17th Annual Hopecam 5K

On Sunday May 7th, we had our 17th Annual Hopecam 5k.  Thank you to everyone that came out on a very chilly morning to honor our Hopecam child Lily who is battling Leukemia. 

Thank you to the following companies that provided generous donations for our event: Wheat's LandscapingWegmans in Sterling, Dunkin Donuts in Herndon, Angels Home HealthcareCrown Trophy of Ashburn and Chick-fil-A of Reston.

Thank you to all the vendors that participated: Angels Home HealthcareOne Life Fitness in Reston, Face painting by Sandra Fox at Pixie Dust Creations, Balloon artist Nina Levine 'The Jelly Bean Queen', Holy Crepes food truck, the Wiehle Reston Firestation and Hop on Pop's Moonbounce, Naval Reactors, and to TK Photo for taking all of these amazing photos!

Thank you to the following corporate teams: SaviBooz Allen HamiltonAviziaAccentureCooleyVisaCreative Systems and Consulting and K12.  Our top corporate teams for this years event was: Cooley for being the fastest team, K12 for having the largest team and Booz Allen Hamilton for raising the most money!

Thank you to all of our volunteers, staff and Hopecam Board Members for helping!  We are looking forward to our 18th year next year.

Photo Credits to TK Photo - thank you for capturing OUR event!

Click on any photo below to view the larger images.

#KickingitwithLily

GRUELING 3,000 MILE BIKE RACE IS “RACE FOR HOPE” BENEFITTING KIDS WITH CANCER

For Immediate Release

Contact: Lara Shane, 703-740-7837                 larashane2003@gmail.com

 

GRUELING 3,000 MILE BIKE RACE IS “RACE FOR HOPE” BENEFITTING KIDS WITH CANCER

Reston, Va. – Len Forkas, a Reston-based entrepreneur, will once again tackle the grueling ultra-cycling challenge, Race Across America (RAAM), to raise money for Hopecam, a nonprofit he founded to help children undergoing cancer treatment stay virtually connected to their classmates, friends and support networks.

“Last year Hopecam hit the milestone of connecting its 1,000th child. My goal between now and June is to raise $1 million dollars so that we can help 1,000 more kids,” Forkas said. “Racing RAAM helps me raise nationwide awareness about childhood cancer and the help Hopecam provides.”

Despite RAAM’s excruciating demands, Forkas says his hardest journey started in 2002, when his son Matt was diagnosed with Leukemia at age nine.

“When Matt got sick, he went through so much physically and emotionally. The best advice we received was to help Matt feel like a normal kid while he endured treatment,” Forkas said. “Since Matt’s compromised immune system kept him out of school and away from his friends, he grew lonely and depressed. At the toughest time in his life, when he needed his friends the most, he was stuck at home undergoing treatment. We came up with the idea of connecting him virtually, using webcams at school and at home. ”

In 2003, witnessing the positive effects Matt’s friends and classmates had on his recovery, Forkas founded Hopecam to help other kids undergoing cancer connect to their support networks. Since then, Hopecam has helped more than 1,000 children connect to 10,000 classmates in 46 states. Forkas turned to exercise to cope with the stress of his son’s illness. By competing in ultra endurance races, he has raised more than $1 million in sponsorship contributions.

The RAAM is one of the longest annual endurance events in the world, spanning 3,089 miles over the Rocky Mountains, through the desert and over the Appalachians. From California to Maryland, it is about 1,000 miles longer than the Tour de France and has to be completed in half the time. The bicycle race is also unique because there are no stages; cyclists rest only as needed, averaging 18-20 hours on the bike per day. The race must be completed in 12 days for solo riders. The 2017 RAAM begins Tuesday, June 13. Based on the race’s 35-year history, only half of solo riders will make it to the finish line.

Forkas successfully completed RAAM in 2012 when he was 52 years old, winning his age division and coming in 10th overall out of 47 cyclists from 20 countries. Leading up to the race he raised $300,000 for Hopecam. He dedicated each day of his ride to a child with cancer being helped by Hopecam.

“As hard as the race was, I knew the pain I was experiencing wasn’t anything compared to what these kids endure for months or years, and that kept me going,” Forkas said.

