What It Means to Me

Recently, we had a chance to speak with Jenny Hahn, President of FD Associates, one of our most generous corporate partners about how they have been impacted by Special Love. 

Why donate to Special Love?

I suspect that most corporate giving comes from a connection to a specific cause. For our small family owned company, our connection to Special Love was because of my son, Ian, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1997. We were introduced to Special Love through Becca’s Run and the Lilly family, and started actively raising funds for Becca’s Run in the years preceding Ian’s passing. Special Love was a recipient of those funds and we learned more about Special Love from Dave Smith at Becca’s Run. In 2001, my son Eric attended BRASS camp for the first time. The camp created a safe place for Eric to be with other siblings dealing with the issues of having a sibling with cancer. We lost Ian that year but our commitment to Special Love continued. We know and understand firsthand what the families feel and need. Special Love, the camps, the weekends, remind them that they are not alone in this fight and there is a place where it’s OK to laugh, cry, be happy and NORMAL amidst the chaos for a weekend or a week. The value to the campers and their families is priceless.

What’s your favorite facet of SL programming/outreach?

BRASS camp, which has meant so much to my son Eric. He has been able to transition from camper to counselor. He enjoys the volunteering and the ability to be able to have an outlet to discuss the impact of cancer on his life. I love the fact that “big kids” AKA adults get to act like kids in organizing the fun events at camp. I also appreciate how Special Love works to address all of the family by making individual events for each affected family member.

How do your employees feel about working at a philanthropic company, especially one that supports SL?

As a small company, our team has been with us each step of the way. They appreciate and support our efforts as much as they can.

If you had one opportunity to share the Special Love story with someone, what would you say?

I recall the point in our lives when we could no longer plan a vacation because of Ian’s cancer. When we couldn’t put a deposit on a vacation house at the beach because we didn’t know if Ian would have another scan that reveals more tumors, or if he would be in treatment and we would have to cancel the trip. Being able to giving a child with cancer and their family the opportunity to step away from that, to have a child be able to attend camp and get treatment if its needed, but to have fun with others while doing it, to give the parents a week of rest from the crazy world of doctors and hospitals and scans and needles, to give the siblings a week to just be completely out of the family cocoon, it’s the best gift I can give to these families.

Thank you for the work you do.