FLYWHEEL CHARITY RIDE

As the end of September, Childhood Cancer Awareness month, comes to a close, please consider supporting Riprap Friends! 

We will be supporting kids fighting cancer at our annual Flywheel Charity Ride, with Kate Hickl and Jaimie Bailey, on Monday November 4th, at 10:30am at the Flywheel Chelsea Studio.

Every dollar will go directly to materials and activities for the children, and every minute of class will be inspiring and uplifting!

Sign up or donate here!

The name “Riprap Friends” comes from the word for a stone wall used to armor shorelines against water erosion. We will provide a metaphorical armor for pediatric cancer patients and their families against some of the often overlooked erosive characteristics of that disease: social, creative, and emotional isolation that can be a severe impediment to full recovery.

We understand that a child’s wellbeing depends on a variety of important factors, and among those factors is the child’s ability to be creative, intellectually stimulated, socially engaged, to have the opportunity to make meaningful choices in his or her day-to-day life, and most importantly, to have the support of family and friends during their medical treatment. Riprap intends to facilitate all of these things in the name of bettering the overall health of childhood cancer patients.

Riprap Friends, Inc. (“Riprap”) is a New York not-for-profit corporation, formed under the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law and registered as a public charity with the New York State Office of the Attorney General.  Riprap is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and all contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Tax ID #47-4857624. A copy of Riprap’s latest annual report may be obtained, upon request, from the organization, or from the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, Attn: FOIL Officer, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.

Riprap Friends Spring Newsletter!

Testimonial

My daughter Sofia who´s now 8 years old was diagnosed when she was 6 and since then she’s been through several surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. It is hard to believe there is still space for joy during such a hard time. But even on the hardest days, knowing her Riprap Friend was coming to see her was enough for her to get up and be ready to enjoy. During this time she’d dance, play instruments and even perform for us totally forgetting she was sick or feeling tired. Thanks to this possibility she even found out dancing is her passion. For us being able to see her having fun and feeling so happy made us strong to keep fighting. So Riprap not only made a difference in Sofia but also in her sister and us all.

-Cecilia 

 

Riprap Friends are continuing to bring joy and love to the days of children fighting cancer, serving families from the pediatric oncology clinics at NYU, Mt. Sinai and MSK. We are also embarking on a new partnership with New York Presbyterian/Columbia. It is meaningful and powerful work that makes an uplifting impact on all those touched. Patients, siblings, parents and Friends all share overwhelming gratitude for the connection and experience. Riprap Friends needs your support to make our work possible. All donations go directly to services and materials for the children we serve. As we begin working with another hospital and reaching more families, we need your help more than ever. Please consider donating here! 

You can also support our work by using Amazon Smile and selecting Riprap Friends as your charitable organization. Click here for simple instructions on how to get started! 

Friend in the Spotlight

Name: Michelle
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Your “Friend” specialty:  Dance/Gymnastics

Your favorite Riprap Friend moment so far:  It means that what I do really matters and I get to bring magic and fun to a child’s week!

What being a Riprap Friend means to you: There are a lot , but the one popping out to me right now is the first time Sofia did a headstand by herself. She is usually fairly reserved, but she could not contain her joy in this moment. Her eyes sparked and she had the biggest smile on her face!

How did you get into teaching?:  My very first job was as a gymnastics coach and camp counselor at Bela Karolyi’s Gym in Texas.  I was 15 years old, I couldn’t even drive or cash my own paychecks yet ! Bela and his wife Martha were the lead coachs for the national team for many years. That was where I was  really trained to spot gymnasts through new skills safely. What I really loved about this camp was giving gymnasts the opportunity to try new big skills. With proper spotting a beginner gymnast could do a back tuck, or a double back tuck. Maybe they would never get to that level at their home gyms but after camp they would know what that feels like and gain inspiration and confidence from it. Now I teach dance as well as gymnastics. 

Fun fact about yourself:  Im a performer and dancer with some fun skills! I’m a facepainter, balloon sculptor, mermaid, fairy and even a performing hula dancer. 

 

With Gratitude, 

Tracey Early
Founder, Riprap Friends
917-570-0012

The name “Riprap Friends” comes from the word for a stone wall used to armor shorelines against water erosion. We will provide a metaphorical armor for pediatric cancer patients and their families against some of the often overlooked erosive characteristics of that disease: social, creative, and emotional isolation that can be a severe impediment to full recovery.

We understand that a child’s wellbeing depends on a variety of important factors, and among those factors is the child’s ability to be creative, intellectually stimulated, socially engaged, to have the opportunity to make meaningful choices in his or her day-to-day life, and most importantly, to have the support of family and friends during their medical treatment. Riprap intends to facilitate all of these things in the name of bettering the overall health of childhood cancer patients.

Riprap Friends are continuing to make a difference in the daily lives of children fighting cancer.  Every smile goes a long way in powering them through the next challenge on their journey.  Because of your support, we are able to connect with more children and serve more pediatric oncology clinics each year.  

