Team Ila Jean

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Happy Valentine's Day Team Ila Jean!!

Posted by jenniferrathbone on February 13, 2014 at 7:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Another success!! Thank you to all that came and brought gifts for the children at the Children's Hospital at Albany Medical Center. There were plenty of toys, arts & crafts and thanks to Brooke's Blossoms, we had two boxes filled with blossoms and hats for the kids too. We delivered today in the start of this year's biggest snowstorm yet. Tomorrow the children will all get a Valentine's present thanks to Team Ila Jean's wonderful friends!! THANK YOU!!!!

Happy Birthday Ila Jean!

Posted by jenniferrathbone on January 20, 2014 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Ila Jean would have been turing 9 years old this year on February 4th. She loved birthdays and she went out with a bang celebrating her last birthday turning 7 with 7 celebrations thanks to many friends and family. This was the last celebration on her actual birthday when a very dear friend got a stretch limo for a private party just for her. We had Brooke and her parents with us too. It was a night to remember. Always. Thank you Barbara for always going the extra mile for our kids.

On February 2nd from 1pm to 4pm we are holding an open house at our home for Ila Jean's Birthday Celebration. We will be collecting toys for the kids at Albany Med again this year to hand out on Valentine's Day. Please join us if you can! For those of you who cannot attend or live elsewhere, you can make a donation if you'd like in Ila's memory. We happily and lovingly support so many wonderful foundations.
For Ila's Birthday this year I would like to start a tradition of requesting donations to a specific Foundation that we will name each year. This year I ask that donations be made to Maddie's Mark. We have worked together on projects before. I personally know this family and they live local to us. Two months before we lost Ila Jean, they lost their sweet Maddie just 5 days after finding her brain tumor. During those last few days they did their best to make them the best days ever. To continue that, through the foundation, they provide a "best day ever" for children dealing with illness. It is a wonderful service for these children and their families and a fabulous way to honor Maddie's memory. If you'd like to make a donation in memory of Ila Jean, please go to and help provide a "best day ever" for a child in need.

Baking a Difference!

Posted by jenniferrathbone on December 22, 2013 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Team Ila Jean was a success this weekend, baking almost 40 dozen cookies. We raised $325 for Cookies for Kids Cancer from combines cookies sales and donations. Thank you to all who participated. Your generosity is always greatly appreciated. The bonus for holding a bake sale this month with Cookies for Kids Cancer is that the company OXO is matching all the money we raised! Thank you OXO!!! We were good cookies and took on the mission of baking a difference. I hope we have inspiried some of you to do so too!! Thank you again and Merry Christmas!!

Christmas Cookie Fundraiser

Posted by jenniferrathbone on December 8, 2013 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Team Ila Jean is rasing money for Cookies for Kids Cancer this Christmas season. We are baking up a storm and selling cookies 2 dozen per order for $15 to our local friends and family and will hand deliver them to you door the weekend before Christmas! Unfortunately we do not have the ability to ship cookies so we cannot sell to out of area friends and family, however, we are more than happy to take donations for this wonderful cause in any amount! You can always go to the Cookies for Kids Cancer website and order their cookies too. They are delicious!

You can place your order by sending an email to [email protected] Choose from Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle, Sugar Cookie or Ila Jean's Mix (variety of all three). Payment can be made online through our giving page on the Cookies website through the link below. You can also write us a check or pay in cash. Please make check payable to 'Cookies for Kids Cancer'. The bonus this month is that all funds raised will be matched for bake sales registered on the Cookies website. So let's make this count!!

Please join us in helping other children this holiday season. Enjoy the cookies yourself, with family or as a gift. Support Team Ila Jean, remember Ila and keep her spirit alive this Christmas. Thank you.

Donation page:

Holiday Parade

Posted by jenniferrathbone on December 8, 2013 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Our parade float was a HUGE success!!! As a dear friend said that night, "we're freezin' for a reason"! It was a very cold night with winds howling and t even begain to snow! Just what we needed to put us all in the spirit! There was a big crowd as always and we really made an impact. You could see it in their faces. There was big applause, some thank you's, hoots and hollers and then the faces. The smiles as they looked on. then as you watched them read the poster of our angels that most of us held in our hands, the smiles faded an the realization set in. The message was received. Goal met. Awareness spread. The tree now sits in my front yard and shines brightly. Next year we will have the artificial trees to set up on display in the malls. We will get the message out to everyone. Our mission never ends. Thank you to all that were involved.

Fall Festival

Posted by jenniferrathbone on October 18, 2013 at 7:45 AM Comments comments (1)

On October 27th in Rotterdam, there will be a Fall Fun Fest for Maddies Mark Foundation in memory of Maddie and Ila Jean. Please come and join us for an afternoon of family fun and activities!

Going GOLD for the Parade

Posted by jenniferrathbone on October 17, 2013 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Ever since I walked in the parade behind my kids school float pushing Ila Jean in her stroller back in 2007, I have wanted to put a float in the parade for Childhood Cancer Awareness. Every year, the Schenectady's Chamber of Commerce puts on their Holiday Parade the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It is the largest night time parade in the region drawing in some 40,000 spectators. This year we are finally making things happen thanks to the support and generosity of local children's cancer foundations through the Capital Region Childhood Cancer Coalition. Last year I started what will be a yearly tradition with a tree covered in gold ribbons for children with cancer, survivors and angels, and this year it will be the centerpiece of our float. I hope all of you local to us here in upstate New York can come out to show your GOLD in support and hoot an holler for us as we pass by!! I'll update more as we get closer to the event. Thank you to everyone involved.

Dancing for a cause...

Posted by jenniferrathbone on October 8, 2013 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Our Lady Queen of Peace parish in Rotterdam, which is the church I grew up in and still attend, is holding a Dance-a-thon to support the Private Room initiative through the Tyler DeMarco Foundation. It was Tyler's idea, during his treatmen, that kids should have their own rooms. Tyler lost his battle, but his idea lives on. His parents, who created the Tyler DeMarco Foundation, along with many other parents and local foundations came together during the month of September with the Capital District Childhood Cancer Coalition to support Tyler's idea through many various fundraisers that were held all month. We are continuing the effort at our church. This is the first event like this that has been done at the church and the Youth MInistry is putting it together. Of course we will be there! I invite you all to join us or make a donation. Let's make this a huge success!


Posted by jenniferrathbone on September 17, 2013 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

So proud to be a part of the Capital Region Childhood Cancer Coalition. We were each given a copy of this when we met with members of the State Department of Health. Thanks to the efforts of many, this declaration was made. Thank you Governor Cuomo.

September is half way over so SHOW YOUR GOLD!!

Captial Region Childhood Cancer Coalition

Posted by jenniferrathbone on August 14, 2013 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (0)

I would like to announce a new movement in New York's capital region in upstate New York. We are a group of parents, many of us with foundations, that have come together to give a voice to our children and the fight against childhood cancer. One of the goals for our group is to have an event scheduled every day for the entire month of September to raise money and awareness. The group also has plans to meet with state officials to bring more attention to children with cancers and their families. Our hope is to bring state wide awareness to childhood cancer as well as bring more help to the families suffering with their child's cancer diagnosis throughout the state of New York. There are many things in teh works and coming up, and I hope that all of you can do your part and participate in as many events as you can. Please go to their website below and check in often to see what events are being added.

The children and families need each and every one of us to be their voice as they fight the battle against childhood cancer. Get involved and do your part. Thank you all for your support!

Capital Region Childhood Cancer Coalition -