S’mores for More, one of Maggie’s Mission’s newest fundraising initiatives, honors Maggie Schmidt’s passions while raising money for the cause of cancer research.
S’mores for More Inspires Memory Making, Cancer Research in Honor of Long Islander Maggie Schmidt
Maggie Schmidt loved the outdoors and making memories with friends and family. She also had a love for children, so much that her mother, Donna DeSousa-Schmidt, says that she’d always felt destined to be the grandmother of many kids.
But devastatingly, Maggie died at age 17 after a short battle with a rare and aggressive cancer called malignant rhabdoid tumor in 2017. Since then, DeSousa-Schmidt and her family have worked to keep Maggie’s spirit alive through Maggie’s Mission, a Greenlawn-based nonprofit organization that raises funds for pediatric cancer research.
“Doing this is healing not only for myself, but for the family in the wake of the destruction of losing her,” DeSousa-Schmidt says. “It has allowed me to continue to let people know who Maggie was since she’s no longer here to make an impact. It has allowed Maggie’s story to live on.”
S’mores for More, one of Maggie’s Mission’s newest fundraising initiatives, honors Maggie’s passions while raising money for the cause of cancer research. It is a line of s’mores kits – with graham crackers shaped as hearts – and s’mores-themed merchandise that are available for purchase online.
Maggie loved s’mores and campfires – all things childlike and fun – and oddly enough, she first complained of pain and illness on National S’mores Day, Aug. 10. Her cancer came on quickly, causing her to become very ill in 2016. At first, doctors didn’t know what was wrong, and she wasn’t diagnosed until about two months after her first symptoms.
That is why the organization primarily funds research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center so scientists there can learn more about pediatric cancers. Additionally, the organization has provided financial assistance to families with children battling cancer and meals to Ronald McDonald House.
“Ultimately our goal is to save kids and help them,” DeSousa-Schmidt says. “We’re hoping that with S’mores for More, that if that took off and went national, that we could start funding other institutions as well.”