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Shelley Littman Endowment Fund for Children - A Legacy of Caring

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Robert Littman established the Shelley Littman Endowment Fund for Children in May 2004, in tribute to his wife, Shelley, who passed away at age 64 from cancer. “My wife loved working with children,” Robert said. “She was a special education teacher, founded her own nursery school and started Adventures in Toys in Birmingham. Shelley’s passion for helping children continues today through her endowment and the Karmanos Friends Like Me program.”

Robert continued, “In searching for a special way to honor Shelley’s legacy in perpetuity, the idea emerged, with help from Karmanos, to respond to the unique needs of children emotionally impacted by cancer because of the sickness or loss of a family member. Although there are many support programs for cancer patients, I realized through my own experience, that there is a great need for programs designed specifically to help children as they face an uncertain future and devastating loss. I was also impressed by the Friends Like Me creative development of a comprehensive art therapy program as an effective tool in reaching children.”

“There is no other program in a cancer center like Friends Like Me that includes art therapy, counseling and education, designed specifically for children with cancer in the family,” said Kathleen Hardy, the oncology social worker who manages the program. “We are deeply grateful to Mr. Littman for establishing the Shelley Littman Endowment so that we are better able to meet the needs of children as they learn to cope with all of the changes cancer brings to their young lives.”

The Littman endowment provides annual support for the Friends Like Me program, and with additional gifts and community grants, the program is now operating year-round. For program information, call 248.538.4712.
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