“Hopecam was founded before Skype and Facetime were invented. Our technology and interactions with schools were immensely important to helping kids who were feeling isolated and depressed,” Forkas noted. “While technology advances have made it easier for kids today to stay connected, Hopecam is committed to helping those who can’t afford those solutions.” Seventy percent of the children Hopecam helps attend “Title One” schools, meaning the majority of students need assistance and are entitled to receive subsidized meals. Half of them receive treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Hopecam now provides tablets with built-in webcams and Internet access, for kids who don’t have them. The nonprofit also liaises with the child’s school to establish a regular connection so he or she can participate in classroom activities and see and talk with their friends.

“This connection is invaluable for the child in recovery, but it is also a lesson for the other children in the class. They learn a lot about empathy and it removes some of the mystery of the illness when their classmate is gone,” Forkas said.

Each year, approximately 15,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer, and more than 40,000 undergo treatment for cancer.

Today, Forkas’ son Matt is a graduate of Stetson University in Florida. He works in the real-estate industry, lives in Arlington, Virginia and is completely cancer free.

Len Forkas is the founder and CEO of Milestone Communications, a wireless tower company based in Reston, Virginia. He is also the founder and chairman of Hopecam, a nonprofit that helps kids undergoing cancer treatment stay connected to their classmates, friends and support networks. In 2014, he authored, What Spins the Wheel,” a book about the leadership lessons he gained from his Race Across America. To schedule an interview with Forkas, please contact Lara Shane, larashane2003@yahoo.com.

Hopecam Connects 1,000 Children Battling Cancer to School Friends with Mobile Tablets, High-speed Internet, Videoconferencing

Seeks to Raise $1,000,000, Starting with Fundraiser on October 20 in Tysons Corner

Reston, Virginia – October 10, 2016 – Hopecam, an organization dedicated to helping children battling cancer overcome social isolation during their treatment, marks this month with the connection of 1,000 children to their school friends since its founding in 2003. Including children, teachers and family members, the organization is estimated to have impacted over 10,000 people with a program that can help healing for patients, lighten the burden for families and encourage empathy among classmates.

Among the first side effects a child may experience after being diagnosed with cancer is isolation.  

With tablet computers, web cameras and high-speed Internet, Hopecam provides the equipment and IT support to connect children with their classmates and teachers.

“Providing a child with a Hopecam tablet has the potential to mitigate the impact of social isolation. School is what children do. Connecting children to their peers while in treatment provides needed ‘hope,’” said Hopecam board member, Carol J. Kaffenberger, Ph.D., Associate Professor Emerita, George Mason University.

The organization has thrived over the last 13 years, raising over $2 million since its start in the greater Washington, DC area. Hopecam has now worked with 250 school systems in 44 states, with 70% of its programs serving children attending Title 1 schools.

“Over 15,000 children a year are diagnosed with cancer. Our goal is to never have to say NO to a child that wants to connect with their classmates”.  Len Forkas, Founder Hopecam

To reach its goals of doubling in size and serving all 50 states, Hopecam is holding its major annual fundraiser on Thursday, October 20. The Give Hope, Get Connected! Celebration will be hosted at the Silverline Center at 7900 Westpark Drive, in Tysons Corner, Virginia from 6:00pm to 9:30pm. The event features heavy hors oeuvres with dishes inspired by the home states and countries of Hopecam children, drinks and FUN! Tickets to the event are $150 per person. Donations in lieu of attendance may also be made. For more information and to register, visit: https://www.501auctions.com/hopecam2016

About Hopecam

Hopecam is a 501c3 organization that connects homebound children undergoing treatment for cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses with their friends at school using mobile tablets, high speed internet connections and web cameras. Recognizing the critical need for socialization, Hopecam seeks to bridge the lonely divide between homebound children and their friends at school during this frightening time. Staying connected to school significantly reduces the stress of re–entry when treatment is completed and children resume a normal life.  Since its founding in 2003 by a parent whose child was diagnosed with leukemia, Hopecam has connected 1,000 children with their friends, classmates and families.  For more information, visit www.hopecam.org