Bringing Smiles and Hope to Pediatric Patients at JFK University Medical Center   

Bringing Smiles and Hope to Pediatric Patients at JFK University Medical Center

To honor the life of Marisa Tufaro, The Marisa Tufaro Foundation and the Middlesex County community rallied together in her memory, culminating in a heartfelt gesture to support pediatric patients and their loved ones at JFK University Medical Center.

Since December, The Marisa Tufaro Foundation has made a generous multi-part gift to bring smiles to pediatric patients and their families. Generous donations include a portable Starlight Nintendo gaming station, four new iPads with protective cases, more than 700 children’s books, hundreds of toys, and two multi-device charging stations for parents.

In addition, the foundation also made a monetary gift to support the Patient Assistance Fund, which offers relief for families dealing with various personal or medical expenses.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to honor Marisa’s loving memory by supporting her hometown hospital which, incredibly, assisted more than 23,000 patients in its pediatric emergency department last year alone,” says Greg Tufaro, Marisa’s father and co-executive director of the foundation. “We are honored to be able to pay forward the benevolence of our nonprofit’s supporters from across Middlesex County and beyond with donations that can help ease some of the anxiety or stress these pediatric patients may experience and burdens their families may face.”

Born with a complex cardiac defect, Marisa Tufaro survived six open-heart surgeries and a heart transplant before succumbing in January 2017 to a rare form of cancer following a courageous battle. She was just 13 years old.

Despite being hospitalized for more than two years and maintaining hundreds of doctors’ appointments, Marisa was an Edison Township Public Schools honor roll student involved in various extracurricular activities. She lived a vibrant life that inspired many who knew her.

We thank The Marisa Tufaro Foundation for their support and generosity. These compassionate gifts not only honor Marisa’s memory, but also embody the community. With each contribution, the foundation is bringing joy and comfort to our smallest patients and families, turning moments of uncertainty into ones filled with hope and respite.

To make a gift to JFK University Medical Center, please visit or contact Sheri Marino, executive director, at


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