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Posts Tagged ‘childhood cancer’

I have been receiving a lot of emails from schools, groups and companies, asking how to help spread awareness during September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  I thought it might be good to address that here on the blog.  First, check out our Get Involved section on the Hats Off For Cancer (HOC) Web site if you know how you want to help.  If you’re still unsure, keep reading.

One of the easiest and more impacting ways to get involved is by hosting a Mad Hatter Drive at your school or church, in your community, with an organization or at your place of work.

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There are a ton of different ideas for your drive listed in our e-packets.

  • Some that have been very successful for groups in the past include designating a “Hat Day” where you collect a $1 donation from each person that wears a hat for the day.
  • Another great idea for an elementary or middle school is asking everyone to bring in their craziest hat and put it on during an assembly, asking for a $1 donation for HOC, and then holding a “Hat Parade” outside so everyone can see the fun hats and handing out prizes in certain categories!
  • You can host a Mad Hatter tea party and charge admission, either a new hat or a couple of dollars.
  • Hat drives are also a great way to give back, asking everyone to bring in new, kid-friendly hats to give to HOC.
  • Some groups have held a Battle of the Bands or a local concert after school or at church and used the admission fees to donate to HOC.
  • High Schools and Colleges have challenged rival schools to a competition to see who can raise the most money or collect the most hats.
  • Contact your local grocery store about partnering to ask patrons to donate $1 and they can write their name on a hat cut-out and post them up in the store display area.
  • Church groups and civic organizations and groups can knit or crochet soft hats.
  • Schools have used assembly time to show the HOC PSA and music video as a way to help everyone understand a little more about cancer and who is being helped through volunteering for Hats Off For Cancer.
  • Companies can give workers additional casual day passes for those that have participated in a donation or hat drive, or hold a golf outing with your company as the sponsor.
  • Everyone can get involved by hosting a virtual fundraiser through our online donation page where you can set up your very own page for Hats Off For Cancer and send the link out to family and friends.
  • You can find more ideas based on your type of group and event by visiting the Get Involved section of our Web site: Get Involved.

Truly, the opportunities are endless.  However, the most important part to remember is that you’re helping to spread awareness of this terrible disease, and you’re encouraging others to donate in a very simple, but in a way that is very meaningful and important to those benefiting from it.

Ultimately, one of the goals of Hats Off For Cancer is that everyone who participates in or coordinates an event, realizes how easy it is to give back, and uses this as a springboard to continue seeking out opportunities to give back to others in need.

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Here is a fun way to promote awareness. Just share this photo on your facebook page or tweet it to your followers!

Remember, getting involved can be as easy as you want it to be, but the impact can be felt for the rest of your life.

Thank you for reading and we hope you’ll consider joining us in bringing some much needed awareness to the courageous kids and teens who are battling and have battled cancer!

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This week we would like to honor Max, also known as SuperMax.  Last August, SuperMax was diagnosed with brain cancer at only 4 and a half years old.  This type of brain cancer is very uncommon.  Through surgery, the tumor was partially resected.  SuperMax has been undergoing chemotherapy ever since as he fights the remaining tumor.

SuperMax prior to the diagnostic MRI in August, 2011.

Max’s mom Audra says it’s still a long road ahead, but her SuperMax is her hero.

Max shows me every day how to push harder, to be present with each day, and how not to give up. He’s a fighter, a sweetheart, and a goof-ball.

Inspired by Max, his family created Max’s Love Project where they fill their local hospital treasure chests to help other kids battling cancer.  They also donate “Cloud B’s Twilight Turtle” to kids around the country.

Max has learned the power of sharing his love and supporting his SuperBuddies, which is a tremendous gift. Every time he helps me deliver treasures, I am reminded of how proud I am of my hero and the very generous young man he’s becoming, even as he overcomes tremendous challenges himself. We’ve seen the healing power of love, first hand.

SuperMax fills treasure chests at CHOC Children’s cancer center.

SuperMax, we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.  You are our HOC Hero!

Keep up-to-date with SuperMax here: http://www.facebook.com/teamsupermax, and find out more about Max’s Love Project here: http://www.facebook.com/maxloveproject.

If you know a child or teen who is battling or has battled cancer and you want to nominate them for our next HOC Hero of the Week, tell us about your hero and include photos and any links to their pages so we can support them!  Fill out the nomination form here: http://hatsoffforcancer.org/nominate-hero

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This week, we would like to honor Claudia Reyes-Rios as our HOC Hero of the Week.  Claudia was diagnosed with non hodgkins lymphoma at age 11.

Her sister Maria told us how cancer was something that none of her family members ever had to deal with, until young Claudia was diagnosed and had to go through treatments.

 It was a huge blow to the entire family since the word cancer had never been associated to any family member, especially not to one as young as she was. Throughout her treatment she was a huge inspiration to us all. She never stopped smiling and at times even comforted us. She taught us about faith, courage and about not questioning God when things didn’t go the way we planned. She never doubted how much God loved her in spite of her circumstance and she inspired us to do the same.

Claudia proved to be a major inspiration for the family and is now a happy and healthy 18-year-old!

