Hugs for Brady Foundation connects local organizations with opportunities for giving

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Employees from Jersey Physical Therapy and local On the Border restaurants have been working to raise awareness and donations for kids battling cancer at The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH).

Both groups were referred to RWJUH by the Hugs for Brady Foundation, which supports programs, research, activities and toy donations for children and families facing a cancer diagnosis.

Recently, Jersey Physical Therapy owners Dr. Marc Rubenstein, Geoffrey Hunt and Sean Moore brought along two “Pajama Mobiles” filled with more than 200 pairs of pajamas for patients ages newborn to 18 years. The pajamas featured superheroes and cartoon characters for the younger patients and bright, colorful patterns for the teens.

“We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for our pajama drive,” Rubenstein said of the efforts of patients at their East Brunswick, Kendall Park and Plainsboro locations. “We hope this drive brought a lot of smiles to the kids’ faces.”

In addition, staff from On the Border in New Brunswick and West Windsor brought along dozens of toys that were collected at holiday toy drives at various restaurant locations in the area. The initiative was led by North Brunswick employee Jackie Zipoy whose “elves” have been distributing toys to local children’s hospitals over the last two months.

“We are so pleased to bring a little cheer to kids while in the hospital. We are looking forward to doing even more next year,” said Area Sales Manager Adam Seltzer.

For the exchange, both groups were accompanied by Sherrie Wells, co-founder of the Hugs for Brady Foundation. Sherrie and Michael Wells of South Brunswick started the foundation in 2009, shortly after their 13-month-old son, Brady Michael, was diagnosed with non-differentiated acute leukemia. In 2010, Brady passed away at 23 months old, after he had battled the disease for 10 months.

“It is always a pleasure to acknowledge the incredible work of members of our community. In addition to providing much needed resources for our patients and families, their generosity also sets a great example for how we can all continue to support those most in need. We are grateful for this new partnership with Jersey Physical Therapy and On the Border, and we look forward to what the future will bring,” said Brian D. Agnew, senior vice president for development, who accepted the donations on behalf of the RWJUH Foundation.