When Joseph and LeaAnn Falabella lost their 9-year-old daughter, Alexandra, to pediatric cancer in 2009, the Plainview couple searched for meaning amongst all the heartache. Though grieving their immense loss, they found a way to honor their daughter’s memory and keep her spirit alive as an inspiration for others.
They created the Lexiebean Foundation soon after Alexandra died from an infection while receiving treatment for Medullablastoma. The inspiration to start the foundation came during Alexandra’s physically and emotionally draining hospital stays, surgeries and chemotherapy treatments.
“When she [Alexandra] was sick, we received gifts from a foundation and it brightened her day,” said her father Joe, adding that his daughter’s nickname inspired the name of the foundation.
The foundation pursues, plans and raises money to support families through community fundraisers, while providing financial and emotional support that allows parents to concentrate on their child’s wellness – and allows them to simply be there for their child.
It is a way to provide a measure of joy for families going through the unthinkable. Falabella said the foundation also provides emotional support through an extended network of parents who have been through similar experiences.
“Lexie would be sick, in the hospital going through her treatments and another kid would come in sick and crying. She would feel so bad for them,” he said. “With everything she was going through, she wanted to lift their spirits. This foundation keeps her ideals alive.”
As working parents, the Falabella’s need help keeping the foundation viable. A 501(c)3 charitable organization, the Lexiebean Foundation requires donations to help obtain resources. And a chance meeting recently facilitated a generous donation that will help the foundation double its charitable efforts.
The Falabellas met John and Janet Kornreich at a Sunrise Day Camp event this summer, and after talking about Lexiebean, the John & Janet Kornreich Charitable Foundation saw fit to make a donation to dramatically increase the foundation’s capacity to help families.
“We cannot thank Janet and John enough for choosing us to be the recipients of their donation,” said Falabella. “They noticed the work we are doing and they think it’s important.”
The donation will help the Lexiebean Foundation increase the financial help it provides. The foundation works mainly with Cohen Children’s Medical Center to connect with suffering families, but they hope to soon expand their reach to
Winthrop Hospital, as well as Stony Brook.
Expanding Lexiebean furthers the legacy of Alexandra beyond her Plainview home, where the family talks about her on a daily basis.
With the memories of that troubled time often tinged with anguish and tears, the Falabellas seek to make a difference where they can – and sweeten the often impossibly wretched days and nights of suffering.
Always with their Lexiebean leading the way.
“The hardest part was always watching her suffer. It is something you have no control over,” he said. “But being by her side always and her knowing we were there for her; it was a big help to Lexie. You cannot control anything else except for the love and comfort you provide. And that is the spirit of our foundation.”
To learn more about the Lexiebean Foundation and to donate to its cause, visit www.lexiebeanfoundation.org or call 888-539-2326.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
Children at Gribbin Elementary
School prepared for Thanksgiving last week by singing songs, writing what they were thankful for on the table cloths, and making a poster of what they are thankful for.
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
Visitors to Nassau County’s Garvies Point Museum and Preserve were transported back in time on Nov. 23 and 24 when the museum held its Annual Thanksgiving Native American Feast. More than 1,000 people attended the two-day event, which showcased the lives of Native Americans. Numerous hands-on activities gave participants the opportunity to try their luck at spear throwing, corn grinding, cooking over an open fire and pottery making.
The feast was the perfect outing for several Cub Scout troops and group home organizations as well as for families from across Long Island. For Sea Cliff siblings Zeke and Uma it was a special day at a place they visit often and have strong ties to. Their grandfather had been one of the museum’s early volunteers. For the Ferrera family of Islip it was a new adventure. Renee Ferrera is a social studies teacher who had taken her classes on trips to Garvies in the past and always enjoyed it.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
With grit, determination and all-out teamwork, the Friends Academy Boys Varsity Soccer team completed their quest for a third state soccer championship, defeating a tough Lansing High School, 1-0, in the New York Class C State Championships.
Both teams kept the game at a tight 0-0, until 20 minutes into the second half, when a throw-in from senior Patrick Moodhe (Manhasset) connected with the head of senior Jon Nierenberg (Sands Point) for the game’s only goal.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
It has been an amazing season for the Midget Cardinals team in Glen Cove. Undefeated all season, they are headed to the Super Bowl, where they will be playing against Brentwood for the Championship.
On Sunday, Nov. 17, the Cardinals Midget team won the coin toss and got to play the final playoff game of the season at home. Fans were out and cheering them on as they played Roosevelt - the other undefeated team in the league.