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A Program Helping Children with Cancer Began Out of Love

It started with two brothers who were college students in JMP’s “Civil Dialogue and Action” program. The boys shared the responsibility of caring for their sibling who was hospitalized with cancer, as their parents were overwhelmed. As he battled his cancer, their brother was cut off from friends and his education and became more and more depressed. Thinking of ways to help their brother, they thought that bringing his education directly to him would make a difference. So, with JMP coaching, the brothers started a tutoring program. The idea grew into a partnership among leading pediatric oncologists, local schools, families, volunteer tutors from Yerevan State Pedagogical University and one generous family across the world…

The Haratunian family of New York wanted to give their dad a meaningful Father’s Day gift he would treasure. Learning about this fledgling JMP program, they decided to support the program in his honor. For children battling cancer, The Michael Haratunian Tutoring Program helps them to keep up with school while hospitalized, and to know they are loved by a friend.

“We know how important education is to their future and to Armenia’s,” says Sona Haratunian, whose family sponsored the project to honor her father. “Any small part we can play in helping these children realize their dreams would be a wonderful outcome.”

The program helps children like Arthur. Our volunteers describe Arthur as “bright and curious” who keeps them on their toes when it comes to challenging him. Arthur hopes to become a medical professional one day so that he can find a cure and better treatment for leukemia – the disease he suffers from himself.

“We have been so blessed as a family,” continues Sona. “Our dedication to our faith and our community has been ingrained in us from our grandparents who were genocide survivors and were always so appreciative of the help others provided them when they most needed it. Our giving back in many ways is a continuation of the great generosity and grace others showed them over 100 years ago!”

JMP is so grateful that this program that started from seeds of love, has blossomed into such a life-changing program for youth struggling with cancer.


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