MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Every Tuesday, as part of our Community Changers series, we highlight organizations making Memphis better. This week, we caught up with a group that offers much-needed support during a difficult time.

Anita Ganesh is a wife and mother of four, with two boys and two girls. All of them are under the age of ten. Her oldest daughter, Leah, was given a life-changing diagnosis.

“She is diagnosed with leukemia ALL,” Anita said.

Then, their lives came to a halt.

“As a mom, you have to fight. Who advocates for your child better than you,” Anita said.

The family left Guyana and sought treatment for their daughter at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It was in 2020 during a routine checkup that they learned Lia had relapsed and needed to stay in Memphis longer.

At St. Jude, families never receive a bill for treatments, travel, housing or food. It’s getting the rest of her family to Memphis and sustaining them that’s been difficult.

“That first year, Christmas wasn’t so much on our minds. It was all about getting everyone together,” Anita said.
By the second year, Anita said. “My husband and I are tasked with how do we make Christmas enjoyable without them missing home.”

That’s where the Chris Hope Foundation comes in. A non-profit organization that helps ease the financial and emotional burdens families face when their child is in treatment.

“We provide financial support, emotional support, surprise parties, uplifting events while they’re going through all of the treatment,” Chris Hope said.

Chris Hope is the Founder and Executive Director. Don’t be caught off guard if he shows up in his browns. You see, Chris is an overnight road driver for UPS. Once he gets back to Memphis, it’s back to the foundation and helping families like Anita’s.

“She needed help to help celebrate Christmas for her kids. And of course, I said we can definitely do that,” Chris said.

They put together a Batmobile, a bike, electric guitar. They were able to provide a small sense of holiday normalcy during a tough time.

“It’s the matter of not giving up hope, of holding it together and moving forward,” Chris said.

This is why our anonymous donor wanted to give the Chris Hope Foundation a thousand dollars.

Because when cancer turns your life upside down, and when you have a support system for those little things, you can turn it right side up.

A true Community Changer.