The new left tackle Washington Football Team player has been making an impact on and off the field. Charles Leno Jr. has always made a point to help his community where he plays football. Since his arrival to Washington, he’s made his charitable giving known. His more recent contribution includes lifting a huge financial burden from a Loudoun breast cancer patient.
Leno is the co-founder of “Beyond the Entertainer.” This organization is dedicated to showing kids there’s more to being an athlete than just on-field performance. The organization mentors, empowers, and inspires the community through charitable giving, setting examples and providing opportunities to give back.
When he learned through Step Sisters, the local non-profit that improves the quality of life for those impacted by breast cancer in the Northern Virginia region, that a breast cancer patient was facing financial challenges, he moved swiftly to action. He paid her rent and utilities so she could focus on her treatment.
“When most people think of fighting breast cancer, they think of funding research which is important, but we also have to support patients that are battling the disease right now,” Leno says. “Women should not have to decide if they are going to pay their rent or pay for their treatment. I was proud to be able to assist this patient so she can continue her treatment plan.”
The Step Sisters fund a variety of support services, all designed to remove obstacles to treatment. In 2017, the group expanded their services, adding the crisis fund. This specifically assists patients facing financial emergencies during costly breast cancer treatment. The fund covers housing and utility costs.
As the pandemic began, The Step Sisters noted a sharp increase in demand for these funds.“Requests for our crisis funds have nearly doubled since the start of the pandemic and in this year alone, we have spent over $38,000 preventing evictions and keeping the lights on for patients who are struggling,” says Angela Fuentes, the co-executive director of the organization.
“The pandemic has limited our fundraising opportunities, but to date we had not declined a patient needing these emergency funds,” says Ashley Campolattaro, the co-executive director. “But when this latest request came in, we knew we didn’t have the money to help. We are so thankful to Mr. Leno and his organization. He truly saved the day for this patient.”
ABOUT THE STEP SISTERS
The Step Sisters work to improve the quality of life for those impacted by breast cancer in the Northern Virginia region. Partnering with seven area hospitals, the group funds needed support services such as transportation, food delivery and childcare as well as housing and utility assistance. Each service is designed to ease a patient’s mind and ensure continuity of treatment.
For more information about the Step Sisters, please visit www.stepsisters.org.
ABOUT BEYOND THE ENTERTAINER
For more information on Beyond the Entertainer, please visit @Beyondthe72 on Twitter or @BeyondtheEntertainer on Instagram.