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A nonprofit charitable organization assisting families with uninsured medical expenses for children.

Welcome to Mona’s Kids

It’s heartbreaking when a child falls seriously sick and there’s not enough money to cover the significant expenses such an illness entails. I know what that feels like. My niece, Olivia, was diagnosed with Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome, a relatively newly described disorder. Our family rallied around Olivia and her parents to make sure she had the medical treatment she needed, but it was a financial burden. And we knew that we weren’t the only family having troubles paying for treatment.

That’s where Mona comes in.

Mona was my mother. She was a woman who loved everyone in general—and her family in particular—with a love that transcended everything. Challenges. Illnesses. Problems. Grief.

My mother taught me how to live. She taught me how to love. She taught me to treasure joy and surmount pain. And so I can’t stand by when children are faced with something as scary as disease, when families are faced with the crippling bills these illnesses entail.

So we’ve created Mona’s Kids to help. Mona was truly everyone’s mom, and I know that her heart ached when children were in distress. We don’t want to see children like Olivia not get the treatment they need, and we don’t want to see families destroyed by the financial entanglements that can ensue.

Who was Mona?

Ramona Alessandrini Capelli was born on Women’s Suffrage Day. She shared a birthday with Susan B. Anthony and Geraldine Ferraro. And like all of these women, she was strong, dedicated, and fearless.

She was also my mother.

She didn’t want to be president of the PTA, but she was the mom who showed up to the school at six o’clock to work the hoagie sales and to chaperone class trips. She didn’t want to be the queen of the Red Hat Ladies, but liked going to the lunches. She was the homeroom mother for all three of her kids… for 24 years.

She was a stay-at-mom because she wanted to be: she was proud to be a homemaker and created an extraordinary home for our family. She was always welcoming friends and extended family into her heart and into her house. Later, she would become one of the lunch ladies at the local Catholic school, and she did it because she had so much love, affection, and warmth to share.

When Olivia was born, Mona was ecstatic. It was five weeks after the horrors of 9/11, and Mona took her birth as a sign: we couldn’t give up on the world, she said, because we had to give this baby a place to live filled with hope and love.

And that’s exactly what she did, right up until the day she died.

There weren’t flowers at her funeral; instead, those who loved and missed her raised enough money to send a doctor to an international conference in her name to learn more about treating PANS.

We want to keep doing that. We want to keep Mona’s love and dreams and generosity of spirit alive.

Contact Our Organization

Looking to support Mona’s Kids? Is there something we can do to help your family or child? Use the contact form below to get in touch with Mona’s Kids.

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