James Jr. Fund
The impact a cancer diagnosis has on a family can be devastating especially when the one suffering from the condition is a child. There are no words to explain the difficult emotions that one has to face during and after the battle, and then if the battle is lost. A mother’s and father’s grief, after losing their child to cancer, might never go away, however many parents around the world have kept the memory of their child alive by helping others cope with what they went through, becoming true heroes just like James E. Kleinrichert.
In 1982 James and Maryann Kleinrichert lost their son James Jr. to leukemia. Denise, Danielle and Robert Kleinrichert lost a brother. James was only 15 years old when he was called to the Lord. James had battled this disease since he was 7 years old. This 9 year battle, in which James was only given a few years to live, affected all of the people that he touched. All of the families and friends felt helpless as they watched James Jr. go thru the numerous chemo therapy treatments, the many hair losses and the continued battle against a disease that couldn’t be controlled. The grieve of this battle was shared with the community, because the family was in the restaurant business and James’ life was not sheltered from those that frequented the Ark restaurants, Klein-Richards Gristmill restaurant or Tiffany’s disco and the numerous other places and schools that the families attended.
James Jr. was a cleaver young man and a little mischievous at times. At home, work and gatherings, with his brother and his cousins, the kids would pull pranks on unsuspecting family, friends and customers, usually getting a laugh, not a scolding.
James and Maryann Kleinrichert spent a lot of time setting up appointments, going to treatments, dealing with doctors, dealing with insurance issues along with raising a family of four. Through their travels and headaches that came with the uncharted territory that they were going through, James, Maryann and James Jr. found comfort, love and care from the personnel at the Miami Jackson Deed Club Children’s Cancer Center.
This light in James and Maryann’s darkness, planted a seed, a seed that was watered by the tears from the grief that their family and friends went through with the final days and passing of James Jr. The tears continued and the seed was being watered all over south Florida, Michigan and Indiana. James and Maryann decided the thing to do, to help cope, was to take their families tears and help others in honor of their son James Jr. Filled with the same kindness, compassion and dedication that their son was treated with, they decided to give back in their son’s name and the James Jr. Fund was started.
Set on a mission to help children with cancer and special needs, the James Jr. Fund was created in 1983. Since its inception, the James Jr. fund has raised nearly 7 million to date (2015). Because of an all volunteer organization, it has been able to give away 98% of all money raised. With the support of countless volunteers, benefactors, donors and annual events it has helped the James Jr. Fund support organizations and children like Joe DiMaggio children’s hospital (1.5 million), the Miami Jackson dead club children’s cancer center(400,000.00) and others hospitals. Its grass roots campaign has provided funding directly to thousands of children with Cancer and special needs as well!
The James Jr. Fund needs your continued love and support; so that we together, can continue to help families and children who need it the most.