Children's Cancer Recovery
News & Press

CCRF Appoints New Executive Director

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New Oxford, PA –December 22, 2017 – The Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation (CCRF), a
non-profit organization dedicated to supporting children under 18 and their families facing the
hardships of cancer, announces the appointment of Amy O’Leary as its Executive Director.

She will oversee development, management, and oversight of CCRF, including program services, fundraising, and outreach/public education.

O’Leary currently resides in Abbottstown, Adams County, and is a graduate of New Oxford High School. Her professional background includes experience working with local non-profit organizations, including financial management, human resources, and community outreach. She has been working with various local non-profits as a volunteer for over 15 years.  

“I was first introduced to CCRF when I organized and led a volunteer group with my previous place of employment. It was then that I immediately identified with the mission of the organization. Shortly after, I was asked and graciously accepted the offer to join the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Now being appointed as Executive Director, I am grateful to have the opportunity to expand the Foundation while helping children and their families who are impacted by pediatric cancer. Our New Oxford team is eager to begin growing our organization in such a remarkable community. With my newly appointed role and the New Year ahead, we plan to implement more community-based events. Please watch our Facebook page and our website for announcements. I am looking forward to working with the local community, and am hopeful to establish some partnerships,” said O’Leary.

“We’ve seen first-hand Amy’s work as a member of our board,” said CCRF Board President Martin Dumic. “Amy’s new role as CCRF’s Executive Director is a natural progression and recognition of her abilities.”

How can the community get involved? The Foundation is actively seeking members of the community to join our Board of Directors. If you have an interest, please contact Amy O’Leary or Suzanne Hollenbach. Toy Drives are another area that we rely heavily on the community for assistance throughout the year. Interested individuals and organizations can contact Madeline Clark to schedule a drive. To contact the Foundation, please call 717-688-7940.

About Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation (CCRF):
Headquartered in New Oxford, PA., the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation improves the mental, social and emotional well-being of children with cancer and their families. The foundation delivers gifts to thousands of children each year through the Bear-Able Gifts program and emergency funds for families of children with cancer through its Helping Hands Fund. With a national pediatric-hospital partner network of more than 215 locations, the foundation directly helps more than 15,000 children affected by cancer and their families each year. For more information, visit www.ChildrensCancerRecovery.org.



CCRF Wraps Up 2017 Toy Shipments

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New Oxford, PA — November 27, 2017 —The continued generosity of individuals and corporations across the United States has allowed the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation’s (CCRF) Bear-Able Gift Program to put smiles on the faces of children living with cancer. Those smiles help to make the life of a child with cancer more bearable and hopeful while receiving treatment.

During the 4th quarter, the Bear-Able Gift Program delivered 5,028 toys and gifts to 26 hospitals across the country to help brighten the lives of 2,465 children living with cancer. Volunteers from GFWC Mechanicsburg and Girl Scout Troop 80093 assisted the CCRF staff in packing and shipping each Bear-Able Gift!

This most recent toy shipment wrapped up the 2017 Bear-Able Gifts toy shipments. With the help of volunteers, CCRF sent a total of 28,333 toys to 10,685 children in 2017!

The Bear-Able Gift Program distributes items such as games, toys, crayons, coloring books, video games, puzzles, books and teddy bears — all kinds of things that make children smile — to hospitals and oncology centers across the country. The program makes CCRF the largest supplier of gifts to children in North America who have cancer. It relies solely on donations of new and unwrapped toys.

There are a number of ways in which individuals and businesses can help support CCRF’s Bear-Able Gift Program; they include sponsoring a toy drive or raising or donating funds. To sponsor your own toy drive, visit www.childrenscancerrecovery.org/get-involved/sponsor-a-toy-drive. If you would like to donate to CCRF's Bear-Able Gifts Program, please visit www.give-ccrf.networkforgood.com. For more information contact us at childrens@cancerrecovery.org



Connor’s Story

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Our story begins like so many others, just a normal day, December 5th my boys playing together when Connor starts to say his stomach hurts. He lays down and so begins two days of his stomach hurting. A trip to the doctor and two trips to the ER. All doctors seemed to be confident it wasn’t his appendix, which was also my concern. On December 7th around 11 PM he woke up screaming, “It hurts so bad mommy.” I quickly rushed him to the ER for the 2nd time. This time a wonderful doctor listened to me and around 3 in the morning he had an IV in and had a CT scan done. A few hours later she came in to tell me they found a large mass on his liver and an ambulance was on its way to rush us to Hershey Medical Center. My heart still sinks when I think of that moment. I held in my crying as much as possible because he was watching me, so sweet and tired and in pain wondering why I was crying. I told him I was just tired. My husband rushed to see us before we left for Hershey, my mom rushed down from Clarion. Family friends helped with our other boys.

