Roc Solid builds hope for kids

Published 9:51 pm Thursday, June 5, 2014

The only thing potentially worse than having cancer as an adult is having cancer as a child.

At a time in their life when children are supposed to be carefree, full of energy and running around outside with their friends, young cancer survivors are forced to spend hours cooped up inside, making doctor and hospital visits, having tests and treatments and surgeries done, suffering the pain and discomfort and worrying about whether they will die.

That’s why a group like the Roc Solid Foundation, which helps families with a child fighting cancer, and the groups who partner with them are so important.


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Roc Solid’s flagship program, Play It Forward, builds playsets for children with cancer. During each project, the children and their families are taken on a limousine-driven outing. When they return, they are surprised with a brand-new wooden playset in their backyards. For children whose living situation prevents a playset, other options such as room remodels or bicycles exist.

An iPad for teenagers gives them a way to pass the time and is another project of Roc Solid. The organization also gives kids with cancer an experience in a career of their choice, giving them the will to keep fighting.

The Roc Solid Foundation also has services for families, which include the Roc Solid Ready Bag — a kit for everything a family might need during an unexpected hospital stay — and things like respite care and yard maintenance.

On today’s front page is a story about the employees at Massimo Zanetti partnering with Roc Solid for the second year in a row. Last year, they built a playset. This year, they put together and donated six bicycles, two of them for a 3-year-old cancer survivor and his twin brother.

The foundation was started by a childhood cancer survivor, Eric Newman, who tragically lost two young cousins to cancer. The foundation got its name because his father bought a stuffed animal for him and had it embroidered with “E-rock,” a nickname, but the “K” fell off when hospital staff sanitized the animal before Eric was allowed to have it. Eric’s dad gave him the animal anyway, and he still had it 22 years later when he started the Roc Solid Foundation.

For more information on how you can support this worthwhile organization, visit