Feature: Chattanooga’s Austin Hatcher Foundation
This week, I spoke with Amy Jo Osborn, President and Co-Founder of the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer.
As a woman who has suffered devastating tragedy, she has dedicated her time to serving those who struggle with the diagnosis and impact of pediatric cancer.
Osborn is no stranger to the unspeakable sadness that can come with a cancer diagnosis. Her own baby, Austin Hatcher, passed away from cancer at only nine weeks old in 2006.
Osborn is now a full-time volunteer and spends her days trying to “fill the gaps of service” in cancer care for children in the Chattanooga area and around the country.
“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We’re not trying to compete with other nonprofits or institutions. We’re erasing the effects of childhood cancer survivors and all members of the family,” Osborn said.
The Austin Hatcher Foundation serves in three primary divisions: Psycho-Oncology, Diversionary Therapy, and Healthy Lifestyle Education. The Foundation seeks not only to treat the child with cancer, but immediate family who may be struggling as well.
The Foundation, through Chattanooga’s only Psycho-Oncology Center, Hatch’s House of Hope, treats the social, psychological, and educational aspects of each child.
The Foundation provides all services at no cost to the families.
“Parents have a hard time leaving a child with cancer with someone they don’t know well. We have clinicians and volunteers help watch and play with children, so the parents can have a night out to refresh,” Osborn said.
If you are interested in getting involved with the Austin Hatcher Foundation, they are currently looking for volunteers! You can get involved within their office or sign up to help with one of their many family programs.
The Austin Hatcher Foundation also has their largest fundraising event of the year coming up, “Celebration of Life and Hope.” The event will be held at Stratton Hall in Chattanooga on September 10, 2016. Please visit their website to learn more.