July 15, 2024

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Virginia Beach mom raises money to honor late son with CHKD playroom

3 min read

Wendy Goldberg remembers the sense of peace that music gave her late son, Benjamin “Dutch” Goldberg, as he underwent three years of intense treatment for cancer.

And while Ben died at 8 years old in December 2016 from neuroblastoma, a rare pediatric cancer that attacks nerve cells, his tenacious and vibrant spirit lives on through the foundation she started in 2018.

The founder and president of Virginia Beach-based certified public accounting firm W.C. Goldberg & Co. created the Benjamin Goldberg Foundation to empower and support children and families by providing healing arts to children diagnosed with cancer while also supporting their caregivers and health care workers.

She said the foundation has raised $85,000 of its $100,000 goal to support the Benjamin Goldberg Playroom, established for hematology and oncology patients in 2021 at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk.

The playroom, well-stocked with art supplies and games, hosts music and art therapy, dance, yoga and guided meditation. Parents can see their children playing through floor-to-ceiling glass panels, and large windows let in natural light.

“There is no medical intervention allowed in the playroom,” she said. “When they are in that space, they are really free to be away from their illness.”

Wendy Goldberg started the Benjamin Goldberg Foundation in 2018 in memory of her 8-year-old son who died from cancer in 2016. (Courtesy photo)
Wendy Goldberg started the Benjamin Goldberg Foundation in 2018 in memory of her 8-year-old son who died from cancer in 2016. (Courtesy photo)

Ben received treatment at CHKD and at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. It was at the Manhattan-based hospital that the Goldbergs were first introduced to integrative medicine, including dance therapy and meditation.

“It’s really evolved over the years, and we’re now able to talk about integrating arts and health,” Wendy Goldberg said, noting the services are not covered by insurance but are made possible through generous donations.

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