John Farrow introduced Leah Werry, Kingston Champion for the Nanny Angel Network. Leah was drawn to the amazing work that the Nanny Angel Network (NAN for short) when she was introduced at a fundraising dinner in 2018. NAN is the only charity providing free in-home specialized child care to the children of mothers with cancer.  Leah learned NAN was looking for its first satellite location, she recommended Kingston, and was recruited to be the Champion.  The Kingston location began operations in 2019.  In October 2019 Leah represented NAN at the Astellas Oncology Changing Cancer Care competition, which funds the most innovative non-medical ideas in cancer care.  NAN took home the $100,000 US first prize, and Leah shared her winning pitch with us.
When moms get sick, they choose between their own care and their children’s care. She had an experience of her food poisoning, but didn’t call for help! How many women with cancer, do the same thing, or don’t have anyone to call? Cancer treatment needs a dose of humanity for the whole family, especially if it’s the mom who has cancer. The Nanny Angel Network provides in-home child care, up to 4 hours per week. To date, the Network has helped over 800 families. The Network was filling a huge gap, but new needs emerged. Kids were not prepared to deal with the illness and sometimes the loss of their mothers. Stress from the situation shows in many serious ways, including acting out, and even suicide, and also affect health later in life. She shared her experience as a youth age 14 of her dad fighting for his life after a disastrous accident, and the complete loss of normalcy in family life. The Nanny Angels are carefully trained to provide regular support, offering some consistency in family life. Often families don’t have the remarkable community support that she experienced when her dad was injured. The Network provides kids with coping skills, attention, care, and an opportunity to laugh and let loose.
She learned about the Nanny Angel Network serendipitously, through an invitation of one of her business clients to a gala. Soon she was volunteering to help set up a branch of the organization in Kingston. So far, since beginning in the summer of 2019, they have been helping 12 families. The organization was selected out of over 240 organizations around the world to receive a grant of $100,000USD. The need in Kingston is huge and the catchment area is large. The organization is in need of volunteers and in help in getting the word out about their services.
Questions and Discussion
Q: Talk about the camp?
A: We haven’t set it up yet in Kingston, but hope to. Summer is often one of the most difficult times. We are looking for partners to help make a camp opportunity available for children. We help children up to age 16,
Q: What about your event in February?
A: February 5th, at the Sanctuary co-working space. We’ll provide you with more information. It’s an opportunity to learn about our services and opportunities for volunteering.
Q: Did you create a TED talk?
A: We are going to TED Med in Boston in the spring.
Q: How to contact you? Charitable? Canada Helps?
A: Web site, Yes, Yes
Robert Reid, also at Sanctuary, thanked her, saying that moms are the most awesome people in the world.