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Thousands help kids battling cancer during 6th annual Mad Hatter fundraisers for Hats Off For Cancer | PRLog.

Thousands help kids battling cancer during 6th annual Mad Hatter fundraisers for Hats Off For Cancer

On one of the silliest days of the year, Mad Hatter Day, Hats Off For Cancer charity is hosting their 6th annual nationwide Mad Hatter fundraiser and hat drive for kids and teens battling cancer. This is a wonderful opportunity for groups to help.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Collage of Hats Off For Cancer hat recipients
Collage of Hats Off For Cancer hat recipients

PRLog (Press Release) – Oct 04, 2012 – Thousands help kids battling cancer during 6th annual Mad Hatter fundraisers for Hats Off For Cancer.

LOS ANGELES – The 6th of October is one of the silliest days of the year, also known as Mad Hatter Day. It is almost exactly half a year away from April Fool’s Day and is represented by the illustrations found in the hat of the Mad Hatter in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In celebration of this silly day, Hats Off For Cancer is hosting their 6th annual nationwide Mad Hatter fundraiser and hat drive for children and teens battling cancer.

Since its founding in 1996, Hats Off For Cancer has donated more than 1,500,000 brand new hats to hospitals, camps and individuals worldwide. This event provides a wonderful opportunity for groups to raise funds, awareness, and provide hats to children and teens with cancer.  In 2011, a record of over 500 groups participated in this wonderful event.  With the help of schools, businesses, churches and sports teams across the country, Hats Off For Cancer hopes to bring even more smiles to the faces of children with cancer.

“Hats Off for Cancer is one of the few great charities where we can all have a direct and tangible effect on the lives of others. In the most simplistic yet profound way we can give the gift of hope in a journey that sometimes breaks us, but with the outcome, that after words, we are stronger in the broken places.”
-Eric Christian Olsen (Actor, NCIS LA; Celebrity Spokesperson and Board Member, Hats Off For Cancer)

Events are currently planned in: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Ontario, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington.  It’s not too late for groups to register their events at the Hats Off For Cancer web site: http://www.hatsoffforcancer.org/mad-hatter-drive.

About Hats Off For Cancer:

Hats Off For Cancer collects and donates hats of all kinds to the courageous children who lose their hair due to cancer treatments. As one of the leading and original hat programs, Hats Off For Cancer has donated more than 1,500,000 brand new hats to hospitals, camps, and individuals worldwide since 1996. Hats Off For Cancer continues to focus on ways to improve the lives of children and teens battling cancer. Hats Off For Cancer is recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.  More information can be found on the Hats Off For Cancer web site: http://www.hatsoffforcancer.org.

For Media Inquiries please contact: Tara Lawrence, 424-888-4632

director@hatsoffforcancer.org  |  http://www.hatsoffforcancer.org.

Watch the Hats Off For Cancer Public Service Announcement featuring NCIS LA actor Eric Christian Olsen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEIV7W5YlfU.

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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 our HOC Hero of the Week, John “PJ” Combs, a 16-year-old who is currently battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia since he was 14.

PJ has been through a lot in his short life including more than 30 admits to the hospital, septic shock, pancreatitis, feeding tubs, upper and lower endoscopy, fevers, 50+ units of blood, 150+ units of platelets, an implanted port, IV antibiotics at home and the hospital, x-rays, ultrasounds, echo-cardiograms, having to learn to walk all over again, cranial radiation, chemo through IV, his spine and orally, and much more during the past two and a half years.

PJ is a fighter, though!

His mom, Elisabeth, said:

Doctors told me two and a half years ago that he might not live BUT he is still here and fighting so hard!

PJ never complains and tries to make everyone around him happy.

He is an inspiration to me and everyone he meets. He touches people to the deepest depths of their hearts with his strength and loving disposition.

I am his mother and he is MY hero and always will be.

To keep up to date on PJ’s fight, you can visit his CaringBridge page.

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

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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Thanks again for the many nominations of deserving children and teens who are battling or have battled cancer!

This week we chose to honor four-year old Connor Tilney.  Connor was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia last October and faces 2 years of chemotherapy.

Here are some recent photos of Connor:

Connor Tilney: HOC Hero of the Week

Connor Tilney: HOC Hero of the Week

Let Connor know you’re thinking about him and his family by visiting his Caring Bridge page.

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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We received many nominations for our very first HOC Hero of the Week, but no one received more nominations than Haylee Bjorn.  Haylee is a 10-year-old girl fighting A.L.L. Leukemia, diagnosed just days before Christmas, 2011.  Those nominating Haylee described her contagious upbeat spirit and big smile that lights up a room.

Haylee Bjorn

We couldn’t think of a better person to be our first Hero!  Here are some of the comments received in support of Haylee:

When others were celebrating Christmas and Santa – she and her family were worrying about health…But there it was – that smile – the smile that she has continued to show to the world – the smile that says I am going to make it ….and it will be OK…she reminds us all to enjoy the day, live it to the fullest and savor the gifts we have. So yes – hero of the week – hero of the decade – this young girl who shares herself with all of us.

Her spirits have been nothing but positive thus far. In a matter of two months, she has manged to touch so many hearts. Her positive attitude makes her a hero in everyones eyes. Even when things got rough, her precious smile never left her face. She endured a month long stay in the hospital due to complications. She is truly an inspiration and a true HERO to every heart she touches.

My heart breaks for her everytime I see her…in pain or she is afraid to do or take something, yet my heart is filled with joy and love for her smile and how much I LOVE THIS KID and seeing how much everyone else loves her…every mother knows they would do anything for there child and how much they love them, but when you’re in this position your reminded every minute of every day.

Let Haylee know you’re thinking about her and sending her prayers through the Pray for Haylee facebook page.

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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