"Alone we can do so little;
together we can do so much."
- Helen Keller
together we can do so much."
- Helen Keller
The North Valley Sparrow Foundation is a grassroots nonprofit, 501(c)(3), organization. No other grassroots organization in Northern California provides funds specifically to those residing in rural communities, where cancer support monies are nearly scarce. Each of our Board of Directors has had a personal relationship with cancer in varying capacities, a requirement for our volunteer board. Additionally, each know, firsthand, the medical challenges that arise living in a rural community, where critical services to families battling cancer are often few and far between, if present at all.
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Please feel free to contact us to find out more about North Valley Sparrow Foundation’s efforts and how you can help. We look forward to hearing from, and assisting you!
P.O. Box 1283
Biggs, California 95917
North Valley Sparrow Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization Tax ID 82-1624777. Your contributions are tax deductible.
Meet Our Board of Directors
I am blessed and humbled to be a Co-Founder and President of the North Valley Sparrow Foundation.
My husband Brian and I, reside in Gridley, California where I have lived most of my life. I attended Chico State University, earning my Bachelor of Arts Degree and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. The 2017-2018 school year will be my 17th year teaching in the Gridley Unified School District.
February 15, 2013 will be a day that changed my family forever. My nephew, Spencer Whalin, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a non-operable form of brain cancer that took his life just 17 short months after diagnosis. It is through his journey that I became even more aware of money being raised through various organizations, not staying local, nor was it going directly to families enduring the grueling cancer nightmare.
Just seven short months before Spencer’s diagnosis, my mom passed away suddenly. I had watched her live with Multiple Sclerosis for over 20 years. This is where I first realized the lack of local organizations available to provide either financial and/or emotional support for my mom or my entire family living through the horror together in our small rural community. Then on March 28, 2014, just 2 ½ short months before cancer took Spencer, my family suffered the loss of my father.
Within that short year and a half, I learned a great deal about the people of Gridley and the surrounding communities. Also, learning the true meaning of graciousness, selflessness, gratitude, and perseverance. Still to this day, I reflect back on the number of individuals that came in and picked up the pieces for our family through such a horrific time.
It is those individuals, the village, that inspired me to do whatever possible to step up and create a local organization to provide financial and emotional support for patients and their families going through their own battle with cancer. Therefore, the North Valley Sparrow Foundation was born. Without the other four amazing women you have already met, none of this would be possible. Thank you, ladies, I am forever grateful!
With your generosity, we can be that village for families in the 23 surrounding rural communities.
I look forward to this PASSION WITH PURPOSE!
Born and raised in San Jose, California, I have been a resident of Butte County for 20 years now, where I reside with my husband and two children. I am currently an Executive Regional Vice-President and Independent Consultant with Arbonne, as well as the Director and Owner of Lessons Learned Preschool & Learning Center in Biggs, CA. My family is part of a fourth generation rice and walnut farming operation in the Northstate as well. Working with the North Valley Sparrow Foundation is pertinent to my life for so many reasons. In 1983, at the age of 8 years old, I was diagnosed with Leukemia (ALL) at Children's Hospital at Stanford in Palo Alto, California, where I received chemotherapy treatments for 3 years. I feel extremely fortunate to have had a remarkable team of proactive physicians as well as a very driven support network to help ease and expedite the recovery process. Not every patient is as fortunate. Every piece of the puzzle matters in cancer protocol! This experience left me with a passion for cancer related philanthropic work through an innate determination to assist other families diagnosed with cancer in a variety of ways during their journeys. Having lived in a rural community in Northern California the last two decades, I have seen, firsthand, there are many gaps in ancillary support services available to cancer patients and their caregivers. My personal goal through North Valley Sparrow Foundation is to help narrow that gap, offsetting needs created by cancer which health insurance, and other organizations and care facilities may not be able to provide. In doing so, I take pride knowing that our grassroots philosophy will keep funds local!!!! I am proud to say transparency in funds allocation will be a priority, keeping overhead costs to a minimum...we volunteered to do this because we are passionate, we want to see change, we are convicted about the needs we can serve in 23 rural counties throughout Northern California! In those 18 counties alone, more than 7,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed EACH YEAR!!!!!!! This absolutely blew me away! Chances are, if your life hasn't been touched by someone with cancer yet, it will be...there's a 1 in 2 chance of a cancer diagnosis in every person's lifetime!!!! A tragic truth, but the reality is, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THEIR JOURNEYS!!!! With support of communities in these Northern California rural counties and this group WE CAN MAKE A HUGE IMPACT!!!!! I am so very grateful to Kim Fesler for initiating this organization and inviting me to play a role in its goals. I GET to use my personal experience with cancer to help be the change!!!!!!!! That is a true gift I am eternally grateful for. For more information about how you can help contribute, financially or as a volunteer at one of our events, to the North Valley Sparrow Foundation, a registered 501.c3 nonprofit corporation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message us on this page! Thank you for your patience as we establish our group...we are working on BIG THINGS!
