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Marisa was born with a complex cardiac defect that required six open-heart surgeries. Despite keeping hundreds of doctor’s appointments and being hospitalized for more than two years, Marisa lived a vibrant life that inspired.

A heart transplant, which was supposed to extend Marisa’s life, tragically cut it short after a post-operative complication developed into a rare form of Stage IV cancer. After radiation and chemotherapy treatments failed to thwart the relentless onslaught of an aggressive disease that riddled her brain and body, Marisa succumbed to her illness in January following a valiant battle.

She was just 13 years old.

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This foundation, which assists children in need throughout the greater Middlesex County area, is a fitting way to honor Marisa and keep alive her spirit. It allows her parents, Greg and Cyndi, to give back to the residents of a community that has forever provided overwhelming love and support.

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The Marisa Tufaro Foundation commemorated what would have been Marisa’s 14th birthday on July 30, 2017 by unveiling its strategic plan and outlining its first wave of initiatives to help children in need throughout the greater Middlesex County area.

Our mission statement is broad-based by design. The foundation extends assistance to children and their families beyond those in medical crisis, although such individuals will forever remain a primary focus. The foundation also makes community service an integral part of its mission.

Through the generosity of others, who have made private donations or participated in fundraising events, our nonprofit corporation has a sound financial base from which to turn its vision into reality. The Marisa Tufaro Foundation is exempt from federal income tax and recognized as a public charity under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c )(3).

As the foundation grows in the ensuing year, so will its outreach. We ask that you please revisit this website with frequency to keep abreast of future endeavors.

We encourage you to read in detail about our first wave of initiatives – each of which in some way reflects Marisa’s inspirational life – by clicking on the links provided on the opposite side of this page.

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John Marshall Elementary School’s Jump-A-Thon benefits our foundation

Earlier this year, The Marisa Tufaro Foundation was one of two beneficiaries of John Marshall Elementary School’s highly successful Jump-A-Thon. The fitness fundraiser, which physical education teacher Scott Gerba organized, involved more than 100 fifth-grade [...]

Herbert Hoover’s “Marisa’s Makers” are “connecting to the community one craft at a time”

A club at Herbert Hoover Middle School has been formed in tribute to Marisa as [...]

Chamberlain College of Nursing students make heartfelt surprise donation to our foundation

Heather Zayas, president of the Student Nurses Association at Chamberlain College of Nursing in North [...]

Middlesex school-community praised for collecting coats for children in need

Jackie Goedesky, president and founder of Hands of Hope, had high praise for the Middlesex [...]

Transplant recipient and former star athlete turns song in his heart into musical tribute for Marisa

Brett Epps, who never met Marisa, but like many others has been inspired by her [...]