Our History

Everything has to begin somewhere... Here is our story.



Paul Shapiro asks Dr. Mike Isakoff, Director, Sarcoma Program and Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center to sponsor him in the New York Marathon while raising money for the pediatric oncology at Sloane Kettering in New York. Dr. Mike suggests that focusing on this cause locally for children “right in our own backyard” makes more sense and Paul ran with the challenge and along with Sue Anderson, Vie for the Kids began with a dinner at a local restaurant to support clinical trials being conducted at CT Children’s Medical Center. The dinner was a success and everyone was incredibly inspired by Aaron Baral, a child who spoke about his cancer journey and the friends that he lost along the way. More than $40,000 was raised.


Making a Run for Childhood Cancer

In partnership with a private school called Ethel Walker, we created a race called the Vie for the Kids Ethel Walker 6k Trail Run/Walk. This took hundreds of runners and walkers through the rolling trails in the Ethel Walker woods who all had one goal in mind – to help children with cancer. And we’ve held this race every year since and have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support clinical cancer trials.


Kids Making a Difference

Nate Shapiro, a seven-year-old from Simsbury was inspired after watching 12-year-old Cam Greenwood cross the finish line of The Vie for the Kids Ethel Walker 6k, just days after his last chemotherapy treatment. Nate decided to forego his traditional birthday party and instead, invited his friends and family to his own run that he called “Nate’s Race on Drumlin”. Over the next years, Nate personally donated more than $20,000 from his run to Vie for the Kids. And in 2015, this race grew to become Nate’s Warrior Run where hundreds of kids now come together each year for this great cause.


Now We’re Really Cooking

“Chefs for a Cure”, became a signature event for Vie for the Kids – held at extraordinary venues like the historic Rosedale Farms and the renowned Millwright’s restaurant. Our annual gala has always brought together some of the region’s most talented (and generous chefs) who continue to amaze us with their culinary talents and beautifully prepared food.


Taking a Swing at Childhood Cancer

The Robby Brisco Golf Open Tournament was created to honor Robby Brisco, a high school teenager from Avon who lost his battle with cancer and to help raise funds to support the clinical cancer trials at CT. Children’s Medical Center where Robby was treated. The event has raised more than $100,000 and continues to be one of Connecticut signature charity golf events.


A future of Independence and Commitment

Over the years, Vie for the Kids has raised over $1 Million and this year, the Vie for the Kids Foundation is formed as an independent entity – to continue our current work and make an even greater difference for children battling cancer. While the independent structure will allow our foundation to make more specific decisions about where and how clinical trials and patients are supported, the mission remains the same – to provide funding for pediatric cancer clinical trials, treatment and research and to provide financial support for pediatric patients and their families – so that our kids receive the care and treatment they need right here in our own backyard.

Vie for the Kids – sb

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