Juvenile cancer patient receives new playset

Play It Forward, the flagship program of Hampton Roads’ Roc Solid Foundation, joined with Lowe’s Home Improvement earlier this month to construct and present a playset to four-year-old acute lymphoblastic leukemia patient Eleanor Brooks of Henrico County.

The Play It Forward program has built 38 similar playsets for children with pediatric cancer throughout Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee. The two-day event for Brooks included a pre-build of the playset Sept. 7 in the parking lot of the Short Pump Lowe’s, followed the next day by the completion of the project at Brooks home in western Henrico. She returned home with her family to find the surprise in their backyard.

Eric Newman, a pediatric cancer survivor himself (pictured at right with Brooks), founded the Roc Solid Foundation in 2008. Since that time, the organization has constructed 38 playgrounds, through funding generated by personal contributions, sponsorships and annual fundraising events.

“We try to provide hope through the chaos of going through the treatments, for both the families and the child,” Newman said. “The one thing a child doesn’t have to be taught is how to play, and it’s an important part of their childhood we don’t want them to miss.”

For details about the organization and program, visit http://www.rocsolidfoundation.org.
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The Open University of The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond will present Lunch and Life, a four-week series open to all persons 50+ at no charge, at St. Mary Catholic Church, 9505 Gayton Rd. Today’s speaker, Ed Slipek, architectural historian and contributing editor at Style Weekly, will present “Richmond and World War I.” A bag lunch will begin at noon, with beverages and dessert provided by the church; the speaker will start at 12:30 p.m. For details, call 355-7282 or visit http://www.tscor.org. Full text

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