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Kids Need More Founder Battles Leukemia

by Ashley Walker | November 2, 2014

The Copiague Chamber of Commerce & The Copiague Kiwanis is joining together to help raise money for Melissa Firmes, a dedicated woman who was recently diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

Melissa has spent the past 20 years of her life volunteering, working, establishing and changing lives. Through hard work and dedication Melissa has strived to make a difference. Melissa Firmes is the co-founder of Motivational Recovery Environments, a not for profit organization “Kids Need More”. Kids Need More is a not for profit organization that helps children and their families cope with cancer and life threatening illnesses. Through the Kids Need More organization, Melissa established and funded an annual camp for these special children and their families. Melissa also works for Federation Employment & Guidance Service (FEGS); FEGS combats discrimination in the workplace and helps New Yorkers find and prepare people for jobs. Melissa is now the Assistant Vice President of Long lsland Health Homes at FEGS. She runs programs in both Nassau & Suffolk County that assists individuals who have multiple chronic illnesses and are in poverty.

Melissa also is an active member of the Copiague community. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Copiague chamber of Commerce. Melissa and her husband, John, are Copiague residents and in 2012 they lost their home to Superstorm Sandy. In the midst of suffering her loss, Melissa, along with her team at FEGS organized a group of volunteers to survey the areas devastated by the storm. Working alongside the Copiague Fire Department, the Copiague Camber of Commerce and members of the Kiwanis Club of Copiague, she volunteered her time to help others before her needs, once again.

With all that Melissa has done for others, there is now a chance to give back to an incredible woman who has spent so much time helping others. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. The cancer develops through cells that would normally turn into white blood cells. Right now, Melissa is doing well, and her health insurance plan is covering most of the bills. There are still multiple uncovered procedures and high medical costs; these bills are related to her stem cell treatments. There has been a GoFundMe page created to help pay these bills. If more money is raised than the amount of the bills, the remainder of the funds will be donated to Melissa’s, not for profit organization Kids Need More.

Also, transplant medical procedures can be difficult to find a match. Please be aware of a website called; this website allows individuals to create a file online with a personal marrow test. It will help to make possible matches in the future. The marrow test is done at home through a cheek swab. This is a great chance to put yourself out there and give others hope.

On December 19th, 2014, at Goccia D’oro in Lindenhurst at 7pm, the Copiague Chamber of Commerce is hosting a raffle ticket fundraiser to aid Melissa. The Chamber and Kiwanis Club are asking everyone to consider making a donation and buying a raffle ticket at $25.00 each. 1OO% of the money will be donated directly to Melissa, your check should be made payable to the Copiague Chamber of Commerce. Checks can be mailed to Copiague Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 8, Copiague, NY 11701. Melissa Firmes has done so much for others, and it is time for the community to give back to her.

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