Andrea Verdone Gorsegner ’99
Distinguished Alumni Award
Presented for outstanding service and accomplishment in at least one of the following areas: community, state, nation, church, profession, academic and/or service organizations.
Andrea Verdone Gorsegner is an advocate and fundraiser for pediatric cancer research and a supporter of victims and their families. After graduating from Albright College in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in art, she began her career as a photography editor for In Style, Lucky and Women’s Health magazines. Andrea’s life took a drastic turn on August 16, 2012, when her daughter Natalie, now 9, was diagnosed with high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Twenty-eight heart-wrenching months later, Natalie was declared cancer-free in November of 2014. Andrea documented Natalie’s cancer journey on her Facebook page, Infinite Love for Kids Fighting Cancer, with photos capturing high, low and in-between moments: Natalie’s older sister, Hannah, smiling with pride after having shaved her head for a fundraiser (five years in a row), Natalie crying during her “pinchies,” her husband, Dan, giving Natalie a ride around the hospital on an IV stand, etc.
In 2013, while Natalie was not only in the thick of treatment, but the Gorsegner’s were also in the process of selling the family home due to one fewer paycheck, Andrea launched a fundraiser for childhood cancer research that she called the “Will You Send Us a Dollar” campaign, with a goal of raising $50,000 for childhood cancer research. Five short months later, she secured $110,000, all of which fully funded two research grants and part of a third for acute myeloid leukemia. Since that date, Andrea and her team of loyal volunteers have given over $1 million for research.
In addition to funding research, it is important to Andrea that Infinite Love is helping families affected by childhood cancer both financially and emotionally. Not only do they help to pay household bills and provide financial grants to these families, but Andrea also gets personally involved with each family. She offers to take professional photographs of these childhood cancer fighters and their families, and helps to fulfill the wishes of these little cancer fighters. She regularly sends care packages which often include a special personalized medical doll (a Lovie Buddie) that has a medi-port for pretend play, and includes real medical supplies along with a “doctor’s” identification tag for each individual child. In hopes of easing the pain and difficulty that these families face, Andrea is always looking for new and creative ways to help shine a light on the childhood cancer community.
Andrea has received the Humanitarian Award from the “Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation,” was granted the Point of Light Award and, most recently in 2017, was the recipient of an Innovators Award from BioNJ. Andrea and her family have appeared on the Today Show, and have been featured in numerous publications including Parents magazine, the New York Daily News, and Woman’s Day, to name a few. More recently, Andrea was interviewed by Joanna Gagis on her PBS show Life & Living, and she and her daughter, Hannah, were featured in People magazine for shaving their heads. In addition, Hannah & Natalie Gorsegner wrote a song entitled “Fighter” with singer/songwriter Taylor Tote. The song is currently available on iTunes, and 100 percent of the profits go towards childhood cancer research. Andrea served as the executive producer in filming the music video for “Fighter,” which has been viewed over 500,000 times via multiple social media outlets, and shared via blog articles written by Joan Lunden, Tracey Stewart and Atlantic Records. “Fighter” also received the “Best Home Grown Music Award” at the Garden State Film Festival, the “RWJ Barnabas Award” at the Asbury Park Music & Film Festival, and was named “Best Music Video” at the Los Angeles Movie Awards.