Live Like Phillip Foundation provides support for those experiencing the loss of a loved one

by Lisa DeAngelis

The Live Like Phillip Foundation was created to help families that suffer the sudden loss of a school-age child and to provide love and support for unexpected expenses and hardships encountered on their journey to healing. It was created in honor of Phillip Joseph Oseredzuk whose life was tragically taken in a kayaking accident in 2019.

Phillip’s nickname was “Cowboy Phil.” He loved cowboy hats, boots, and country music. And fishing was his favorite thing in all the world. He has been described as having a contagious personality and a smile that lit up any room he was in. By all accounts, he loved life and lived it to the fullest in the 16 years he was with us.

Classmates at Neshaminy High School came forward after his funeral to tell stories of how Phillip had touched their lives, from walking a girl to her class every day for a month until she felt comfortable going by herself, to stopping a bully. Last June Phillip would have graduated, and his passing left a gaping hole at Commencement. In remembrance, the class of 2021 raised $1,500 for the foundation.

Teammates with whom he played ice hockey for the Grundy Grizzlies and Senators commemorated the first anniversary of his death by writing on social media, “Forever in our hearts #91!.” Phillip also played for Neshaminy High School and was a level two hockey referee. After the accident, his parents found out that Phillip had given all his hockey equipment that he was no longer using to a boy being raised by a grandmother who could not afford for her grandson to play otherwise. Ice hockey was not the only sport Phillip enjoyed. He was also a great baseball player for the Penndel Wildcats.

Neighbors considered Phillip the unofficial ‘mayor,’ remembered for the business he started at 13-years-old. Phil’s Landscaping serviced 50 customers, and he was frequently observed on his golf cart or tractor pulling equipment behind him. State Representative Frank Farry flew a flag over the Capitol in honor of Phillip’s young entrepreneurship and gave the flag to his family at a fundraiser.

Most sorely missing him are his mother, Lynn, father, Phillip, younger sister, Jaclyn, and his extended family. Determined to provide comfort to other heartbroken families, they worked together to form Live Like Phillip, whose mission is to spread faith, love, kindness, and compassion to honor Phillip’s life and to give help to other families.

One group Lynn found to be particularly helpful in learning how to go on was Hayden’s House of Healing in New Jersey, a place that seeks to provide a safe, tranquil space for bereaved mothers, fathers, couples, children, and families to heal as they navigate their own personal loss. Lynn credits Hayden’s House with helping her and her family to continue living when the prospect was overwhelming. The first time Lynn went on retreat with other grieving mothers, she remembers, “We walked in as strangers and left as family. To have a place to feel comfortable and to feel like you fit in somewhere in this new life you have been forced into with no road map – no one can prepare you for this. The triggers are everywhere. Having a tribe of families is absolutely necessary to survive this. It’s why Hayden’s House is such a gift to families who have lost their everything.” Lynn is now a member of the Board and holds fundraisers through the Live Like Phillip Foundation to benefit Hayden’s House in sponsoring retreats for parents. Last year they were able to raise enough to host an entire retreat.

The Foundation runs a support group for moms, but realizing that parents are not the only family members to have their lives upended, they started a Teen Support Group where siblings can meet and talk about their own experience. They create packages of comfort items for other bereaved siblings. Knowing what it is like to lose a brother or sister, they are in a unique position to give solace to those for whom the grief is still very raw.

Their next fundraiser will be at Harvest Day in Langhorne on October 30th.

In March, 2022, there will be a Flyers Alumni Hockey Game Fundraiser at the Grundy Ice Hockey Rink in Bristol.

Donations can be made to: Live Like Phillip, 524 Julie Lane, Penndel, PA 19047, and information about programs and fundraisers can be obtained at www.LiveLikePhillip.

PHOTO CAPS: 1. “Cowboy Phil” Oseredzuk

2. Phil in Penndel with his snow removal equipment. 

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