Kier's Kidz and Songs of Love

Larry Perfetti, President of Kier's Kidz, a 501(c)3 charitable organization in Highland Park, NJ, dedicated to helping children with cancer and their families and supporting childhood cancer research, joins us along with Caroline Kratka, Genetics major at Rutger's University Honors College, who serves on Kier's Kids Advisory Board and shares about youth engagement and advocacy with the foundation. Kier's Kids was inspired by the hopes and dreams of Larry's daughter Kiersten who succumbed to alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma when she was just 22.

Songs of Love President John Beltzer also joins us to share about the healing gift of music that is his organization's mission, also a 501(c)3 charity, dedicated to uplifting the spirits of children with life-threatening illness or permanent disability.  Artists from around the world create professionally produced songs in the child's favorite genre, including aspects of the child's life, hopes, dreams, and likes. Beltzer's work is inspired by his musically talented twin brother, Julio, who died in 1984.

 

 

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About Janet


Blessed with varied interests and an artistic and musical upbringing, Janet had health challenges throughout her young adult life. Despite these she graduated Cum Laude from Wellesley College with an award of distinction for acting, and had also been a champion equestrian. She began a family with her husband Barry later in life, and had finally found happiness with daughter Sophie-Marie (3/12/06) and then baby (Jack 8/30/08). Five weeks after his birth, the family escaped a wildfire in which all worldly possessions were lost. The family relocated in December of 2008 to Agua Dulce CA where they currently reside.

Jack began to have unsettling symptoms at the age of 3; he was taken to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and was diagnosed with DIPG, or diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, on Friday Oct. 28, 2011, indisputably the darkest experience of Janet's life. The outrage of it made her determined to find the good in the situation, and she asked God to "Put me to work!" After Jack's death, she remained determined to start working to find solutions to DIPG and incorporated Jack's Angels at the end of 2012; the Foundation began its work in 2013. Despite the fact that DIPG is responsible for the majority of brain tumor deaths in children, she had been told there were no solutions for Jack because "the numbers aren't great enough for investors." This remains the primary motivation in her advocacy work, to prioritize children's lives in our medical system in the United States.


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