ASCF Damon Billeck Dedication
As we are in the midst of Childhood Cancer Awareness month and approach the 5-year anniversary of Damon’s passing (in April 2023), the Billeck family has chosen to memorialize their son and brother by raising funds to name A Shelter for Cancer Families’ (ASCF) residence in his honor. This residence offered support to the organization that provided them with a "home away from home" for the more than 3 years while Damon was receiving treatment in Houston. Mom Lisa shares, “The effort will run from September 1st to April 3rd. No doubt, Damon is looking down from heaven with a huge smile on his face, so proud of everyone’s accomplishments and how we have chosen to honor and remember him in this special way.”
Diagnosed with osteosarcoma (a rare and difficult to treat cancer) at 9 years old, Damon endured more than four years of intense cancer care. The majority of this care was only available in Houston which was more than 200 miles away from their family home. When mom Lisa describes how she feels about ASCF, she says, “ASCF is a godsend. The organization became part of our family and welcomed us with open arms when we had no idea how we were going to make it possible for Damon to have the treatment he needed in Houston."
For more than 21 years, ASCF has been building a community that provides the stability, shelter and support that cancer families like Damon’s depend on when seeking care in the Texas Medical Center. The housing program which initially started as a hospitality house concept, then leased space before finding its now permanent home has continued to grow and evolve. This year, ASCF has provided it's 25,000th night of housing since its inception (equating to an approximate 3.75 million dollars in savings to cancer families). Many of those nights were nights that Damon’s own family called ASCF home.
“It was a dream that my son Damon and ASCF Founder and family friend Missy Bellinger shared that one day the charity would have a campus of its own to even better meet the needs of families served like ours,” says Lisa. On more than one occasion, Damon accompanied Missy in search of the perfect property. They often discussed how important it was to provide families with support and options in ways that offered a sense of community as well as dignity and privacy when needed. In 2019, ASCF acquired the 16-unit property which is now the organization’s permanent home and there is no doubt that Damon played an important role in making that dream a reality. “Today, ASCF looks to strengthen and expand its housing capabilities so that even more cancer families can benefit from the type of home away from home that ASCF provides, and we know that Damon would be so pleased by these efforts,” says Bellinger.
ASCF’s Support the Journey commemorative naming opportunities honor those, like Damon, who inspire ASCF’s mission as well as those who choose to help ensure the integrity and longevity of ASCF’s campus. The financial support provided by these special opportunities helps ensure that ASCF meets its financial obligation to pay for the campus and building so many call home while also continuing to make the capital improvements needed to ensure its ability to provide for many years to come.
Make Your One-Time Gift or Pledge Today
In addition to generously contributing to help name a private residence in Damon's name, all gifts $5,000 and above can choose to be named on our Support the Journey legacy mosaic wall that will be displayed at the front of campus. This beautiful creation will serve as a reflection of all those who support cancer families on their journey.
Make a credit card donation today.
All gifts $25K and above are eligible to be pledged out over five years or less.
Mail checks to:
A Shelter for Cancer Families
Madelon McGrenera, Director of Operations
4115 Drake Street, Suite #4
Houston, Texas 77005
Note: Include Damon Billeck Dedication in the memo.