Improving Lives Affected By Cancer
Contact: Pat Colleluori
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HEADstrong and Rastelli Market Fresh Team Up to Spread Comfort & Joy at HUP This Holiday
PHILADELPHIA, Pa – While the holidays should be time of year filled with joyous celebration in the company of friends, family and loved ones, not everyone is as fortunate. This year, the oncology floors at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania are at capacity with patients and families who unfortunately will spend this holiday inpatient undergoing cancer treatment. The HEADstrong Foundation and Rastelli’s Market Fresh have teamed up to delivery hope, support and comfort in effort to make the holidays very special and home-like for these wonderful families.
On Sunday, December 18th the HEADstrong Foundation led by the Colleluori family and a dedicated group of volunteers including members of the Rastelli family, will transform conference rooms into family dining rooms and set the scene with a delicious family meal, live music, entertainment and a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will distribute comfort kits and gifts to all of the patients. In addition, HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom, Cheryl Colleluori, accompanied by their patient advocacy group will personally visit with more than 120 families, providing encouragement, lending an arm of support and warm holiday wishes.
The HEADstrong mission and commitment to serving families affected by cancer is one that truly resonates with the Rastelli family. In November, Rastelli’s provided all of the food for HEADstrong’ s annual Thanksgiving feast and are generously donating all of the food and beverages to serve more than 400 people this holiday.
“Rastelli Market Fresh is honored to be part of serving the patients and their families of the Abramson Cancer Center. We have learned so much about Nick’s wishes over the past few months and are excited to help fulfill his dreams in any way that we can.” – Brittany Rastelli
“We are truly honored to have the support and involvement of Rastelli Foods and the Rastelli family. We wish to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude for their commitment to our cause and to those we proudly serve. We have the upmost respect and admiration for this amazing company which is led by wonderful people. There is nothing more comforting especially during this time of year, than a delicious meal and Rastelli’s amazing menu has enhanced our HEADtable program. Additionally, we are very humbled to have the Rastelli’s join us as volunteers and graciously welcome them to our HEADstrong family.” Michael Colleluori, HEADstrong VP and Nick’s Brother
Spending the holidays in a hospital is a reality all too familiar to the Colleluori family. In 2005, they spent the holidays in the hospital caring for son and brother, Nicholas, who was battling non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. From his hospital bed, Nicholas conceptualized the organization now known as HEADstrong Foundation. HEADstrong provides essential services to assist families in navigating their cancer journey with greater clarity, dignity, normalcy and quality of life. Nicholas succumbed to the disease in 2006, but during the final days of his life, he asked his family to carry his vision of creating the HEADstrong into fruition and share the holidays with patients and families.
Colleluori’s request to his family has since evolved into a full program providing home-cooked meals and entertainment to patients and families on a monthly basis. Dinners, refreshments, movie nights, bingo, comedy acts, musicians, athletes, art therapy and live entertainment are all part of this initiative to improve patient moral, gather families and improve the patient experience.
“The holidays are a special time for families and loved ones to be together and we are dedicated to bringing comfort and joy to those who cannot be home this year because of underdoing cancer treatment. Spending the holidays in the hospital can really affect a person’s mental wellbeing and we believe that sharing this holiday season will bring some happiness, some laughter and some normalcy to those who need it most. Our hope is that these heroes find strength and inspiration in being around the ones they love and are able to temporarily escape from the realities of being inpatient for treatment. We have walked in the shoes of every patient and family spending the holidays on these floors and we want them to know that they are not alone.” Cheryl Colleluori, HEADstrong President and Nick’s Mom.
For more information on the HEADstrong Foundation, please visit www.HEADstrong.org or follow socially @HEADstrongFnd.