Children's Cancer Recovery
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Ryder’s Story

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Child Name: Ryder
Age: 10
State: PA
Program: Bear-Able Gifts
Date Helped: February 2017

 

1. Cancer. When did this word enter your life? When did your child go into remission?
Jan. 13, 2017. Ryder woke up Jan. 11th with a headache and vomiting that was relieved with Tylenol. The next two days he went to school and was playing around with the neighborhood with friends. Friday morning, the 13th, Ryder woke up with the worst headache of his life and was violently vomiting. We took him to the ER and requested a CT scan. They found the tumor on the CT scan. Ryder was then transferred to Hershey via ambulance where a team of neurosurgeons waited for us. Ryder had emergency surgery to alleviate pressure on his brain caused by fluid. We went home Jan. 16th. Ryder was healing well waiting for chemotherapy to start. On Jan. 23rd, Ryder started leaking from his incision. We were admitted again for emergency brain surgery to alleviate the pressure and fluid build up. They kept him in the hospital for observation and a plan. They decided that while he was admitted they would take him 2 days later for surgery to place his port and do an LP. Then on the 29th, his body was producing too much fluid so they decided they needed to take him back for a 4th surgery to place a shunt from his brain to his abdomen. Finally, on Feb. 9th Ryder was able to start his first round of chemo. He gets 2 medications for 3 days in a row and then is allowed to rest the next 2 weeks. The cycle then starts all over again for 4 times. After that, we will move on to radiation 5 days a week for 5 weeks. Traveling to CHOP every day will be a challenge.

2. How has cancer affected your family in a positive and/or negative way?
The negative is obvious.. our child has cancer. The positive is definitely seeing our son rise up to the challenge and fight the battle of his life. Ryder is the most positive, uplifting, determined, awe-inspiring person I know. Cancer is not stopping him. We are humbled by the outpouring support we have been receiving from our entire family, community, and friends. This has definitely pulled us closer as a family. We continually thank God for all of the incredibly amazing care Ryder has been receiving.

3. What has been the biggest challenge or struggle during your child’s treatment?
Ryder misses school and his friends so much. His blood counts have been low and it’s flu season so we are trying to limit visitors and staying home. A big struggle has also been the fact that I have been unable to work much while staying home to care for Ryder. We are definitely a two income household and losing one income is going to be tough for a while.

4. How have you and your family stayed mentally and emotionally healthy?
We laugh a lot. We have a motto that I started right after diagnosis. It’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be angry… but it is never for one second, okay to think you are not going to be okay. We talk about it often and Ryder asks a lot of great questions.

5. What has brought the most joy or fun to your family’s life during your child’s treatment?Ryder has been getting mail and packages EVERY day since his diagnosis from all over the country. He gets cards from all of the different schools in our district and he loves reading each and every one of them.

6. How was your family impacted when chosen to receive help from our Bear-Able Gifts Program?
Ryder received a care box of games and activities that he brought with him to the hospital for chemotherapy to keep him busy!



Abby’s Camp Story

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Child Name: Abby Snider
Age: 17
Diagnosis: High-Risk T-Cell ALL
State: VA
Program: Camp Scholarships Program
Date Helped: January 2017

1. Cancer. When did this word enter your life? When did your child go into remission?
Cancer entered our lives on March 1, 2014 and Abby finished treatments on July 9, 2016.

2. How has cancer affected your family in a positive and/or negative way?
We have become closer as a family and now we know how precious life is. However, we are still recovering financially, emotionally and socially. Our other children have been affected by it tremendously.

3. How have you and your family stayed mentally and emotionally healthy?
We took it day by day and prayed a lot. We try to tell our story and help raise money for childhood cancer. We try to help or provide emotional support to the new diagnoses or those still in the fight.  

4. What has brought the most joy or fun to your family’s life during your child’s treatment?
Being able to go on weekend getaways or events like this provided by organizations like Special Love or Casey Cares.

5. How was your family impacted when chosen to receive one of our Camp Scholarships?
It helps us out tremendously. We would not be able to do things like this without this scholarship.