We arrived at Hershey and no time was wasted. He had a second CT scan. No less than 8 surgeons, oncologists, and med students surrounded us to tell us he had a tumor on his liver and would be having a 7-hour surgery the next day. One of my brothers arrived and we spent the day playing with Connor trying to not upset him. I remember clearly that we didn’t have anything for Connor because we left from the hospital so they gave him the Spider Man jammies. At 11:00 that night him and I sitting in the quiet hospital room and he looks at me and whispers, “Mommy when I grow up I am going to be Spider Man.” I just remember holding back my tears and thinking, yes, you have to grow up.

The next day he had surgery. Seven long hours and he would spend the next 10 days in the hospital. You don’t know the anguish of seeing tubes sticking out of your child, seeing his perfect belly, now with a permanent scar.

Connor recovered from this surgery while we waited for the pathology reports to determine if he would need chemotherapy. They came back, Hepatoblastoma, yes he would need chemo. New Year’s Eve he had surgery to place a port in his chest and began chemotherapy. Four cycles of chemo over the next few months would lead to hair loss and permanent hearing loss. He now wears hearing aids. Through it all the outpouring of support from communities and charities we had never heard of before helped to lighten our load and let us focus on his health.

I am happy to report today Connor is 2 and ½ years cancer free!

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer is the leading disease killer among children in the United States with 1 in 5 children diagnosed not surviving. Despite these statistics, the FDA has approved only three new cancer treatments for children in the last 20 years. In order to have a world without childhood cancer, there needs to be more funding for research. More research will ensure better treatments for children fighting cancer and fewer children having to battle this terrible disease each year.



6,000 Toys Sent to Children in the Hospital

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New Oxford, PA — August 31, 2017 —The continued generosity of individuals and corporations across the United States has allowed the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation’s (CCRF) Bear-Able Gift Program, to put smiles on the faces of children living with cancer. Those smiles help to make the life of a child with cancer more bearable and hopeful while receiving treatment.

During the 3rd quarter, the Bear-Able Gift Program delivered 6,499 toys and gifts to 32 hospitals across the country to help brighten the lives of 2,460 children living with cancer. Volunteers from the Visiting Nurse Association of Hanover and  GFWC Mechanicsburg assisted the CCRF staff in packing and shipping each Bear-Able Gift!

The Bear-Able Gift Program distributes items such as games, toys, crayons, coloring books, video games, puzzles, books and teddy bears — all kinds of things that make children smile — to hospitals and oncology centers across the country. The program makes CCRF the largest supplier of gifts to children in North America who have cancer. It relies solely on donations of new and unwrapped toys.

There are a number of ways in which individuals and businesses can help support CCRF’s Bear-Able Gift Program; they include sponsoring a toy drive or raising or donating funds. For more information, please visit www.childrenscancerrecovery.org/programs/bearable-gifts/, or contact us at childrens@cancerrecovery.org

 



Verity’s Story

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Child Name: Verity
Diagnosis: Medulloblastoma
State: KY
Program: Helping Hands Fund
Date Helped: October 2016

1. Cancer. When did this word enter your life?
July 25, 2016

2. How has cancer affected your family in a positive and/or negative way?
Positive – We have seen humanity’s greatest qualities: love, courage, and compassion.
Negative – Suffering and sickness are hard to see/endure. Family separation, for a time, was really hard.

3. What has been the biggest challenge or struggle during your child’s treatment?
The first and greatest struggle as parents was deciding on the best treatment option and center. For our child, nutrition has been the greatest. Vomiting, dehydration, and fatigue are all culprits. A G-tube has really helped.

4. How have you and your family stayed mentally and emotionally healthy?
By receiving support from family and friends, we know that Verity is being prayed for, is loved, and not alone. Even organizations, like Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation, that do not even know us personally, show care and concern. Our faith has gotten us through.

5. What has brought the most joy or fun to your family’s life during your child’s treatment?
The simple, ordinary things in life. Being able to share our journey together, experiencing the good and the bad, is joy in and of itself. Sometimes that may be finding humor in an experience, appreciating the blessings of today, or holding each other’s hands during a hard time.

6. How was your family impacted when chosen to receive help from our Helping Hands Fund?
We were relieved of some of our lodging costs during our stay in Boston.

7. How did you hear about Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation?
Social worker at MGH.