This past Sunday, June 3, Chai Lifeline changed the rules of the game. Beginning at 9 a.m., Chai Lifeline Mid-Atlantic hosted their inaugural Over the Edge community fundraiser, featuring the bravest and staunchest supporters of Chai Lifeline’s presence in the Mid-Atlantic Region. It was more than just another fundraiser for a local nonprofit organization. It was more than just about raising awareness and community engagement. It was like a marathon, only vertical.
Throughout the day, as 90 fearless participants rappelled down one of the tallest buildings in downtown Baltimore, Chai Lifeline’s renowned energy and palpable enthusiasm took the city by storm. Owned by Blue Ocean Realty, 201 North Charles Street is a behemoth of a building, standing at 28 stories tall and over 300 feet above the surrounding buildings.
It was a celebration of accomplishment, not only for the funds raised but also for the founding of an institution in the Mid-Atlantic community that is fundamentally changing how families facing pediatric illness are cared for and supported.
There were multiple DJs stationed in different areas, as well as inflatable moon-bounces, games, and multiple activities for children to enjoy as they waited to see their fearless parents and siblings rappel. Catered breakfast and lunch were followed by an exclusive VIP dinner reception. Throngs of spectators with their hands up in the air created “tunnels of appreciation” for each participant to run through as their feet returned to land. It was extraordinary.
Yitzi Teichman, a survivor of a particularly dangerous form of pediatric cancer and a beneficiary of Chai Lifeline, was enthralled at the success — and symbolism — of the Over the Edge event. “For nearly two years, my family and I lived on the proverbial edge,” said Teichman. “We were devastated at our new reality, each day on the edge of another breakdown. Chai Lifeline Mid-Atlantic held us together. They were our lifeline. They were that rope on the side of a building that we did not know how to scale.”
Chai Lifeline’s Mid-Atlantic Region was founded in January 2016 to provide exemplary support and services for families reeling from the devastating effects of pediatric illness or loss. In such a short period of time, Chai Lifeline Mid-Atlantic has firmly established itself as one of the preeminent nonprofit health organizations on the Northeast Corridor. Their hospital-based programs, patient advocacy, case management, home-based services, financial aid, and community response teams are revolutionizing how a sick child — and his or her family — navigate illness in an unprecedented way.
This past Sunday, Chai Lifeline changed the rules of the game. Because that is what they do.
Chai Lifeline would like to thank the National Kidney Foundation for their goodwill and partnership
By Howard Silverman