MaryRose was featured in a direct mail piece to 139,000 patients and to donors. In the direct mail fundraising piece, they will include a greeting card designed by MaryRose that will be signed and returned with a donation from donors. The card, featuring MaryRose’s artwork and the greeting, “we wanted you to know that someone is thinking of you today during your visit to Lahey Clinic,” will be given to patients in the oncology department who are at the Clinic for chemotherapy or radiation oncology. It is MaryRose’s hope that by receiving such a card, oncology patients will have a slightly more pleasant visit to Lahey. The direct mail piece is expected to raise over $200,000 for the Clinic.
The devastating news that one has cancer often leaves people feeling isolated or alone. Through mobilizing others to give to cancer care, MaryRose is proving to her grandmother and others living with cancer that they are not alone. Fundraising efforts using MaryRose’s story will allow Lahey Clinic to meet the needs of others living with Cancer. Additionally, MaryRose has educated her classmates, teachers, and friends about cancer and the challenges of those living with various types of cancers. Most importantly, she has given people with cancer hope for a brighter future. These activities have been going on for six months and will likely continue into the distant future. Lahey Clinic’s philanthropy department for years to come, for example, will utilize the direct mail piece. These selfless acts make MaryRose a unique young person. She is a star among the youth in her community.
The fund started by MaryRose is called “Gifts for Nana.” It started with birthday donations and is now growing as MaryRose brings awareness for more research and treatments for all cancers, particularly ovarian cancer.