LONG ISLAND, NY—The Morgan Center still continues to work wonders for children diagnosed with cancer. If you don’t remember, The Morgan Center is the first ever pre-school for children with cancer in America. It is located on Long Island, New York, created and named after Morgan Zuch, a current sophomore at Marist College. When Zuch was just two and a half years old, she was diagnosed with Leukemia and because the chemotherapy was so strong, Zuch was not able to live life like a normal pre-school child. Unfortunately, this is the usual situation for children diagnosed with cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy. To make a long story short, The Morgan Center was started up shortly after Zuch finished chemotherapy and was declared free of cancer. This pre-school is specially designed for young children who went through exactly what Morgan had to go through, but gives them the closest chance they’ll ever get to having a normal childhood. The pre-school was started by Zuch’s parents and is over the years growing to become an amazing organization.
After interviewing the Zuch family last semester, Zuch’s mother, Nancy said that they “have big plans for the future,” even opening a second pre-school in Suffolk County on Long Island and expanding so much to Orlando, Florida. So, a few months later, I’ve decided to follow up with the family. Like always, the Zuch family would still love to open up pre-schools throughout the country and they “are still in contact with the Orlando Health Foundation” located in Orlando, trying to “get expansion to Florida up and coming some point in the near future, which is extremely exciting for us.” They know expanding will help so many people considering some students at their school commute over an hour to attend each day. But after straying away from the questions a bit, there was more to talk about than just the future of the organization.
Even though big updates, such as expanding throughout the country, are important for The Morgan Center, the Zuch family and their pre-school don’t forget about the little things that make the school so special for these strong children. “We really focus on trying to give these children the best childhood they could possibly have,” Nancy Zuch said, “They go through so much and we’re still working on being able to give them the most fulfilling experience.” Some great achievements this year are that this past September 27th, The Morgan Center had it’s 15th anniversary and to celebrate Thanksgiving, they celebrated “with a Feast and the children were entertained by a magician,” said Nancy. When they celebrate Christmas, they will be given endless presents from Santa and Nancy says that the children can’t wait.
The Zuch family and everyone in their staff goes above and beyond to create memorable childhood experiences and this year so far has definitely been a highlight for that. Nancy said, “a ladies group started a few years ago by moms wanting to make a difference for The Morgan Center, called Team YOLO.” The group of dedicated mothers started their official fundraising earlier this year in January, have attended the City Challenge in Hoboken, New Jersey, and were even invited to The Ellen Show for their dedication to the organization. In less than a year they have been able to raise over $103,000 for The Morgan Center. Nancy says, “They are truly remarkable ladies and an inspiration to us all!”
Needless to say, The Morgan Center may have been around for over 15 years, but it will definitely continue for many more. “I just think that the greatest thing about The Morgan Center is the smiles you see on these children’s faces-especially understanding what they are going through,” Nancy said. On his first day of school, a young boy Oliver said, “Wow… this is so much more fun than I thought it would be. I don’t want to go home.” And if that doesn’t show how remarkable this organization is, who knows what will.