As a 100% volunteer-based 501c3 nonprofit charity organization, The Wes Strong Foundation's purpose is to provide help for families facing pediatric cancer at all stages of their battle, as well as support for our environment and injured wildlife. Our mission is to carry on the legacy of a 12-year-old boy who was determined to change the world before passing from neuroblastoma, and continue his dream of helping others and our planet. Wes fought for 7 years and battled 5 relapses, but despite that, he was determined, passionate, and unstoppable. Because of that, we are forever inspired by Wes.
Our amazing team of volunteers are committed to helping to fulfill Wes' legacy. We strive in supporting childhood cancer families until better treatment options are available as well as in protecting our environment and the wildlife that resides here. Wes showed us that one person can make a difference! Change starts with each and every one of us. Would you like to get involved? See our form below for more information!
The Wes Strong Foundation, formerly known as United In GRACE, was founded by individuals with a passion to change the views of the world and fight for the children who battle on a daily basis with the monster known as childhood cancer. After the community rallied together with others to help Krista and her son, Wes, and through an amazing act of kindness, compassion, and awareness led by members of the community, complete strangers came together to unite in the battle against childhood cancer.
Additionally, Wes had a passion for animals. His final wish before passing was to inspire others to help clean up the environment and protect the animals. We wanted to ensure that both the support for those fighting pediatric cancer as well as Wes' dream to save the environment continued, therefore The Wes Strong Foundation was formed to see that Wes' legacy lived on.
Wes is the inspiration behind our foundation. A boy, wise beyond his years, Wes was diagnosed in 2011 at the age of 5 with stage 4 neuroblastoma. After 5 relapses and a continuous 7 year battle, Wes passed away November 2018. He dreamed of becoming a marine biologist. Wes cared deeply for all living things, and he was passionate about helping others fighting the same battle he was, as well as the environment. His final wish was to inspire others to help the ocean life and keep the waters clean, which sparked a global movement of beach clean-ups using the hashtag #InspiredByWes. Despite being here for such a short time, he touched thousands of lives around the world through his compassion for others and selfless attitude.
We will always strive to carry out your legacy. Forever in our Hearts
Dec. 21, 2005-Nov. 3, 2018
Krista Pak, Wes' warrior mommy founded our organization shortly after Wes was diagnosed. Needing to make a positive out of a negative hand that she was dealt, she continues to advocate for other families who have been forced to face the same nightmare, childhood cancer. She also is determined to make a difference in the environment as she knows her son would have done. Krista has her Bachelor's of Science in Management, and has hopes and dreams to see the change brought about by The Wes Strong Foundation become a global movement.
Wes continues to live in all of us, individually and within this foundation. Because of that, Wes' legacy will live on, and I am determined to see it through.
To contact Krista: Krista@WesStrong.org
My name is Stephanie Freeman. I am currently employed at Family Focus as a parent educator and a teacher. I have the pleasure of working with children from birth to the age of five. Many of these children I have held as babies and then watch them go to Kindergarten. It is very rewarding and when I look into these little ones eyes I can see the future. I have always had a passion for children but Wes just stood out from the crowd. His sweet little voice and deep brown eyes had me hooked. I followed his battle and just knew that Warrior Wes would beat the odds. When Krista announced that there was nothing else that could be done for her son, it truly devastated me. That is when I began to educate myself about Pediatric Cancer. I was shocked that are children are at the bottom. I asked myself,” what can I do?” I became involved with “The Wes Strong Foundation “ beginning with Wes’ Wish Toy Drive. That day at CHKD in Norfolk changed me forever. I knew at that moment I could never walk away. And I never will. I am committed to fight for these families because if not us, who will? Wes Chel Pak you will never be forgotten. I will continue to tell your story and raise awesomeness in your memory. Your hopes and dreams will live in through us. - #WesStrongTodayAndAlways
To contact Stephanie: Stephanie@WesStrong.org
So this is why I do what I do...
I made a promise, to a young Wes when he accepted me as his step-father; to stand by his mother, to keep her safe, to help his brothers grow up to be upstanding gentleman, and to stand up for those that need a voice!
I look at my daughter everyday, she stares into my eyes and smiles. I just can’t help but feel sad at times as I gained a child and lost another, her biggest brother. She will only know him through us, through you, therefore his legacy and love we have for our children are everything to me, to us, to our family.
