Friends of Danielle, Ltd., a not-for-profit organization which honors the spirit and legacy of Danielle Rinaldi, is providing funds for medical expenses and therapeutic programs which promote the treatment and rehabilitation of persons suffering from debilitating or catastrophic illnesses.
Danielle Rinaldi, who lived in Eastchester, contracted Leukemia in 1987 when she was just six years old. Danielle fought the disease valiantly for seven years, in and out of hospitals continuously, and ultimately overcame what was considered a terminal illness. Danielle was in remission, but had numerous side effects, which rendered her physically disabled. Her personality however was anything but stunted. She was happy, had an incredible will to live, enjoyed people enormously, and had a positive effect on everyone around her.
Unfortunately, in 2008, while Danielle was being transported by medical van from one of her outside activities to her home, she fell out of her wheelchair, broke both femurs, and was hospitalized. The person operating the transport vehicle had neglected to fasten Danielle’s seat belt. Because of her compromised physical state, Danielle did not survive.
In 1991, while Danielle was fighting Leukemia, Danielle’s friends and neighbors formed Friends of Danielle to honor her. The organization was built with a mission to help people, like Danielle, with catastrophic illness and to help people pay for some of the expenses associated with an illness. In 2011, the non-profit mandate was officially broadened to provide funds for medical expenses and therapeutic programs.
Since its creation, funds raised from Friends of Danielle have helped others in need by providing:
• Medical expenses such as doctor’s bills, medication and treatments when insurance payments were inadequate.
• Transportation to and from hospitals and doctor’s offices.
• Meals for families while their relatives were receiving testing or treatments.
• Wigs for children undergoing chemotherapy.
• Funding for babysitters, so that parents with multiple children could accompany their sick child for treatment.
• Airline tickets to unite loved ones with their seriously ill family.
• Payment for electric/home bills.
Friends of Danielle has also partnered with and granted funds to local charitable organizations to develop therapeutic programs for the disabled by creating:
• The Danielle Rinaldi Arts Program in association with the South East Consortium for Special Services, Inc., in Mamaroneck to provide therapeutic recreation programs and leisure-related services to children and adults with disabilities and special needs.
• The Danielle Rinaldi Therapeutic Riding Grant Program with a partnership through the Pegasus Therapeutic Riding in Brewster to fund multiple individuals the opportunity to participate in therapeutic equestrian-assisted programs.
• The Danielle Rinaldi Music Therapy Scholarship Fund in conjunction with the Music Conservatory of Westchester to provide music therapy grants.
• The Danielle Rinaldi Home Arts Therapy Fund in partnership with Heartsong, Inc. in White Plains to promote clinically-based music and art therapy programs
• The Danielle Rinaldi Summer Day Camp Grant Program in conjunction with the Jewish Community Center of Mid-Westchester (JCC), to provide grant money to pay for a multi-week summer program that supports children who are developmentally disabled.
Friends of Danielle, Ltd. is located in Westchester County and is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. It does not make payments directly to individuals or family members, but to service providers accompanied with appropriate receipts.
For more information about Friends of Danielle or to make a donation, please visit www.FriendsOfDanielle.org.