Attendees of the Armer Foundation’s Third Annual Gala for Children on August 6 will be able to meet many of the “Armer Kids” and their families who have received or are currently receiving assistance from the Ahwatukee-based nonprofit.
This year’s introduction will be via a video filmed and edited by South Mountain Films, whose owners, Raphael and Susan Isaac, live in Ahwatukee.
At least nine families are featured in the video that will be shown at the gala, the foundation’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
As with many nonprofits, revenues have plummeted, meaning other families seeking help with medical bills and other expenses brought on by a child’s sudden illness or illness must be refused.
“Unfortunately, with times being tough for everyone, our donations have slowed down. This means we are in a difficult position of having to turn away struggling families while their children struggle,” said co-founder Jennifer Armer, who with her husband Matt launched the nonprofit in 2019. .
The gala will be held at Ashley Castle, 1300 Price Road, Chandler from 5-10 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at Armerfoundation.org, or at the Armer Foundation for Kids Thrift Shop at 9830 S. 51st in Ahwatukee or by calling 480- 257-3254.
“Tonight is always special for us,” said Jennifer Armer. “Not only is this our biggest fundraiser of the year, but it’s also the perfect time for everyone to hear the inspiring stories of the families who have been helped over the years and to show the difference. that our fundraising dollars have done in the community.
“Our goal is always to ensure that no child sees their family stressed out due to a health issue, and this evening helps us do just that.”
Armer said attending the gala will help the nonprofit’s coffers, as will additional donations on their ArmerFoundation.org webpage.
“If you can’t attend, just spreading the word to your friends and family about what we’re trying to do is always appreciated,” she said.
One of the first families interviewed and filmed by South Mountain Films was Ahwatukee resident Ann Trent and her 13-year-old daughter Hope.
It’s been a long road for both of them, starting with Hope’s unexplained dizziness and headache. Then, during the first week of December 2020, Ann Trent learned that doctors had found a mass.
Her only daughter had a rare childhood brain tumor known as juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma.
She was admitted to intensive care at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and on December 8 underwent surgery to remove the tumor, undergo a craniotomy to access and resect the tumor, and have two plates inserted into her head.
In the year and a half since her diagnosis, Hope has undergone numerous procedures, her mother said.
“Hope’s been in the MRI tube 11 times now,” Susan said, “She’s had nine MRIs, one MRA (magnetic resonance angiogram) and one MRV (magnetic resonance venogram). It’s also worth noting that she received excruciating injections blocking the occipital nerve in the back of her head and three rounds of 31 Botox injections all over her head and neck. Nothing worked. Nothing.”
“Hope’s latest medication to reduce her cerebrospinal fluid doesn’t make her feel any better, unfortunately,” her mother continued. “During an appointment with his neurologist last week, Hope was to immediately discontinue this medication, allow a few days for it to clear his system and be admitted for a lumbar puncture to check his cerebrospinal fluid pressure. -spinal as well as check for inflammation.
“If the lab tests are good, she will start high-dose intravenous migraine medication.”
Her daughter also needs to see a gastroenterologist to hopefully help her overcome the chronic stomach pain and nausea she has been experiencing for the past few months.
Ann and Hope Trent tell their story for the video and based on Hope’s progress, they plan to attend.
Despite the ongoing health issues and its mental impact on mother and daughter, Trent said she wanted to show her gratitude to the Armer Foundation. She says the foundation has helped her through difficult emotional and financial difficulties.
“God, it’s hard for me to put into words what the Armer Foundation means to me,” Susan said. “They saved me from drowning in medical debt. I am a single mother living on a public teacher’s salary. I don’t get any alimony from his father, I teach all year round, even on weekends, just to make ends meet.
“I had to cancel so many tutoring slots because of doctor appointments or sometimes when I just needed to sit and snuggle up to her when her pain was really bad,” she said. declared.
“The Armer Foundation has allowed me to focus my time and dedication on Hope’s health and numerous appointments at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, our primary care physician, physiotherapy and soon, emotional support therapy for Hope which had seen a psychologist on Zoom through PCH, but I think she would benefit from something in person,” she said.
“If, on top of that, I had to worry about paying my utilities or paying a PCH bill, I’d be in a lot worse shape. I know Jennifer Armer works day, night and weekends to support families like mine. In fact, she is also helping the families of two of my former students, one of whom tragically died of cancer last year.
“She is an invaluable member of our community. The depth and breadth of her loving care will stay with those of us who know and love her for life,” Trent continued. “My only hope is to be able to pay it forward.”
Filming the various families helped by the Armer Foundation for the presentation Raphael Isaac, owner and executive producer of South Mountain Films, and his wife Susan Isaac, chief operating officer.
“We’ve been customers of The Armer Foundation thrift store on 51st Street for some time; we often drop off clothes and household items for donations,” Susan said.
“One day when I was there, Jennifer mentioned the gala. I told her that my husband, Rafi, and I owned a video production company, and to let us know if she needed our help with anything. A few weeks later, she told me that they would like to do a video of some of the families the Armer Foundation has worked with to show at the gala. She sent me a list of families who wanted to be interviewed, and we ran off.
Susan pointed out: “Thanks to the generosity of the Armer Foundation, these families can be in the hospital or at home with their dependent children instead of working a second or third job to be able to pay for their deductibles, their medical equipment or other expensive necessities – including training an epileptic dog.
“We haven’t left an interview with dry eyes yet.”