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Posts Tagged ‘Leukemia’

“Why are you involved with Hats Off For Cancer?”

Tyler Barker

I am proud to share why I support Hats Off For Cancer. My Mom was diagnosed with a tumor when I was only 9 months old and had a lot of her hair shaved off for her surgery.  As a result, Hats Off is very close to my heart. I am honored to be able to help collect hats for the thousands of children who lose their hair during their cancer treatment and surgery. I am extremely grateful for my health and for being able to pursue my passion of golf.

I have also been a Double Red Cell and Platelet Donor for the past two years.  Many patients who need platelets are undergoing chemotherapy or organ transplant and have weakened immune systems. A platelet dose from a single donor reduces the patient’s exposure to multiple donors and is therefore preferred by many physicians. A single platelet donation can provide enough platelets for a full therapeutic dose for a patient in need. In fact, some platelet donations yield enough platelets for two or three therapeutic doses. By contrast, it takes four to six whole blood donations to produce a single therapeutic dose.  My monthly platelet donation takes a full 2 hours. Knowing I can affect someone’s life in a huge way, through platelet donations and through my work with Hats Off For Cancer, means a lot to me.

Through golf and the events I play in, I have made wonderful connections in the sporting industry and am happy to have received the support from companies like Adidas and Taylormade to name a few.  I am looking forward to Mad Hatter Day 2011 and collecting over 1000 hats myself!

More about Tyler:

Tyler is the first and only Junior Board Member for the international nonprofit program, Hats Off For Cancer.  He has participated and organized several hat drives and is responsible for spearheading the Portland area’s Hats Off For Cancer’s National Mad Hatter Day Event for two consecutive years now.  His first effort found him as the national award winner for the most hats and monies donated. This is not an easy achievement as there were over 100 hat projects nationally entered in the Mad Hatter Day event. He was also featured on the Hats Off website as the national award winner with a photo and story about his very special event.    His commitment continued and was so impressive to the HOC Board of Directors, that they invited him to hold the position of the very first Junior Board member to be named on this nonprofit board.

Tyler started playing golf in his freshman year of high school and his leadership and personable skills earned him the role of captain of the Varsity team in his Junior and Senior Year. After only 6 years of golf, he has since gone on to play on the International Junior Golf Tour. After qualifying for the IGJT Tournament of Champions in Florida in May of 2011, Tyler was selected to play for the IJGT Team USA against Scotland and Canada in St Andrews, Scotland, in the Euro Cup in July 2011.

Sharing the same birthplace as famous South African golfers such as Bobby Locke, Gary Player, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Louis Oosthuizen, Tyler hopes to emulate their success on the national playing field. Tyler continues to use his sport to connect with Nike, Adidas, Taylormade, Quicksilver as well as DC Shoes, to encourage them to donate hats to Hats off for Cancer.

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September 1st (today) marks the beginning of a month dedicated to bringing awareness to children fighting cancer. Here at Hats Off For Cancer we focus on children fighting cancer all year round.  However, this is a great opportunity to get the larger public involved in becoming more aware and more involved in helping these brave, young cancer patients.

I found a wonderfully written letter in the news this morning and I would like to share it with you.  It was written by Rod Hamilton, a Representative from Minnesota in District 22B.

For 43 families, today will be a difficult day. Thirty-six of them will have a child diagnosed with cancer; seven will see their child lose their battle.

Each year, 40,000 children undergo cancer treatment. The rate of childhood cancer has been increasing over the past 20 years, and it is now the leading cause of death by a disease in children under age 15. The average age of a child diagnosed with cancer: 6 years old. The causes: Unknown. The effect: Lifelong.

These statistics are sobering. Let them prompt you to take action. September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. You can make a difference. Become a blood donor. It’s not the first thing people think of, but children in cancer treatment need blood. Remember, too, that every child battling cancer has a family. Give them your support and assistance as they endure tough times.

So by now, you’re probably wondering if there’s something you can do to help these kids.  Fortunately, there are ways that you can help provide smiles for these brave children while they’re fighting for their lives.

  • Hold a Mad Hatter hat or fundraising drive in your community, at your school, at your company or business, or with your organization (Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Key Club, Lions, Kiwanis, PTA, Dance Team, Cheerleading Team, etc…) Register for your official e-packet here: http://bit.ly/MadHatterHOC
    • Host a Mad Hatter Tea Party
    • Hold a Crazy Hat Parade and show off your craziest hat
    • Charge $1-$2 to wear hats at school for the day
    • Have an “Unbirthday” party and ask your friends to bring new hats to the celebration
    • Host a booth at your town’s fall carnival
    • The possibilities are endless!
  • Use our “Request a hat” form to personally request the perfect hat for a child that you know who is battling cancer.
  • Host a Tea Party and wear your favorite hat
  • Get a local band to put on a concert in honor of these kids and ask for a donation for Hats Off For Cancer at the door.
  • Ask your school to hold a dance and charge a small admission or a new hat for entrance.
  • Have a decorating or knitting party and create beautiful hats for the kids who lose their hair.
  • Go to your local hospital and volunteer during their play time.  These cancer patients are kids, too.  They want to have fun just like any child.
We hope that these suggestions will motivate you to help make a difference this month in the lives of children fighting cancer.  Together, we can make a childhood cancer patient’s day a bit happier and their smile a bit brighter.

