Written by Tim Ahmed, firstname.lastname@example.org Wednesday, 02 October 2013 11:00Nancy and Rod Zuch know how important preschool is for any child. Their daughter, Morgan, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when she was two years old. While she underwent chemotherapy treatments, she was unable to attend preschool. Her immune system was suppressed and attending preschool highly increased the risk of being exposed to infections and illnesses that could be life-threatening. Instead, she had a tutor to provide a learning experience for her at home.
Instead of playdates, Morgan only took visits to the hospital for treatment. One day, when Morgan was playing with another child while they were both waiting for their doctor, Nancy Zuch realized it was okay for those with suppressed immune systems to interact with each other.Morgan became cancer-free in 2003 and was allowed to attend kindergarten. Nancy and Rod Zuch experienced how their daughter missed out on preschool, and understood how hard it could be for parents to afford to have anyone help their child gain some sort of learning through their toddler years under chemotherapy treatment. Two weeks into Morgan’s first year of school, her parents started The Morgan Center, a preschool for children battling cancer.
Last Wednesday marked The Morgan Center’s ten year anniversary. Located in the Athletic Center in Hicksville, this program is the first of its kind, allowing kids undergoing chemotherapy treatment to be cultivated in a normal preschool environment — at no cost to their parents. The center receives over $200,000 through fundraisers and donations, eliminating costs.
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto stopped by to share his token of appreciation for the Morgan Center. “I’ve always been happy to be from the Town of Oyster Bay, but having something like the Morgan Center makes me proud of where I’m from. I wish the Zuch family the best in their hopes to spread this program across the country.”
While celebrating the success of The Morgan Center, the Zuch family announced their new location in Islip Terrace, and plans to open more programs nationwide under their second charity, the National Early Childhood Cancer Foundation. The new location in Islip Terrace was donated to the Zuch family from kindhearted physicians. While they are continuing to provide a preschool experience for children in both locations in the island, they are also using the space for their foundation with hopes to spread this program nationwide.