URI family receives police donation for daughter with cancer

SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) – Community members and police officers gathered Friday at the URI Police Department headquarters to give back to a special little girl.

Violent Graney, a 5-month-old baby who was born with a rare type of cancer, received support from the Cops for Kids with Cancer Foundation from Braintree, Mass.

Violet’s parents, Dan and Angela Graney, both staff members at the University of Rhode Island, received a check for $5,000 to help with her medical expenses.

Robert Faherty, the chair of the foundation, happily presented the check.

Faherty spent 40 years with the Boston Police Department, and wholeheartedly enjoys providing families with sick children as much relief as he can.

“Cops for Kids with Cancer has helped more than 330 families since we began in 2008, and presenting the donations is always rewarding,” he said. “Hopefully, this will help Dan and Angela carry on and help them focus on Violet in the face of overwhelming medical bills.”

Dan Graney, assistant director of Student Life for Substance Abuse and Prevention Services at URI learned about the foundation through Hasbro Children’s Hospital, where Violet is being treated.

URI Police Lt. Michael Donohue knew Dan through their work together on campus, and he did not hesitate when the couple asked him to be Violet’s sponsor.

Donohue filled out paperwork, wrote letters, and submitted the request on Violet’s behalf, and he couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

“I’m thrilled. I’m so happy for the family because they’re spending so much money to make their daughter well and every little bit helps,” Donohue said.

Violet has infantile fibrosarcoma, a cancerous soft-tissue tumor that occurs at a rate of five infants per million, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“It’s so hard because sometimes I think, ‘I can’t win $2 on a Powerball ticket,’ but here we have this living, breathing miracle. Before she was born, I don’t think we really knew what the word miracle really meant. Now we truly understand what a miracle is,” said Angela Graney, assistant director of the University’s International Engineering Program Living and Learning Community.

“We are so very thankful and grateful,” she said.

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