Hats Off For Cancer is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization recognized by the IRS and considered tax-exempt to the fullest extent of the law.  All donations will receive a gift receipt in order for tax purposes.  As one of the leading hat programs As one of the leading and original hat programs, Hats Off For Cancer has donated more than 1,000,000 brand new hats to hospitals, camps, and individuals worldwide since it began in 1996. 

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HOC 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 afterwords, we are stronger in the broken places. I feel so lucky to be a part of this”

Eric Christian Olsen

Actor Eric Christian Olsen donated his time to reach out to pediatric cancer patients in local Los Angeles hospitals.

Eric, known for his role on NCIS:LA as Marty Deeks and his starring role in the movie “Fired Up”, is also fondly remembered as Lloyd in “Dumb and Dumberer, When Harry Met Lloyd,” as well as many other well known movies.

When Eric learned about HOC he enthusiastically volunteered his time to visit pediatric cancer patients in the Los Angeles area. Along with bringing dvd’s and autographed photo’s for the patients to enjoy, Eric brought his quick smile, his unrestricted time, and his relaxed and easy way of connecting with the patients!

We are thrilled and honored to welcome Eric to our HOC family! To see what Eric is up to and where you can see him next on the big or small screen, check out his IMDB page online.

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Our founder, Tara Lawrence, is a Volunteer of the Year finalist for the CLASSY Awards with Stay Classy.  The 3rd Annual CLASSY Awards is the largest philanthropic awards ceremony in the country, recognizing the most outstanding philanthropic achievements by charities, businesses and individuals nationwide.  This award could bring us $10,000 that we so greatly need to continue helping improve the quality of life for children battling cancer.  Would you mind taking a minute to go to this site and vote for Tara Lawrence as Volunteer of the Year?  You only need to vote once.

Here’s the nomination that helped Tara earn a spot in the final round of voting:

Hats, hats and more hats! Over 1,000,000 hats have been donated, organized and shipped to children fighting cancer worldwide because a ten year old girl looked into the eyes of children fighting cancer and did something positive to help. Starting with one simple letter written by Tara requesting a donation, a national nonprofit organization was born, motivating thousands of volunteers worldwide to bring smiles and hope to the faces of children battling cancer.

Losing her grandfather to cancer, Tara volunteered at the American Cancer Society in his honor. Meeting children who hated losing their hair to cancer treatments, Tara began collecting new hats bringing smiles, hope and happiness into their lives. Hats Off for Cancer became the nonprofit that rallied volunteers from all walks of life. Presidents, celebrities, schools, churches, scouts, the FBI and everyday folks felt the comfort of donating a simple hat. Hat drives, walk-a-thons, hat parties, silly hat days and personal collections were all organized and donated by people worldwide. A hat, while at times may seem small, and to some even insignificant, actually represents a special message to these heroic kids. A hat signed by a treasured celebrity, a hat created by a caring woman who personally knit her message of love into every stitch, or a hat decorated by that excited Scout, sent their message, “We care and we are thinking about you!”

Considered the first hat program in the country, Tara is honored and humbled by the many programs that have popped up emulating HOC. Since HOC is a grassroots program, no one takes a salary. All donations go directly into the program for the shipment and everyday costs of running a program of this magnitude. The biggest challenge is the continuance of donations to maintain HOC, but this has not stopped Tara. Visiting hospitals handing out hats, Tara has sat in many hospital rooms with children holding their hands while they received their chemotherapy, sat with parents who had stories that filled her heart with love and hope, and cried with parents who were told there was no hope at all. Each child has their own special story, and a special spot in her heart.

Tara says, “After each visit I walk away with a promise to myself and the children that I will never stop doing what I do until every battle has been won for each child fighting cancer.”

Read more about the CLASSY Awards and find Tara’s nomination here.

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“Why are you involved with Hats Off For Cancer?”

Di Barker

I am extremely proud to serve on the board for Hats Off For Cancer.  My empathy with those who lose their hair through surgery or chemotherapy is very personal for me.  In 1993, at the age of 33 and a mother of two beautiful children aged 9 months and 7 yrs, I was diagnosed with a Pleomorphic Adenoma.  As a child I had suffered from severe headaches and as my Mother had suffered from Migraines, I was treated accordingly.  It was not until I lost my hearing, in what seemed like a flash on an ordinary day, that the doctor’s investigated.

