Children's Cancer Recovery
News & Press

Salata offers Free Food or Drink with Donation of Toy for Children with Cancer

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Contact: Garret Piper
Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation
Phone: 800.238.6479


The Woodlands,Texas (December 8, 2011) -- Join Salata in Market Street as they partner in December with the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation’s “12 Days of Christmas” campaign…bringing hope, smiles and joy to children going through cancer this holiday season.

“Bring in a new, unwrapped toy to our Market Street location and you’ll receive either a free cup of soup or signature tea with your salad or salad wrap purchase” said Houston Marketing Manager, Amy Qualley, “This is a simple way that Salata and Salata customers can help raise money for children’s cancer.”

In addition to donating toys at the Market Street location, each customer can purchase a paper bear to display on the walls ofSalata showing their financial support in the fight against children’s cancers.

“The dollars we raise this season goes towards our Helping Hands Fund” said Bethany Brechler of Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation.  “Through this fund we’re able to help provide emergency financial assistance to the families of children going through cancer…something none of us parents can imagine.”

Nine area Salata locations have joined with Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation this holiday season with a combination of toy drives and financial donations.  Visit for the location nearest you and to find out information about the individual store campaign.

Massage Envy Hosts ‘12 Days of Christmas’

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Contact: Garret Piper
Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation
Phone: 800.238.6479


The Woodlands,Texas (November 23, 2011)-- Message Envy Spas of Greater Houston have partnered with The Woodlands based non-profit, Children‟s Cancer Recovery Foundation to host „The 12 Days of Christmas‟ Toy Drive. From December 1-19th, bring in a new, unused toy to any Massage Envy Spa in Houston and receive a free upgrade to your therapeutic massage treatment.

“We're so honored to be partnered with Children‟s Cancer Recovery Foundation” said Freddy O‟Pry, Massage Envy Regional Developer. “This time of year there are kids going through cancer where a new toy would mean the world to them…it‟s the least we can all do during the season.”

Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation is the nation's largest gift basket distributor to children with cancer serving 220 children's hospitals and pediatric oncology treatment centers nationwide.

“Last year, thanks to the gifts from Children‟s Cancer Recovery Foundation, hospitalized children were able to do what they do best—laugh, smile, and most importantly, play!,” said Kate Shamszad, Director of Child Life at the Children‟s Cancer Hospital at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. “We are so glad to be a part of such a wonderful program.”

Bring in your new, unwrapped toy to any of the 28 Houston-based Massage Envy locations and you will receive a complimentary upgrade to your therapeutic massage services Dec 1-19. For those people interested in participating, simply call or stop in to schedule an appointment at your local Massage Envy clinic in the Houston area. For the nearest location call 866.553.3689 or visit

Melinda’s Story

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Child Name: Melinda
Diagnosis: Hodgkin Lymphoma
State: CA
Program: Camp Scholarships
Date Helped: 2010

Awarded a Camp Scholarship to attend The PULSE Summer LA Tour

Melinda is a 15-year old girl diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on December 17, 2007. She experienced a great deal of trauma during her treatment as she had great sensitivity to her medications which led to extreme suffering. When her treatment was completed, she still experienced a year of fatigue and depression. Through it all, Melinda continued to fight and persevere. She has written a book about her experience which is now being prepared for its second publishing. She is also continuing to pursue dancing which is her passion.

“I want to express our sincere thanks to Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation for your dearly appreciated support for Melinda to attend the PULSE dance tour this summer. Dance is Melinda’s greatest passion, and you have given her an amazing gift that she will forever treasure.”

- Lee, mother of Melinda
Nipomo, California

Alex’s Story

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Child Name: Alexander
Diagnosis: Rhabdomyosarcoma
State: IL
Program: Helping Hands Fund, Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation
Date Helped: 2010

1. Cancer. When did this word enter your life?
4/26/10 – Alex had a cough and fever along with a distended abdomen. It is common for Alex to be diagnosed with pneumonia twice a year so that is what we thought we were going to be treated for. What a surprise when we found out the final outcome and rushed over to the Children’s Hospital in Peoria to begin treatment for Rhabdomoyosarcoma.

2. How has cancer affected your family in a positive and/or negative way?
Cancer has affected our family in both negative and positive ways. I think the negative ways are obvious (financially, stress on the family and of course Alex’s health). Positive ways may be harder to recognize but we can see them. We have grown closer as a family despite the stress that we are enduring, we are so thankful for what we have (not that we were not before, but are more thankful now), Alex has taught our family so much. He is such a strong young man and we are proud to say that we have had a hand in providing him with that trait, we know that it will take him far in life.

3. What has been the biggest challenge or struggle during your child’s treatment?
Being so far away from family and friends while being hospitalized for treatments of infections is very difficult. We live 2 hours away from the hospital that we are treated at. Keeping Alex’s routine as normal as we can for him is very important to us but is challenging in the fact that if he is not well he cannot attend school or the extra curricular activities that he enjoys. Last but not least I think would be the financial aspect of the situation that we are currently experiencing.

4. How have you and your family stayed mentally and emotionally healthy?
We have learned to take a moment for ourselves once in a while, which is a VERY difficult thing to do as you always want to be there for him to make sure that he is okay. Raising a child is a difficult task but raising a child stricken with cancer is an even more difficult and overwhelming task (there as medications to think about, the risk of infections, treatments and appointments to attend, the general health of the child and so may other outside concerns).

5. What has brought the most joy or fun to your family’s life during your child’s treatment?
The AMAZING people on staff at the Children’s Hospital here in Peoria and at the St Jude Clinic here in Peoria. I could not think of better people to spend our time with while we are admitted to the hospital and the level of care that our son receives here is top quality. We have always been an active part of his treatment plan and always completely understand what is going to happen thanks to the extra-ordinary staff.

6. What was your first reaction when you heard your family was chosen to receive help?
I cried, I am crying as I type the answers to these questions. I know that you could have helped anyone but have chosen to help our family, it means so much to us. We are truly grateful for the generosity of the program and we are truly blessed to have Valerie as a part of Alex’s treatment team

7. How did you hear about Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation?
Valerie Smith from St Jude Clinic in Peoria IL

Diversity Inclusion Day: The Hershey Company

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The Hershey Company coordinated a Diversity Inclusion Day on August 18thThere were several booths representing different areas of the company, particularly, QTE (Quality Through Engagement).

Children’s Cancer Recovery was represented two Hershey Company employees, Michelle Bender and Deb Cray.  The spinning wheel of Hugs was the highlight of the booth which gave Hershey employees the option to donate $1 and spin for a prize.  At the end, QTE matched the total funds and donated $450 Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation!

Thank you Michelle and Deb for choosing CCRF and representing our organization so well at your event!  We were happy to partner with you!