Since I joined TWSF I have worked hard within by creating wishes for some very special children, and each wish drives me to keep pushing the level of which I can take them.
• David C. (Forever 13)
• Kaylee R. (Fighting, aged 12)
• Cody O. (Fighting, aged 7)
• Jack A. (Fighting, aged 10)
These two words can never be said enough, THANK YOU, thank you for making me a better person, thank you for encouraging me to push harder. Thank you for allowing myself, Wes and the Wes Strong Foundation to be a part of your life.
And I thank Wes, and Krista for allowing me to be a better version of me.
Oh, and Star Wars beats that Trek nonsense anyday, football is football, Buzz is better than Woody, Cats rule, I like dark chocolate and I’m so English I think I might actually bleed tea.
To contact James: James@WesStrong.org
As a co-founder of The Wes Strong Foundation, I have been associated with the WesSTRONG organization, previously United In GRACE since 2015. I became involved with WesSTRONG in 2015 when the reality of the childhood cancer fight knocked on my door and the knock was loud. During my first year with United In GRACE I discovered that children battling cancer were the least heard and advocated for cancer group. Watching Wes and his family battle I learned his fight was also a fight for all children battling cancer and their families who needed and deserved a voice. Wes’ would never let us forget all his friends that he met during his fight and he insisted that something must be done to ensure no child or their families battle alone or is forgotten. Through Wes’ own desire and motivation the annual Wes’ Wish Toy Drive was inspired and helped provide that support. The WesSTRONG spirit and his personal drive to change the world in both the childhood cancer fight and his wish to preserve the oceans is only a small insight into the spirit Wes himself instilled in the WesSTRONG Foundation. The WesSTRONG Foundation is committed to advocating for change NOW and supporting initiatives, both national, state and local to improve the way childhood cancer is funded, researched and how those battling childhood cancer are supported.
To contact Steve: Steve@WesStrong.org
My name is Amanda Danna. I have worked with children for over 20 years, and I have my Bachelors of Science in Human Services. I have a passion for helping people, especially children. One day while on Facebook, I discovered Wes' Fight Against Neuroblastoma. From that point on, I followed the journey of Wes Pak. The right time in my life came for me to be part of The Wes Strong Foundation. This foundation helps with the environment and families. Overwhelming joy comes over me knowing I could be part of something that can help so many.
To contact Amanda: ADanna.WesStrong@gmail.com
My name is Rob Stone. I’ve known Krista Pak for most of my life, and I had the great pleasure of knowing Wes. He was a strong-willed, bright, and caring boy. I always thought we could all be a little more like him. More and more I see the need for us all to stand up and do ANYTHING we can to help this world. Whether it is helping the people or helping the environment. More today than yesterday and more tomorrow than today, we all need to do more. Be the Change we want to see in the world. And that is why I am committed to help The Wes Strong Foundation in any way I am able.
To contact Robert: R.Stone.WesStrong@gmail.com
My name is Mark MacLeod. I have known Krista for the better part of 20 years.
Through all of that time I have watched her become an amazing "warrior mommy", fighting first for her son's care, and later to continue his legacy of love and compassion for the people who face what he faced, and his love for the planet.
As a person born with a disability, I went through many challenges in my youth, but foundations like this one help me and my family through it all. I, much like them, want nothing more than to help other children have those once in a lifetime opportunities and help make the world a better place.
To contact Mark: MMacleod.WesStrong@gmail.com
First off I’m a mom to three great guys and when I first found out about Wes years ago at the Williamsburg Music and Wine Fest I had a heartache. I couldn’t imagine how the brave young Wes and his family were able to cope everyday. I was glad to be able to participate in that event to help raise money for the Pak family. I followed Wes’ story on Facebook and unfortunately never got to meet him before he passed but he touched my heart. I loved to see videos of him singing different songs and teaching us things that he knew. He inspired me to want to fight for a great cause including the fight against childhood cancer and to clean the environment we live in. On top of that, his warrior mommy Krista inspires me because she has remained strong and will not give up on this fight! I look forward to helping make huge changes in the childhood cancer fight. #InspiredByWes #WesStrong
To contact Terrie:
A nonprofit is as strong as the community that holds it up. Together, we can do more than we can do alone. Let's bring our abilities and passions together to affect real change.
Contact us to find out more about volunteer opportunities, fundraising events, and ways that you can get our message to your friends and family.
P.O. Box 2514, Yorktown, Virginia 23692, United States
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