Donors build playground for Bellingham siblings battling cancer

The Roc Solid Foundation team and representatives from Wienerschnitzel partnered with Seattle-area franchises on Friday, August 9, to build a custom playground for Eliza, 4 and Oliver, 2. Following breakfast and a ride in a limousine, the family returned home for the unveiling of a new backyard playground. Eliza was diagnosed with optic glioma which caused her to go blind in one eye and Oliver was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of leukemia. The new playground allows for Eliza and Oliver to play freely in the comfort of their home giving their parents peace of mind. “The look of surprise when these children first see their play-sets resembles the purest form of joy,” said Karen Galardi, corporate community relations & giving for Wienerschnitzel. “We’re honored to partner with The Roc Solid Foundation to provide a haven for Oliver and Eliza to play and, most importantly, to escape their diagnoses and feel hope for the future.”


The initiative for building the playground was a joint effort between Galardi and Eric Newman, chief play officer at the Roc Solid Foundation. “The treatments these kids undergo are intense, leaving them with little time and energy to enjoy playing like most kids do on a daily basis,” Newman said. “It’s our goal to give hope to these children by allowing them to be carefree for the day; that’s what hope looks like.” The Roc Solid Foundation was started in 2009 by Newman who is a pediatric cancer survivor. Their flagship program ‘Play It Forward’ has constructed 100 different projects across the United States.

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