If you know a child or teen who is battling or has battled cancer and you want to nominate them for our next HOC Hero of the Week, tell us about your hero and include photos and any links to their pages so we can support them!  Fill out the nomination form here: http://hatsoffforcancer.org/nominate-hero

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This week we would like to honor Mattelyn “Mattie” Magill, a 10-year-old fighting Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

After being diagnosed in July 2011, Mattie was taken to the hospital barely breathing and in renal failure.  The Leukemic cells spread throughout her body.  She was immediately placed on full dialysis and chemotherapy.  Within one month, the doctors told Mattie and her family that she was in remission.  She spent several more months in inpatient care at the hospital, going every other week.  As she got close to her maintenance phase and no longer having to stay in the hospital, she started experiencing headaches.  Doctors told her and her family that she relapsed, the leukemia was back and the only option is a Bone Marrow Transplant and full radiation.

Mattie Magill, a 10-year-old fighting leukemia

Mattie’s Aunt Christy told us that she is still going to school and even trying to do color guard.

Mattie is a very tough little girl. I have never heard her complain about being sick or why her not  one time.  I also work at a oncology office so I do know how difficult time this is for the patient as well as the family.

Mattie’s mother has had to take a leave of absence from work and focus on helping Mattie get better.  They have a donation page where you can help contribute to their growing household finances and medical bills as they help Mattie through this difficult time.  Please visit Mattie’s Fight.

If you know a child or teen who is battling or has battled cancer and you want to nominate them for our next HOC Hero of the Week, tell us about your hero and include photos and any links to their pages so we can support them!  Fill out the nomination form here: http://hatsoffforcancer.org/nominate-hero


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This week we are honoring Breonia Adam, described as an “amazing daughter”, who was diagnosed with Hypodiploid Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on January 5, 2010 at the age of 15.

Breonia developed complications and suffered pancreatitis and liver failure. She surprised all of her doctors when she recovered from this set-back and continued receiving chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant in July, 2010. Her older sister, Felicia, was her donor.

A year later, her arm started hurting and within 6 months, she relapsed. Her family was crushed and the doctors said there was nothing that they could do. Demanding she receive treatment, Breonia’s mother saw that she start chemotherapy. Unfortunately, they found that her spleen and liver were now full of leukemia cells and she was admitted to the hospital for the last time on February 18, 2012. On February 26, 2012, Breonia earned her angel wings from a bleed in her brain caused by the chemo and low counts.

Breonia’s mother told us:

Breonia inspired all who has heard her story, she always kept a smile on her face. Her strength and courage with all she went through was so great, nothing could ever compare to it, ever. We were determined to prove the doctors wrong, she was the 1% of ALL cases being hypodiploid.

She will always be my hero, we miss her so much and she will forever be 17. She always said she would live with us forever, she was cremated, so she will be with us forever. She also said she never wanted to be an adult and have the responsibilities–she is forever 17, like she wanted it to be like that. She would tell me she wanted to fly around with wings, and now she can do that. She said if she could go back in time and change things, she said she would not change the fact of her being sick. Her sickness opened her eyes and made her see things differently, she was so easy going and never would be serious, she never wanted to worry me at all.

Breonia was truly an amazing daughter, and I wish she was still here with us.

If you’d like to know more about Breonia, or leave her family words of encouragement, you can visit her Facebook group.

We are so honored to call Breonia our HOC Hero of the Week!

If you know a child or teen who is battling or has battled cancer and you want to nominate them for our next HOC Hero of the Week, tell us about your hero and include photos and any links to their pages so we can support them!  Fill out the nomination form here: http://hatsoffforcancer.org/nominate-hero

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This week we are honoring Benjamin Perry, a 15 year-old young man who is fighting Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive type of soft tissue cancer.

Benjamin Perry

Ben’s cancer has spread into his arm and his lungs.  He starts chemo again on Thursday and hopes to have at least 1,000 likes on his Facebook page: Prayers for Benjamin Perry.  You can leave Ben words of encouragement and prayers as he begins this second round of chemo this week!

Benjamin Perry

Ben is described as a very strong person who always looks for the silver lining.

Last Thursday, he gave the doctor a high-five and said, “Let’s do this!”

Maybe we all need to see things in the eyes of a child.  Hit it head on and don’t look back.  Thank you Ben for showing your Momma many life lessons through out the past year. I love you! 🙂

So, help show Ben that you are thinking of him and sending prayers his way by “liking” his page: Prayers for Benjamin Perry!

You’re a hero to us, Ben, and to many people praying for you!

If you know a child or teen who is battling or has battled cancer and you want to nominate them for our next HOC Hero of the Week, tell us about your hero and include photos and any links to their pages so we can support them!  Fill out the nomination form here: http://hatsoffforcancer.org/nominate-hero

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This week we are honoring 17-year-old Jordynn Schoenberger.

Jordynn Schoenberger – March 2011

Jordynn was diagnosed in March 2011 with Hodgkins Lymphoma.  She  started chemotherapy and lost her hair, but never lost her fighting spirit.  Jordynn even continued going to school when she was feeling up to it in between her chemo treatments.

As one supporter commented:

Jordynn is a brave and strong young woman.  She is an inspiration to us all. I am proud to be part of her life

Jordynn Schoenberger – March 2011

After months of treatments, Jordynn’s scans came back clear and she was declared cancer free in June 2011!  Jordynn will graduate from High School this summer.

Congratulations, Jordynn!  We’re so happy to hear that you are healthy!  Check out Jordynn’s support group on Facebook.

If you know a child or teen who is battling or has battled cancer and you want to nominate them for our next HOC Hero of the Week, tell us about your hero and include photos and any links to their pages so we can support them!  Fill out the nomination form here: http://hatsoffforcancer.org/nominate-hero

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