(WFRV) – Jennifer Konen and River of Hope have and continue to make an impact on thousands of children and families facing illness.

Konen’s daughter Riviera, nicknamed River, had a rare illness where her bones had holes in them and lymphatic fluid was eating away at her bones. Riviera even had to have brain surgery.

Her being 2, she lived a wonderful life like she only experienced love…. she was very loved.

Jennifer Konen

When Christmas came around, Jennifer thought: ‘How am I going to do Christmas, it’s a big deal in our house.’

Extended family brought gifts and said, “We’re going to give back and we’re going to donate all these gifts in Riviera’s memory.” This was the birth of Team River of Hope.

Our whole thing was hope when Riviera was sick, you had to hold on to hope, so just passing that hope along to others was incredibly healing.

Jennifer Konen

From that day on, thousands of children and families facing illness have been affected by Team River of Hope. Ranging from a blanket to a new toy or even a gas card have been donated.

The woman who nominated Konen saw a nurse bring in some toys that had the River of Hope tag on them.