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November 28, 2018
Giving Back: Stan + Donna Edwards
Stanley Edwards was a likeable kid, had a wide circle of friends, and big dreams for the future. “All of his teachers loved him,” says his mother, Donna. “He was athletically talented and academically gifted.”
Then the unimaginable happened, and 12-year-old Stanley was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. When surgery to remove the tumor resulted in paralysis and learning disabilities, Stanley persevered and overcame adversary as he learned to do everything all over again.
Stanley died two years later, in 2002, and his family had to rely on their strong faith community to carry them through very dark days. They wanted to channel their grief into something positive to honor Stanley. With a generous first donation from Clifford DeBaptiste, the former mayor of West Chester, Stanley’s Dream was born in 2004.
Stanley’s Dream strives to fund research on childhood brain cancer and to provide scholarships for graduating seniors. The organization has raised over $200,000 so far from fundraisers, and although a cure is still elusive, the prognosis is much better now than it was when Stanley was diagnosed. “Many of our scholarship recipients have financial need and are the first in their families to attend college,” says Donna. “Although they may not have 4.0 GPAs, their essays reflect that they share the strong desire for higher education that Stanley had.”
Stanley’s parents, Donna and Stan, are grateful to be under the 501(c)(3) umbrella of the Chester County Community Foundation, which manages the fund. Stanley’s Dream sponsors three annual fundraiser events—a 5K race on New Year’s Day and a dinner dance and golf event in August.
The Edwards cherish continued contact with Stanley’s classmates and love hearing from scholarship recipients. “We want to carry on Stanley’s legacy and bring something positive out of adversity,” says Donna, “to help others and those who loved him.”
For more information about Stanley’s Dream, visit stanleysdream.org.