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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Take A Breather Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Birth Defects & Genetic Diseases, Health, Lung Diseases

Mission: To provide a respite in the form of a wish for those who have been touched by Cystic Fibrosis. Our goal is to give children and young adults, along with their families, the opportunity to "take a breather" from CF and focus on creating lasting memories that will stay with them for a lifetime. Memories that will strengthen their hearts and minds as they battle the psychological, emotional and economic turmoil that accompanies life with Cystic Fibrosis.

Results: We have fulfilled over 250 "breathers" for children and adults battling this incurable disease.

Target demographics: Cystic Fibrosis

Direct beneficiaries per year: 25

Geographic areas served: The Cystic Fibrosis Community

Programs: our Wish Program gives those battling cystic fibrosis(CF) the opportunity to "take a breather" from the everyday struggles of their disease.

Community Stories

87 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a Social Worker at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, I have been so impressed with the professionalism of your organization and the personal commitment you have shown to serve our precious young patients. Matt has been so eager to provide these wishes and so responsive to our needs that it makes it so easy for us to find nominees! We are so grateful that you have been able to provide wishes to our patients and create such joyous occasions for them! Thank you for all that you have done and will continue to do in the future!
Sincerely,
Valerie Huff, Clinical Social Worker
CF Center

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family is deeply indebted to the Take A Breather Foundation. Their care, dedication and organization laid the groundwork for the best family vacation ever on Lake Winnipesaukee. It was a week filled with fun, excitement, challenges, and even a little education. Our cabin was excellent, the water perfect, and our fellow resort residents were warm and welcoming. Tommy experienced many firsts on this trip, including zip lining, climbing to the top of a fire tower, diving, and rock climbing. We really think he matured a bit this week, looking and acting more confident and accomplished. Tommy has never let CF get in the way of his having fun, nor has he ever asked why he has to live with this disease. With all that CF throws at him on a daily basis it felt great to watch him run, swim, climb, and paddle with such obvious joy. Each day presented a new adventure which Tommy couldn’t wait to tackle. We were all a bit sad to end our trip but very happy and grateful for the experience. Once again, thanks to the Take A Breather Foundation for our Lake Winnipesaukee vacation.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son, Seth, has cystic fibrosis. He has been a Philadelphia Eagles fan since he was very young. This is unusual because we live about an hour outside Pittsburgh, PA, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has always dreamed of meeting some of the players. We didn't think it would ever happen. Then Take A Breather foundation made it possible. All the arrangements were made for a beautiful hotel, limo ride to the training facility, VIP passes, meeting players, autographed gifts, dinner in the city. Everything was so far above what we could have expected. Seth was so excited and had such a wonderful time. When your child with a chronic condition has moments of such joy, it means so much to the whole family. He spends hours doing treatments and taking medications just to breathe. Having a day all about him and just having fun lifts his spirits more than anyone can imagine. This organization is so well organized and every detail was so perfect. I commend them on such a great job!

Review from Guidestar

Samantha44

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Take A Breather Organization gave my family a prenominal gift, our daughter has
Cystic Fibrosis and her wish was to go to Disney World in Florida. Thanks to this organization our daughter and family has the most amazing experience. During the process of getting everything planned the founder of Take A Breather contacted me to guide me on how our trip would be arranged. The travel agent was wonderful about any questions or concerns we had and was always available to answer any questions we may have had as it got closer to our departure date. Matt the founder called me two days before we left to see if we had any questions and was wishing us the best!!! The wonderful people who volunteer at this organization are all so sweet and friendly about any and all aspects of our trip, flight or experience. I'm so excited for all the other families that will receive their wish through Take A Breather!!

Review from Guidestar

Kathy156

Client Served

Rating: 5

Cystic Fibrosis is a disease that does not take a break- everyday our sons daughters, siblings, mothers, fathers need to take dozens of pills, inhale meds that take large chunks of time out of their day, do therapies to loosen mucus and help clear their lungs and this is when they are "healthy". Take A Breather Foundation gives moments, experiences that allow the child with Cf and their family to do just that, slow down and take a breather and just enjoy being a family together. TAB sent my 2 sons and their sister and my husband and I to a Flyers game. May not sound like much but believe me - IT WAS! Not only was our family treated like royalty, we were able to just take that Sunday and laugh and enjoy the whole day together. making memories! We were picked up in a limo and had fantastic seats- our boys were on the players bench during warmups , got to sit on the ice during the 3rd period, meet players. It was an amazing day and one we still talk about and will always remember. TAB went above and beyond to make sure our Flyer fanatic boys had an experience they would never forget! Our family can't thank them enough.
The Gregory Family
Bucks County, Pa.