Jennah Terry was raised in rural Northern California in the small town of Gridley. She studied interior design at both San Jose State University and Chico State graduating in 2012 with a bachelor of fine arts. She has been a co-owner of Gallery Interiors in downtown Oroville for four years serving clients in Butte, Yuba, Sutter and Tehama counties in a variety of design and home decor projects. She resides in Gridley with her husband Steve and two Labradors. She loves the outdoors and can most often be found camping, hiking or hunting around the North State area.
Cancer first entered Jennah's life in 2007 when her maternal Grandfather was diagnosed with brain tumors and again in 2013 when her paternal Grandmother was diagnosed with stage IV Ovarian cancer. Within a year her mother was also diagnosed with Ovarian cancer and Jennah has been part of her mother's difficult journey since that day.
Genetic testing has revealed that Jennah has a gene mutation that may increase her liability to various cancers. She has a strong belief that genetic testing for at risk women should be a standard procedure, and hopes to spread the message. She's happy to join the North Valley Sparrow Foundation in its mission and hopes to provide much needed support to other families going through similar situations.
I am proud to be serving as the treasurer of the North Valley Sparrow Foundation. When I received the call to join, my answer was an immediate yes! I am very honored to be a part of this great organization.
Unfortunately, my journey with cancer began many years ago when my seven year old daughter, Lisa, was diagnosed with a very rare tumor in her brain stem. During her 10 month battle, my husband and I received an amazing amount of support from family and friends. They say that it takes a village to raise a child. I believe that it takes a village to to support a family when in this type of crisis. I was very lucky that I had this village, others may not be so lucky.
The California Cancer Registry has predicted that there could be about 7,000 new cases of cancer in the 18 rural counties that this foundation will service. These 7000 families are going to need a village.
This is my way of giving back to other victims of this horrible disease. If you are interested in helping as well, please email email@example.com or call me directly at (530) 693-0165
I am honored and privileged to be a part of the North Valley Sparrow Foundation. Sarah Wasser and I serve as secretaries for the Foundation.
I have lived in Gridley most of my life except when I was attending college in Chico. Gridley is where my husband, Javier J. Solis, and I have chosen to raise our sons and where I choose to continue my career as a teacher at Sycamore School.
My family and I have experienced the devastation and fear that occurs when family and friends are diagnosed with the dreaded disease, cancer. Unfortunately, we have lost too many loved ones along the way.
My brother passed away from cancer in May, 1998, and I decided to join Team in Training to prepare for the Leukemia & Lymphoma marathon in his honor. I raised over a thousand dollars for their fund and I ran in the San Francisco half marathon and the Sacramento CIM marathon. A very close friend passed away in June in that same year, also from cancer. My father was diagnosed with cancer in 1999. He passed away on September 6, 2014. We also lost a very special and dear uncle to brain cancer. It is in their honor and remembrance that I have participated in Relay for Life in Gridley for 4 years. I have several friends who are cancer survivors and we celebrate their courageous battle and victory.
I have had the pleasure of serving as Sycamore School's Student Body Advisor and the CJSF Co-Advisor with Liz Ayon. We coordinate Pennies for Patients which is a service project that raises funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Greater Sacramento. We are so proud to say that we raised $8,598.32 for our Pennies for Patients fundraiser this last school year.
Our school has sponsored it's own cancer relay called R.A.C.E. which is our Race Against Cancer Event. Funds have gone to the Cancer Center in Marysville, Okizu, the Gridley Hospital new mammogram machine, and the house that parents stay in at Sutter Memorial Hospital, similar to a Ronald McDonald House. Misty Criddle Ludwig, former teacher at Sycamore, was the original organizer of R.A.C.E. Our students and their families are generous and empathetic towards individuals stricken with this dreaded disease and they strive to support and help in any manner they possibly can.
It is for my family, friends and so many others who have experienced and endured the pain and frightening horror of a cancer diagnosis that I have participated in the Gridley Relay for Life, the Leukemia & Lymphoma marathon and half marathon, our Sycamore School cancer fundraisers, and now our very special and prestigious new Foundation, the North Valley Sparrow Foundation. We hope and pray that cancer is cured before more families have to suffer its devastating effects. Our goal is to bring a ray of sunshine, hope and help to those who find themselves held captive in cancer's ugly, evil grasp.
Board of advisors
DR. MICHAEL AMYLON
Emeritus (Active) Professor of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology/Stem Cell Transplantation), Standford University, School of Medicine
Owner, SLP Communications
Executive Director of Operations, Okizu Foundation
Catch Some Air, Owner & Rocket Girl
Owner, Me and Mine Magazine