033: Sarah Bartosz, Gold In September (G9)

Sarah Bartosz shares a story of inspiration which is also a story of heartache and hope. In this episode, you’ll hear how a non-profit organization, Gold In September, or G9, was founded by a family after losing their son, Jack, to pediatric cancer.

Sarah describes how they learned of Jack’s diagnosis, their struggle to find a cure, and his twin sister Annie’s drive to take action. Annie wondered, if the color pink helps to raise funds for breast cancer, what color symbolizes childhood cancer and what month is dedicated to raising awareness? The answers are Gold and September.

Gold In September (G9) is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing funding for childhood cancer research and initiatives by growing awareness that inspires action to help every child, everywhere. It’s the manifestation of the house that Jack inspired, Annie envisioned, John designed, and  Sarah is determined to build.

G9 Vision: Coloring the world gold, so every child, everywhere will survive cancer.

G9 Mission: Raise awareness and inspire action for childhood cancer initiatives.

Sarah and Annie are planting seeds of hope and encouraging us all to grow gold for childhood cancer! They are encouraged by recent progress to raise awareness. In fact, the Milwaukee Brewers will be wearing gold at their baseball game this Labor Day, and many schools are raising funds through “Penny Wars.”

Annie’s philanthropy initiative was recently honored as she was named a “100 Everyday Amazing” individual by Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.

Musician Josh Wilson has been a great supporter of Gold in September. He played at Jack’s end of life celebration and you’ll hear part of his song “Pushing Back the Dark” during our discussion. and the entire song at the very end. You can also check out his video at the bottom of this page.

Listen to the podcast to hear Sarah discuss:

  • Leaving no stone unturned to find Jack the best possible care.
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Annie’s idea to create Gold in September when she was 10 years old
  • How working for the American Cancer Society armed her with knowledge of treatments before Jack’s diagnosis
  • Losing her husband, John, to the effects of his own cancer treatments
  • Growing gold for childhood cancer
  • Josh Wilson’s music and how it inspired Jack
  • Professional athletes making a difference
  • Generational philanthropic opportunities
  • Advice for parents facing cancer or other illnesses

Quotes from the podcast: 

“We can’t win the battle against this awful disease with only the wounded fighting. That’s like trying to win a war with only the wounded. We need all of the healthy and strong helping us if we are going to win.”  – Annie Bartosz

“We grow gold for every child, everywhere.”

“Grief is like an ocean.  There is grief involved from the moment you have a child diagnosed, all the way through the  grieving of the loss of innocence, and school days, and education, and birthday parties.  We have to grieve the loss at every step along the way.  I hope that people don’t have to grieve the ultimate loss of their child as I have had to do and will continue to do for the rest of my life. But I believe that we can make the world a better place and I believe that I have to turn this grief into something positive.”

Learn more or donate at GoldinSeptember.com