The Roc Solid Foundation builds hope for children fighting cancer by providing ways for them to temporarily escape the burdens of doctors, appointments and treatments through opportunities to do what they do best – play.
The Roc Solid Foundation truly began nearly 20 years ago when founder Eric Newman was a child, much the same age as those the organization now helps, and was diagnosed with liver cancer. To the surprise of his doctors, Eric beat the odds and his cancer and has been in remission ever since. Sadly, two of his cousins were also diagnosed with various forms of cancer at young ages, and they tragically lost their battles, leaving an impression on Eric and driving his desire to “do something.”
At the age of 25, Eric assembled a group of friends and organized a fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD) in Norfolk – the pediatric hospital that saved his life. The first ever “Night for the Fight” was a great success, and it inspired him to continue down the path of helping kids with cancer.
Roc Solid builds approximately 20-30 projects per year in the Tidewater area. They are now moving into Richmond and other areas across the state.
How the Rock Lost Its “K”
When founder Eric Newman was first diagnosed with pediatric cancer, his dad gave him a small Garfield stuffed animal embroidered with his childhood nickname “E-rock.” The toy had to be sanitized by the hospital staff before they would allow Eric to have it, and during the process, the “K” fell off.
Eric kept the stuffed animal, but it wasn’t until about 22 years later that it played a role in the naming of his new-found passion. “E-roc” inspired the “Roc” in Roc Solid, describing the tough fight these children face and the strength embody.
Play It Forward
Roc Solid Foundation’s flagship program, Play It Forward, has one purpose – to build hope for children and teens diagnosed with pediatric cancer. Roc Solid currently offers these kids and their families several different programs to support and encourage them from diagnosis through treatment and beyond. From custom playset builds and room remodels to iPads and cancer-free parties, Roc Solid Foundation strives to build hope through play while these children and families are facing the unimaginable burden of dealing with cancer at a young age.
Hope can be seen in many ways, so Roc Solid Foundation makes each project unique for the individual based on his/her personality, interests, hobbies and current condition. Whether the child lives in a house or apartment, Roc Solid will tailor the project to that family’s specific needs.
After Eric Newman presented his story to the Richmond Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), the group decided to do a project during Women in Construction Week in March 2016. The Roc Solid Foundation, being fairly new to the Richmond area, found a family to build a playset for a 4 year old child who has Neuroblastoma.
KBS employees enthusiastically volunteered their time to help with the project. Upon arrival to the child’s home, the volunteers were divided into smaller groups, each to build a section of the playset or to help with landscaping of the play area. The KBS team was responsible for building the lower half of the playset, while others volunteered with the landscaping portion. Each group then carefully connected their section of the playset until the entire project came together as one. Everyone worked in harmony and was overwhelmed with joy seeing the final project. The child was a bit shy, but was presented his playset with delight.
KBS is proud to have been a part of this wonderful project and to provide our services to the Roc Solid Foundation.
Watch as KBS continues to build more hope in the future.