Our mission is to be the voice of pediatric cancer warriors by spreading awareness, advocating and providing tailored support for children battling cancer and their families.
SBMH established a dedicated headquarters to support community awareness and fundraising. Our headquarters includes a cafe and a superhero hangout cave. Independent support and community volunteers helped us to connect with children battling cancer, their siblings and their families.
47 children are diagnosed with cancer each day. Every 3 minutes, somewhere in the world a family hears the devastating words that their child has cancer. Funds raised by supporters, teams and sponsors help us provide tailored support for the children and their families as they battle through their fight with cancer.
Learn about our generous sponsors or how to become one!
Come join the Small But Heroes Team
I always knew I wanted to work in pediatrics. My innate love and care for children helped to guide my path in career choice, but never did I realize the path would lead me to where I am today.
Through my studies of pre-med, practice exams, and exam preps for med school, life threw me a curve ball. I was already a mother, but I learned that I was expecting another child…. This made a 12-year gap between my two boys.
With the reality of what med school would present, I chose to focus on motherhood. With the support of my husband, I took a step back from the medical field and took an extended maternity leave where I focused on the love of being a mommy but I did miss working and wanted to work with more flexibility and the ability to be home more.
This opened the door to a medical IT field that had its own nonprofit called First Hands Foundation. I truly admired their mission of offering support to children with ailments. It was through here that I was introduced to a little boy named Blakey. He was battling leukemia, but unfortunately, he passed away at the mere age of 2 years old. I remember reading the update as mom shared it on her Facebook. The images of the shattered parents clinging to him as he took his final breath….. his grandfather holding his lifeless body for the last time. These images I will never forget. I remember clinging to my own small child that day, crying heavily as if it were my own child that I lost.
I remember the words, “it’s not fair” escaping my lips over and over and over….. The reality that a small child just battled the most difficult and grueling battle that most grown men don’t battle, made me so angry. I was angry that a beautiful child was taken too soon. I was angry that a mother lost her baby boy. I was angry that a father lost his son and that siblings had to learn what death was so soon in life. I was angry that the treatment was the cause of his demise. I was so angry.
This was the fuel that ignited my fire! The passion of children always existed. The care and compassion that is innate and my training in the medical field caused tunnel vision of my path. Feb, 2016 I was introduced to an incredible family and their little boy, by Feb 2017, I decided to create a nonprofit to support children battling cancer. This idea evolved and in October 2019, Small but Mighty Heroes (SBMH) became a 501(c)(3).
Becoming an official nonprofit at the beginning of COVID was a very difficult start for Small but Mighty Heroes, but we remained dedicated, committed, and determined to continue to help children through their battle and their families. Many obstacles presented themselves in our path, but we remain resilient and creative. My passion and dedication are strong, despite what is thrown at us, we will continue to grow and move forward as everything that we do is for the children who battle a hellish fight. These children deserve all of the love and care that this world has to offer.
Today, we work tirelessly to bring the community together to help us in our mission as it takes a village, and no child fights alone. March of this year presented the new chapter of Small but Mighty Heroes, where we opened our cafe headquarters called Mighty Heroes Cafe. Here, we offer coffee, tea, lemonade, shakes, and more where the net proceeds go to fund the programs that we offer to the children and families that we support. This is where we do our daily operations, fundraising and events. We get the privilege to meet amazing supporters, and volunteers who come here to give a helping hand and we get the honor of meeting amazing children battling cancer and their siblings. Since we opened our doors, we have hosted several events, partnered with many local businesses, and connected with many community members. Today, we currently support over 350 children with applications coming to us daily. This is just the beginning of Small but Mighty Heroes’ growth.
Jim Bruffy is a retired food service/seafood executive, after 48 years in various sales, marketing, financial and director
roles. Married to my beautiful wife Patricia for 45 wonderful years, proud father of two great children
and 4 blessed grandchildren. Currently serve on two Board of Directors, and 3 previous Boards. Love
reading, walking, travel and spoiling our little maltipoo Daisy.
Jennifer "Jenn" Hebblewhite serves as the Treasurer and Operations Director for Small But Mighty Heroes. She has earned fifteen President’s Volunteer Service Awards since 2003. Through the years, she has dedicated her time to benefit children. She has more than 3,000 hours of serving on PTO Boards as the Fundraising and Event Coordinator which is why we are happy to welcome her to our team.
Jenn grew up in Tampa, Florida. and has been married for more than 26 years with one adult daughter. Previously, she spent 21 years working for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Jenn is a Residential Realtor with Price, Wright, & Dunn, Inc. working in Tampa Bay and seven counties within West Central Florida.
At Small But Mighty Heroes we believe "No child fights alone".
Together Everyone Achieves More
Patty Bruffy is Secretary of Small But Mighty Heroes Board of Directors. She also supports
project management for the Executive Director. Patty spent three decades in the energy and
utilities industry and brings her career coaching, leadership, consulting, and delivery
management skills. She is dedicated to using her experience in both the public and private
sectors to expand pediatric cancer awareness and strengthen support to this community of
Her consulting roles were at Global Enterprise Managers, IBM and Ernest & Young. Previous
clients appreciated her straight talk, and the depth of her “real world” utility field operations
experience combined with executive experience. She was a strategic consultant at over 20
utilities working at the intersection of mobility, agile operations, organizational change, and
asset management. Prior to consulting roles, she worked in utility dispatch operations and
When children experience cancer, it is not uncommon for their lives as well those of the
surrounding family to unravel. Patty was drawn to Small But Mighty Heroes because of the
dedicated team culture and the programs designed for the children. She knows that no single
approach is right for every child and leverages her consulting expertise to expand customized
programs to support heroes battling cancer.
Patty holds a BA from James Madison University. She is now retired and enjoys time with her
family and volunteer work. She has two children and four grandchildren. Patty also volunteers
at the Central Florida Newborns In Need non-profit.
Learn the 'WHY' behind SBMH and learn about the Founder and Executive Director.