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About the Foundation


The mission of the Brave Will Foundation is to provide services and support for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families until a cure can be found. The foundation strives to take a family-centered approach to all aspects of palliative care and ensure that the needs of the child and his/her family are being met throughout all stages of care.

The Brave Will Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Our Mission


The Brave Will Foundation is a non-for-profit charitable organization that focuses on children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.

The goals of the foundation include:

  • Financial support for the Journeys Program at Albany Medical Center: This program provides pediatric palliative care support for children with disease that greatly risks their chance of survival. This support also extends to family members. Since 2009, the Brave Will Foundation has donated over $500,000 in support of over 200 children and their families.

  • SOAR Program: In 2011, the foundation started the SOAR program (Steer Onward and Remember). The program provides funding for families on the first anniversary of a child’s passing. SOAR allows families to spend that anniversary day doing something memorable with the entire family in honor of their child.

  • Brave Will Room at Albany Medical Center: In 2015, the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center officially opened the Brave Will Room, a dedicated pediatric palliative care suite that can be used to allow families to be together during critical stages of care. The Brave Will Foundation provided the funding necessary to allow this space to be created and continues to support the families that are using this space.


The last week of Will’s life was without question the saddest time of our life, yet we look back with fondness at the support we received not only from our friends and family, but also from the staff at Albany Medical Center. It was that last week that has made us ask time and time again, “Why shouldn’t any family who is losing a child feel that same support that we felt?” It was that last week that is at the core of what we feel our mission is with the Brave Will Foundation.

Our mission is not about finding a cure for cancer or funding research for AT/RT. There are a number of foundations out there that do that much better than we could ever do. Instead, we want to focus on the children and families for whom there is no longer a cure.

While we are keenly aware that this is not a topic that sparks hope or drives people to climb mountains to save lives, the fact remains that nearly 2,000 children will die this year from cancer alone, and that doesn’t include a number of other life-threatening illnesses. What is in place to help those people through a road that seems impossible to travel down? For those children and families, where cure is no longer an option, what can we provide to help them through the process? That’s really the main question that sits at the heart of what we want to do with our foundation, in Will’s honor.


OFFICERS (2019):
Matt Hladun, President
Tammy Hladun,Vice-President
Mike Verdile, Treasurer
Joe Landy, Co-Secretary
Ben Shaw, Co-Secretary
Jen Cerone, Co-Secretary


Megan Coker
Robin Fitzpatrick
Mary Grasso
Sara Hills
Dan Klaus
Joseph Tassone
Helene Verdile

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