Please join us on Monday, December 17th, at Flywheel Chelsea, 10:30am!  Sign up here… 

Once again, Flywheel will be hosting a charity ride for Riprap Friends. Kate Hickl and Jaimie Bailey will be leading a meaningful, fun and exhilarating ride at the Flywheel Chelsea Studio. As always, all donations go directly to activities and services for the kids we serve!  If you aren’t able to make the ride, you are still welcome to join for lunch afterwards, and we deeply appreciate donations in any amount. Donate! 

Riprap Friend in the Spotlight 

Name: Billy Libby
Hometown: Portland, Maine
Your “Friend” specialty: Music – Guitar / songwriting 

Your favorite Riprap Friend moment so far:
I have so many! One of my most recent favorites was in working with a young boy only two and a half years old, who is more fluent in Portuguese than English. After a few sessions of figuring out the best way I could work with him and engage him musically, I ended up making up a silly voice to speak as his favorite action figure, “The Hulk”. One session we used a drum machine program on my phone to make a beat and then I ended up making some verses in my voice for the hulk with a chorus that the boy would sing a long with. He seemed to be having such a good time. That moment really stands out to me!

How did you get into teaching?:  I got into teaching soon after moving to NYC. I had worked as a nanny and then a substitute and after school teacher while also running a songwriting program for kids. Moving to teaching both guitar and songwriting felt like a natural progression to combine both my skills in music and my years of experience working with kids and in education.

What being a Riprap Friend means to you:
Being a Riprap friend has been so meaningful to me, and I definitely get as much out of it as I can hope to give. My pursuit of music over the years can often feel difficult, and self centered as I try and express myself through music and get some sort of positive feedback. 
To get to take my love of music and my love of improvising and being creative and use that to engage with someone else, and help them nurture their own creative voice. Getting to do that feels like such an honor and such an amazing way to be productive in a musical way outside of just my own personal music. It means getting to share a unique experience and use my life long passion for music with others in a truly meaningful way and I am so grateful for that.

 

Fun fact about yourself:  I am originally from Maine and love nature. I recently went scuba diving in Belize and got to pet a nurse shark!

 

 

Dedication & Tribute

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Today is National Daughter Day.

Saturday, September 29th, 2018, should be Mariah Cooper’s 5th Birthday.

Dedication

This Saturday, over the final weekend of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, I will take on Ironman Maryland. It is a personal life goal, but really, it is the culmination of 7 years of sweat and tears shed to power through my daughter’s battle and my family’s journey fighting childhood cancer. As we close in on the milestone of 5 years out from treatment when hopefully Lily will become a survivor, nothing short of this event could provide the release of overwhelming emotions – fear, hope, rage, gratitude, sadness, awe – churning within. I can’t falter a step when I think of my own daughter’s unwavering strength and heroic bravery even at age 3. My efforts will also be dedicated to another truly incredible child. Mariah Cooper moved the heart and soul of Riprap Friends, and if she had not lost her courageous fight with cancer over the summer, she would be turning 5 on Saturday.  

Everyone saw and knew what Christina and RipRap meant to Mariah. She was her big sister, and everyone knows her as Mariah’s big sister. They were together for all of it, she never left, and Mariah loved her so much. We are so grateful to RipRap, and we want more children to have what Mariah had and what we will always have.  – Mariah’s Parents

Please consider supporting the meaningful experiences Riprap can provide for children like Mariah. Any amount goes a long way in growing Riprap’s ability to reach more children. Support Riprap!   

Tribute

Before RipRap introduced me to Mariah almost exactly a year ago, I didn’t believe in soul mates. But in a way that is difficult to put to words, I knew after a few times of seeing her that we were, in a very special and rare way, soul mates. Mariah was a child who was never meant for this earth. She was made of so much bigger and brighter and wilder and deeper things.

Her love, for life and her family and me and dogs and any other living thing and doughnuts and pickles and the color blue, was fierce and relentless. She had the fearless tenacity and precocious gumption of a child, and an empathy, wisdom and selflessness that exceeded that of any adult I’ve ever known. She was strong in the face of pain no one should ever endure and was soft and warm in her grace for those she loved. We all talk about how she was inarguably her most strikingly beautiful, powerful and, honestly regal, towards the end, when her body was merely a fleeting vessel for a soul that transcended it with its blinding brightness.

We continue to love each other, to love fully and deeply and without fear even when it is scary or hurts. And we dream and create and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and stand in the sun a little longer than usual and push our healthy bodies the extra mile knowing that she would be furious if we didn’t . Which is why this Iron Man, Tracey’s own journey of blood, sweat and tears, is such a fitting testament to Mariah and to RipRap, journeys that are all about grit and strength and brutal battles and transcending the physical limitations by reaching deep down and high up for something greater to drive us on and lead us to the finish line.

Losing Mariah has broken my heart into a million pieces, but I’m learning that the best way for us to honor her is not to try to put the pieces back together or get swept below by the brokenness, but to let the fierce, bright sunshine sparkle and shimmer through the cracks. Saturday, we celebrate what would have been her fifth birthday, and as we run and laugh and swim and cry and take deep breaths of the newly cool September air, she is here with us, and I hope and believe that she is whole and free and smiling out of satisfaction for teaching us so well.  – Christina