Donna143

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Take a Breather Foundation (TAB), gave my daughter Brianna (and our family) the most amazing week. Brianna age 11, has been struggling over the past 5 years trying to keep her lung function up and her lung infections under control, and therefore has spent a lot of time in the hosptial. Brianna's spirits had been down and she really needed something to pick up her spirts and TAB definitely did that, by granting her wish to go to Hawaii.

In so many ways her trip to Hawaii allowed us to take a break from the stress and worries of having Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Yes, Brianna sitll needed to do her daily treatments and take all her medictions, but outside of that, she was just a regualr kid having a the time of her life; swimming with the dolphins, surfing, snorkeling and lots of swimming.

TAB organized absolutley everything, they went above and beyond, and they made all of Brianna's wishes come true during her week in Hawaii.

I can not thank TAB enough for granting Brianna's wish. We as a family were so blessed with quality time as a family, laughing and making amazing memories TOGETHER!

THANK YOU "TAKE A BREATHER FOUNDATION!"

Donna McCullough (mom of a CF Fighter)



Review from Guidestar

JR C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Take a Breather Foundation went above and beyond. They brought such happiness to our son, who has been very ill. They took care of literally everything and more, leaving no stress to our family. This organization is top notch and we as a family give a million to them. Jacqueline C.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Take A Breather (TAB) Foundation is quite simply, WONDERFUL. The care, concern and attention to detail demonstrated by this foundation is second to none. Our son had long wished to take a trip to see his favorite NFL team (Eagles) play at Lincoln Field. TAB made our boy's wish come true in a big way. They took care of every detail, transportation, lodging, great seats at a Wild Card playoff game and a jersey with his favorite player's number, in addition to a few other things. This memory will forever be etched in his mind, and ours, as an unforgettable experience that brought tremendous joy to our son. In bringing joy to him, TAB has given our family joy. TAB not only achieved the goal of their mission statement, they exceeded expectations in a big way. I could write a chapter to laud Take A Breather, but I'll simply say as a family of a child served, THANK YOU for bringing joy, creating smiles and making lasting memories. Well done TAB, well done indeed.

Review from Guidestar

1 Emelie C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Emelie and I'm a 21 year old with cystic fibrosis. My mom reached out to 'TAB' in hopes of getting me a new laptop to prepare me for college. She quickly received an email from the foundation saying that they would love to help me out. A couple weeks later I had my new MacBook. I'm so thankful for Take A Breather, without them I would have no laptop to bring to college. They're doing great things for families affected by cystic fibrosis!

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son Michael Maisto was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when he was 3. Michael didn't start talking until he was 5 years old (he could talk but just didn't want to). Michael was in and out of the hospital with respiratory infections. Michael was and is a quiet kid but at the same time a very happy child. Almost 2 years ago Michael was in nutritional failure and we agreed to a gi tube to help him gain weight. Our social worker asked if there was anything Michael would want after his rough long week in the hospital and she introduced us to Matt. Being new to the program Matt was kind and when he said he also had Cystic Fibrosis it made us feel at ease. MATT was an adult with CF. WOW! Michael didn't go over the top with his wish but he wanted an Apple Notebook and an i pad. Why both because his little sister also has Cystic Fibrosis and they are joined at the hip. He wanted his own laptop to make Lego Movies and the i-pad for his sister so when they are in the hospital they could SKYPE each other. Matt and his Foundation came through for Michael. There is not a day that goes by that Michael doesn't touch his laptop. His sister take the I-pad everywhere. Of course taking pictures and chatting. Thank You Matt and your Foundation for granting Michael his wish.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

