Barbara Haramis, Executive Director
More than 23 years ago, one simple act of kindness would forever change the life of Barbara Haramis. While visiting her sister in medical school, she learned about a five year old boy who was being treated for leukemia. Day after day, he would lay in his hospital bed, alone. His parents had to work during the day to help to pay his medical bills, and his only visitors were doctors, and caring nurses. She also learned that his only wish was to have a Nintendo Gameboy to help pass the lonely hours. It was in that moment, Barbara realized -that although she could not cure the boy's cancer, she could make his treatment more bearable by purchasing it for him, to give him a way to pass the time, and bring him joy. It was in that same moment that Childhood Leukemia Foundation was born.
From the very beginning, Barbara wanted to make a difference to these young children, and began the arduous process of creating a non-profit which could provide ways to help improve the day to day lives of children battling all types of cancer.
Today, Childhood Leukemia Foundation is a national 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that has touched the lives of over 200,000 children nationwide. By providing a clear and remarkably effective leadership, her main role has always been to create new ways to foster support, and build long lasting relationships with donors. Barbara believes that creating great success comes only from creating great relationships. Today, she continues to provide stability and vision, and recognises that for Childhood Leukemia Foundation to continue to make an impact on ever increasing number of children that reach out for support, ideas must be converted into reality.
Through the combined efforts of loyal donors, grant makers and dedicated staff, Barbara has been able to ensure that Childhood Leukemia Foundation is focused on innovation for the 21st century.
Barbara's successful approach is simple, "I believe we must remain steadfast and optimistic to do 'battle' with the devastating effects of this awful disease. We are just ordinary people who want to do extraordinary things for children with cancer."