(WKBN) – Every Tuesday at First News, we are introducing you to a Remarkable woman from here in the Valley.
Tuesday’s finalist in WKBN’s Remarkable Women contest is one whose mission is to help families experiencing life-threatening illnesses maintain a sense of normalcy.
Nagy wears several hats. She’s a wife, mother and real estate agent. She also runs the Piggyback Foundation of Youngstown, which she founded in 2016.
“The mission is to help families with the quality of life measures when there’s a life-threatening disease in the family,” Nagy said.
Piggyback was founded on the premise that life-threatening disease is fought by entire families, not just the individual patient. What makes the foundation different is that it adopts a family for at least a year and is there to help them out before they have to panic about something.
Nagy has helped countless families.
She recalls a family whose son needed a tuxedo for a formal event at his high school, but the family didn’t have the money to pay for it.
“Before, mom spent a weekend panicking about, ‘How am I going to get $200 to pay for this rental that he needs?’ She just called me and said, ‘Is this something you guys can do?’ and we put a card on file at the tux rental place. They went and handled it, and her weekend went on without the added stress of worrying about that,” she said.
Janelle tells me she’s worked a lot in nonprofits. She says this cause is where her heart is.
“There are lots of services for patients. There are lots of services for the actual healthcare treatment of it, but the quality of life stuff that falls by the wayside was being unaddressed and to see the impact it makes on the entire family really, really spoke to me,” Nagy said.
Janelle says part of working in a nonprofit is bringing out the best in others.
“You form a lot of bonds, a lot of friendships that way, so it’s not only done. I love the work, but I love watching my board members love the work. I love watching community members see what we’re doing and going ‘I love what you’re doing, can I be part of it?'” Nagy said.