6. How did you hear about Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation?
Through Special Love



Tara’s Camp Story

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Child Name: Tara
Age: 11
State: VA
Program: Camp Scholarships
Date Helped: January 2017

1. Cancer. When did this word enter your life?
February 26, 2013

2. How has cancer affected your family in a positive and/or negative way?
It has made us realize that life is precious. It has made us realize that you never know what might happen from one day to the next. 

3. What has brought the most joy or fun to your family’s life during your child’s treatment?
The love and support from our family and friends. Weekends like this ski weekend helps us get away from the "cancer" life and just lets these kids be kids and a time for the family to spend together and have fun. 

4. How have you and your family stayed mentally and emotionally healthy?
We have done our best. Some days are much better than others and then there are some days that Tara says, "Mom cancer sucks and I wish I didn't have cancer." Those are the days that make it hard. It also makes it hard when you see them go through so much and you can't fix it.

5. How was your family impacted when chosen to receive one of our Camp Scholarships Program?
When I told Tara that we were accepted with this scholarship she was overjoyed. She knows that her cancer has stopped us from doing things because of the financial strain so being able to do this helps more than many people realize. 

6. How did you hear about Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation?
From Special Love.

 

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See photos from Special Love's Ski Weekend here.



Luke’s Story

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luke_polaroidChild Name: Luke
Age: 5
State: OH
Program: Helping Hands Fund
Date Helped: November 2016

 1. Cancer. When did this word enter your life?
March 22, 2016

2. How has cancer affected your family in a positive and/or negative way?
Cancer makes you appreciate the little things and truly value each moment. The mall things do not bother us.

3. What has been the biggest challenge or struggle during your child’s treatment?
Keeping Luke happy and positive and making sure he still enjoys being a 5-year-old child.

4. How have you and your family stayed mentally and emotionally healthy?
Staying normal and connected to the lives we led before the diagnosis. Exercise keeps us healthy.

5. What has brought the most joy or fun to your family’s life during your child’s treatment?
Being able to enjoy doing things as a family. Being apart while at the hospital is hard on us.

6. How was your family impacted when chosen to receive help from our Camp Scholarships Program?
It is amazing and overwhelming the support we receive. We are beyond grateful for the Helping Hands Fund.

7. How did you hear about Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation?
Our social worker.

8. Is there something about your circumstance that is unique? If so, please explain.
We are not the first or the last family to be affected by pediatric cancer. Our circumstance is unique to us as you never think it will happen.



Isabella’s Story

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isabella_polaroidChild Name: Isabella
Age: 6
Diagnosis: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
State: MA
Program: Helping Hands Fund
Date Helped: August 2016

 1. Cancer. When did this word enter your life?
January 2016

2. How has cancer affected your family in a positive and/or negative way?
Negatively because all of us suffer with her. Life, as it was, is no more. Your child looks to you for help. I can’t help. We live in fear every second of every day. We live with “what if?” The bond with my other kids is slowly dying because my life revolves around my daughter. I can’t work so I can’t pay bills. Positively, we no longer worry about the small things, you learn who your true friends are, and there are good life lessons to teach the kids.

3. What has been the biggest challenge or struggle during your child’s treatment?
We can’t go anywhere or be around other people. She is always sick and can’t be a kid anymore. Hospital stays are the worst for us all. My fiancé and I have 8 kids together. From 8 months to 21 years old. Being away from them is very hard.

4. How have you and your family stayed mentally and emotionally healthy?
We are still mentally and emotionally sick.

5. What has brought the most joy or fun to your family’s life during your child’s treatment?
Isabella’s joy is her baby brother, Isaac. He is a joy for all of us!

6. How was your family impacted when chosen to receive help from our Helping Hands Fund?
This was a huge help! It's so hard to pay bills because I can only work part time and even with that I miss work when she is sick.

7. How did you hear about Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation?
Our social worker.

8. Is there something about your circumstance that is unique? If so, please explain.
All children with cancer are unique! My daughter is my HERO!