Mission & Values

Supporting Families through Targeted Programs

Mission & Values

Supporting Families through Targeted Programs
The Big Z Foundation addresses the effects that pediatric illness and treatment has on the financial and emotional wellbeing of patients and their families. The foundation teams up with licensed social workers (LCSW) at each of its partnering hospitals to assist those families with the greatest needs. As the needs of each family differs, the LCSW helps address the individual and specific essential needs of each family.

The Big Z Impact

Our initiatives include:


Essential household needs
Many do not have support and resources, whether financially or through the love of family and community. Some families face unemployment or reduced incomes due to caring for their sick child creating financial hardships for even the most basic essential household needs. The foundation assists with rent/mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, etc. Our desire is to lessen the burden of families having to choose between keeping the lights on, food in the pantry, gas in the car, a roof over their heads, and paying for medical care.

Travel and Hotel Accommodations
Many families must travel to receive care. Our organization will help with gas cards for travel and hotel stays near the hospital.

Medical Claim Cost Assistance
With the rise of medical costs, insurance co-pays can add up. Our organization will help to offset some of these costs.

Funeral Assistance
Our organization will help families to defray the cost of funeral expenses.


The Mission of the Big Z Foundation is to embrace, raise up, and empower families facing the challenges of catastrophic childhood illness.

Every day 43 children are diagnosed with cancer in addition to other catastrophic pediatric diseases. Each year about 15,780 children from birth to the age of 19 will be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. More than 40,000 children undergo treatment for cancer each year and that number is rising.

The incidence of childhood cancer is on the increase with an overall increase of 24% over the last 40 years; However, since 1980, only four drugs have been approved specifically for use in children compared with hundreds of drugs that have been developed specifically for adults only.

Cancer takes a toll not just on the child, but the whole family. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are well documented for parents and siblings of children who have completed cancer treatment. Parental work and economic hardship are prevalent across all income levels having a negative impact on the wellbeing of the family. With pediatric cancers on the rise and very little research impacting its growth, families are in need of support. Kate Sciascia, Clinical Social Sorker at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, said they have far more families in need than organizations to fill those needs.

What We Are Doing:

The Big Z Foundation Provides:

• A monthly grant disbursement to families receiving treatment at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. The objective going forward is to increase the number of monthly grants given to each hospital each month to benefit more families each year.

• Three graduating seniors college scholarships in Zach’s name through The Foundation for Allen (TX) Schools each Spring.

“Why will always be the question. Your bravery and strength will always be the answer. You came and you conquered everything life had to offer. I’m so thankful for the memories we have. Thank you for the many laughs.”


Katie Heffron