A wonderful foundation that genuinely cares for the patient and their family. My daughter wished for and received an iPad to help during treatments. The gift is more than just something given to her, it is hope and a connection to another person with this disease. We will definitely be at the run next year and will be paying this forward!! Thank you for everything!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer in this organization, I have just returned from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with my daughter, also a Board Member of the Take a Breather Foundation. We went to deliver the latest gift, an Apple Lap-top, to an 11 year old girl living with Cystic Fibrosis, who is waiting for a lung transplant. It was such a privilege to be there with her, her parents and her grandparents when she received this gift......her wish. When it was handed to her, she kind of looked up with a twinkle in her eye even before opening it....the package was beautifully wrapped and she couldn't see what was in it, but from the weight of the box, she probably guessed what it might be.
Before unwrapping the box, she very carefully read every word of the card Matt, who also lives with CF, had sent with it. Her parents commented that she always reads the cards first before opening any package. Anyway, when she opened it, she just had the best smile on her face.....the therapist and the social worker both commented that it was the first time they had seen her smile since being admitted to the hospital.....and she continued to smile several times during our short visit. She was due to resume therapy. The therapist commented that this gift was "the best therapy".
It was 'a gift' for us to be able to be there and experience the happiness of a young girl, who is bravely waiting for a new set of lungs, and to witness her gratitude and that of her family for this gift, which is the result of all the work of the many caring volunteers and the very generous people who donate, and have donated their time, talent and financial support to this CF organization for many years.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Take a Breather Foundation is a wonderful nonprofit. Everyone I have met associated with Take a Breather has been so nice, caring, and generous. My experience with them over the past few years has been exemplary!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a nurse working with children and young adults with cystic fibrosis I have witnessed the positive impact that this organization has had on some of our patients. They have generously sent some of our families on much needed vacations. Others have been able to take part in activiities such as guitar lessons. Others have been provided with expensive medical equipment, that insurance will not cover, but makes living with this disease less time consuming and therefore more manageable.
All of the families that are dealing with this disease on a daily basis are in need of some sort of respite. This wonderful organization provides just that. I deeply appreciate the great things that they have done for our families.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been one of the organizers of the Narberth Run (an event held under the Take A Breather Foundation) since its inception in 1996. And now, I am a board member on the Take A Breather Foundation.

SInce being on the Narberth Run committee, my eyes have been opened to the hardships of children and families living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). To hear the stories of what these children and families have to deal with on a daily basis is truly inspiring. And then to read their letters of gratitude from a wish granted to them is unbelievable. These families usually do not have much and to hear what these wishes means to them, makes you want to keep providing as many as you can. This disease can be so debilitating that some recipients can never go away for a momentary respite. So for them, they may receive an ipad or a computer which means so much because that computer or iPad is their respite.

Not only from the stories of these children, but the other reason this Foundation is so near and dear to my heart is because I too have and had two siblings who have lived and are living with CF. My one brother died when he was just 2 months old from this disease. And, my other brother is now 45 years old and he too battles CF every day. However, hearing so many stories from the families that the Foundation has helped, our family feels very blessed which is why I am so passionate about this Foundation. It has helped so many children and families (over 100 to date) and we want to continue to help many more.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Take a Breather is a foundation that helps people like me who have Cystic Fibrosis live more comfortable lives. I didn't ask for much just a drawing tablet and a gift card for clothes, but they went the extra mile and gifted me a College Scholarship. Take a Breather has definitely made my life more comfortable, it truly is a wonderful foundation.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Take a Breather provided my family and I with the trip of a lifetime which we couldn't have otherwise afforded. In August of 2012, we enjoyed an all expense paid trip to Disney World. Everything was top shelf and we continue to talk about the trip over a year later.

Two of our three boys suffer from the effects of Cystic Fibrosis but our whole family is immersed each and every day in fighting this disease. This non-profit provides families like mine with opportunities to focus on something truly pleasurable beyond the world of CF, and they do it with the absolute highest levels of class, compassion and generosity.

The preparation, care and attention to detail that goes into providing CF patients with these gifts is truly a labor of love for this family oriented charity. I simply cannot say enough good things about it!!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with Take A Breather for many years and have referrred multiple patients to the foundation. The lives of these patients are very busy with medical treatments, doctor's visits and hospitalizations. The wishes that are provided allow for the patient's "take a breather" from the daily grind of Cystic Fibrosis. The look on the patients and families faces when they recieve their wish is indescribable. I am proud to continue to refer patient's to this incredible foundation.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Take A Breather Foundation recently granted my son Johnny's wish. My son Johnny is 5 years old and living with Cystic Fibrosis. Johnny's wish was for a "Treeless Tree-House". Take a Breather Foundation supplied our family with Lowes Gift Cards for all the material. We couldn't be more thrilled, and grateful. Johnny is so excited at the progress of his Treeless Tree-House. This gift will give Johnny an escape, and years of fun. Thank You Take A Breather Foundation for making my little mans life allot more happy. As a Mother of a child with CF, my goal is for more happy days. Thank You!! Thank You from the bottom of my heart.

