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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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Foundation funds Project Walk therapy sessions for child who dreams of being able to walk

The Marisa Tufaro Foundation has afforded a medically fragile child from Middlesex County, whose dream is to be able to walk, the opportunity to receive multiple therapy sessions at Project Walk New Jersey. Project Walk [...]

Edison artist’s breathtaking painting of Marisa’s artwork on display at Saint Peter’s Hospital

A painting in acrylic nearly turned into a watercolor as freelance artist Cindy Yeung Muglia [...]

Tournament-winning Edison educators select Tufaro Foundation for $2,500 Jam Kancer grant

As the winners of a Kan Jam tournament designed to raise money for patients and [...]

Woodbridge Tecmo Bowl for Tufaro Foundation scores touchdown for our nonprofit

The Marisa Tufaro Foundation would like to extend its heartfelt gratitude to Woodbridge Township Public [...]

South Plainfield and Old Bridge wrestling match for Tufaro Foundation will celebrate Marisa’s life

A high school wrestling match will celebrate the life of Marisa Tufaro and raise money [...]