An MRI showcased a tumor the size of an orange encompassing my parotid gland on the right hand side of my head.  It was dangerously close to my facial nerve and was pressing on the parasympathetic nerve at the base of my skull, which the cause of my loss of hearing. To say I was petrified was an understatement for sure!  The doctors told me they had never seen a pleomorphic adenoma as big as mine was.  They surmised it had been growing for at least 25 years!  No wonder those headaches I endured all those years were so painful!

Though it is classified as a benign tumor, pleomorphic adenomas have the capacity to grow to large proportions and may undergo malignant transformation, to form carcinoma ex-pleomorphic adenoma, a risk that increases with time. Although my tumor was “benign” the tumor was aneuploid, which means it can recur after resection and it can invade normal adjacent tissue. Distant metastases have been reported after long (+10 years) time intervals.

Surgery was performed immediately to remove the tumor and I woke up to find my head had been shaved on the right side.  I was grateful to have long hair at the time and was able to conceal the shaved area with a big comb over!  As my facial nerve had been stretched in order to get the tumor out, I experienced facial paralysis for 5 months. Thankfully this was short lived and I continue to have my MRI checkups and am extremely grateful to say they have all been clear.

As a HOFC Board member, I am honored to partner with the “World’s Greatest Bank”, Umpqua Bank in Portland, Oregon. Umpqua Bank has committed to an ongoing relationship with Hats Off For Cancer using their locations at various retirement facilities in and around Oregon.  The wonderful ladies in the knitting clubs at the retirement centers knit and crochet hats all year long.  Umpqua Bank generously donates all the wool and baggies to package the hats in. Each year, on HOFC’s Mad Hatter Day, Umpqua Bank throws a big party at one of the retirement centers for the knitting club ladies and they do a hand over of all the hats the ladies have made.  It is an event I look forward to each and every year. I am always humbled at the warmth and kindness in every stitch in each hat. The messages of hope and love for the children that the ladies include with the hats they have made, are lovingly appreciated by all the children who receive them.

We have received over 1,000 hats in the past 3 years along with donations of just over $1,200.00 from Umpqua Bank and their knitting club ladies!!

More about Di Barker:

Di Barker is the owner and Principal Designer of Abundanceforlife Living & Interiors and has been practicing Interior Design in Portland, OR since 2001.  Di has created functional, elegant and amplified spaces for an amazing array of residential and corporate clients. She received an “Honorable Mention” by the Interior Design Society for the National Interior Designer of the Year Awards in 2011.

Before moving to the Northwest in 2000, Di enjoyed the fast pace of Toronto, Canada for two and half years.  Born and raised in South Africa, Di enjoyed successful careers as a successful Managing Real Estate Broker, as well as in the glamorous world of fashion and design for 18 years.

On behalf of children battling cancer, we thank you, Di, for serving as a Board member and helping Hats Off For Cancer reach more than 1,000,000 children as they fight this disease.  We’re so grateful for your involvement!


					

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100% of the purchase goes directly to Hats Off For Cancer

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We receive up to 3 daily personal requests for hats for kids battling cancer.  Typically, we fill these requests on the weekend, finding the perfect hat for each child, and sometimes 2 or 3 hats that we think they’ll love.  Today, we’re filling more than 20 personal requests sent in this month.  Each shipment costs us about $5 for postage.  These kids are so brave and we’re so thankful for our wonderful donors that help us help these kids.  Here are a few pictures of the children who have received our hats, and our shipments going out today!

Hats from the personal request online form going out to children fighting cancer!

Eric Christian Olsen volunteers with HOC and meets a cancer patient

Showing off his new hat!

Young Cancer Patient Shows Off new hat

Kamryn with her pretty new Disney princess hat!

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Mad Hatter Day 2010

Cub Scout Pack 19 Brick NJ shows off the hats they collected...more than 2,000 hats in total!

It’s our fifth annual Mad Hatter Day (10/6/2011)! Time to put your thinking “mad hatter hat” on and create your own very special way to do your part helping kids with cancer!

Join schools, companies, organizations, sports teams and folks just like you who collected hats and donations for Hats Off For Cancer’s Mad Hatter Day to benefit pediatric cancer patients. Hold a special hat day at your school and donate $1 to wear a hat for the day, host a booth at your town’s fall carnival, get out your craziest hat and hold a parade, or a walk-a-thon. Or how about holding a Mad Hatter Tea Party! Just get your friends together, get organized and enjoy this fun day while doing something to help a child battling cancer. This can be held in September or October.

Register here http://bit.ly/MadHatterHOC and we’ll send you an information e-packet including the official rules. The first twenty to sign up will receive a complimentary Hats Off For Cancer gift pack to be used as a prize for your event. A special grand prize will also be awarded to the winner/group who collects the most hats/donations during this event! Be creative, have fun, but most of all remember the good that you are doing by joining us for this amazing event! Put a smile on the face of a child with cancer.

Connect with us:

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/HatsOffForCancerOrg

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/HatOffForCancer

Web site – http://www.hatsoffforcancer.org

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