Diane73

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

A great foundation with very caring and accessible volunteers. In addition to all of the work they do to help ease the burden on CF patients, the Narberth Run is a wonderful event that gets the community involved in a great cause.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This Charity grants wishes for children that are affected by Cystic Fibrosis (CF) - which is a great thing. There are several large foundations that are affiliated with Cystic Fibrosis and these foundations raise millions and millions of dollars in the name of Cystic Fibrosis. Which is fantastic because all of these monies have lead us closer to finding a cure for this disease. HOWEVER, in the Cystic Fibrosis world there are not many resources (if any at all) that focus on the needs of the families that are dealing with Cystic Fibrosis.

Cystic Fibrosis is one of those diseases that individuals appear to be "healthly" on the outside. So people may not understand why individuals with CF need help. But what people fail to realize or know is that Cystic Fibrosis is a life threatning disease that is very expensive, with or without insurance; but definately more without insurance. As an example, most individuals that have two copies of the delta 508 gene, and experience pancreatic deficiencies require pancreatic enzymes to help in the digestion of food. These pancreatic enzymes can cost in the neighborhood of $3,000 per month(or more) without insurance. Even with insurance there can be a percentage that families need to pay based on their prescription plan (i.e. 20% co-payment). This is just an example of one drug and the financial strains that can be placed on individuals with Cystic Fibrosis. As a fact, most CF patients take more than one drug. Some drugs are just as expensive as this example. So, do the math and you can see this is not cheap.

As mentioned, there is a foundation that mainly supports CF research but there are little to no foundations or organizations to actually help the CF person. This is where I think the Take a Breather foundation steps in to fill the void. This organization is dedicated to addressing the needs of the CF person. Wether it is assisting with a need in the home or better yet - granting a wish for a child with CF. There are other agencies that grant wishes for ill children. But these agencies help all sick children. The Take a Breather Foundation only caters to the CF Community. Which may seem selfish but you have keep in mind that there are little to no other resources for individuals/families with CF.

Now . . . I will get off my soapbox and explain how Take a Breather Foundation profoundly affected our family and granted a wish for our child. Our daughter who is currently 11 years and was diagnosed with CF at the age of 9 days old was granted a wish of going to Paris in the summer of 2012.

Our Story: Our daughter was very connected with her great-grandmother who she called "meme" (which stands for grandmother in french ) and that passed away in 2009. Her grandparents met during World War II when her great-grandfather was fighting in the war and met his future bride in a cherry orchard. The two fell in love and married in Paris before returing to the United States. Her great-grandfather died in 2006 but she had a special connection with her meme. Just before she die, Marlia asked her meme about Paris and she told our daughter, "if you can ever get there, go, because it is beautiful". Ever since she passed away, our daughter has been fascinated with Paris and wanted to go where her grandparents fell in love and got married. Here is where the Take a Breather foundation stepped in. After hearing our daughter's story and her wish, the Take a Breather Foundation made our daughter's wish come true.

In June of 2012, our family boarded a plane in Philadelphia, PA and 7 hours later arrived in the "City of Lights". Our daughter had returned to where her family history began. Thanks to the Take a Breather foundation our daughter was able to walk the streets of Paris, go up the Eiffel Tower, walk down the Champs-Elysees, ride the metro, visit Disneyland Paris and find out she loves crepes. All of this would not have been possible without this foundation. We as family could have never given a trip like this to our daughter especially a pre-adolescent that is working through the fact that she has CF and has to take lots of medications and do chest therapy - when her siblings and peers do not.

Saying just "thank you" to this foundation does not do do justice for the memories that they have given our daughter for the rest of her life. She has a new perspective on CF and currently thinks that not all things with CF are "so bad" (in her words) because she realizes that if she did NOT have CF and if it was NOT for this foundation she would have never have gotten to go Paris and follow the words of her great-grandmother, Xaviere.

Kevin58

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just want to say that The take a breather foundation is a great organization, not only because the wishes of many people are granted but because it helps the families as well ease the burden of what living with Cystic Fibrosis is. It also helps with the research for a cure of this disease. For me it was a great opportunity to meet awesome and i would be always thankful for having my wish come true.


Thank you again for everything the foundation did for me.


Kevin Castro,

Review from Guidestar