Shazzy's Story

"I am so thankful for the tremendous support and timely favor I received when I got my cancer treatments in the right moment. I can never forget the constant care and support that I received throughout my treatments. I appreciate all the kindness and care the organization provided me for which I’m so grateful and thankful to all especially Dr. Alexander Pearlman who stood by my side and helped me always. And I'm so honored to play a small part in helping other cancer patients and their families."

--- Shazzy

The inspiration for Shazzy's Lodge is Shazzy Shajahan. Shazzy was 5 years old in 2012 when she was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor, a common childhood kidney cancer. Shazzy is a U.S. born citizen but at the time of her diagnosis, was living in India with her mother and grandparents. Shazzy was able to fly back to the U.S. for two months of state-of-the art housing and care at a renowned childrens hospital. After surgery and follow-up observations, Shazzy's prognosis was favorable for a cure however she required an additional 5 months of outpatient chemotherapy with scheduled weekly hospital visits.

Shazzy was set to receive her 5 month outpatient treatment at a hospital in Long Island, New York however she and her family were not able to afford to pay for 5 months of temporary housing near the hospital. And Shazzy didn't qualify for housing support from existing charitable organizations that she reached out to. Shazzy's friends stepped in to help. Dr. Alex Pearlman was Shazzy's mother's former manager from her time working with him at a research lab at the NYU Langone Medical Center. Dr. Pearlman organized a group of friends to raise funding for temporary housing on Long Island. This enabled Shazzy and her grandmother to live a few blocks away from her hospital during 5 months of outpatient chemotherapy. Nine years later, Shazzy is doing well. She has moved back to the U.S. permanently and is enjoying high-school and having fun being a teenager.

Shazzy's struggle inspired Dr. Pearlman and his fellow Shazzy's Lodge board members to form a charitable organization to help patients like Shazzy. Outpatient cancer treatments can take up to a year or more and are often far from the patient's home. In fact, these treatment centers are often located in metropolitan areas with high priced short-term rental markets. The mission of Shazzy's Lodge is to help patients and their families afford temporary housing near the patient's treatment center in New York State when the patient undergoes outpatient cancer care far from home.