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Gold Ribbon Hero Abigail C.

Gold Ribbon Hero Abigail C.

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: My daughter, Abigail Cipoletti is my Gold Ribbon Heroe. Abigail was diagnosed with a Choroid Plexus Carcinoma at 3 months of age. She endured 2 12-15 hour brain surgeries, brain shunt placement surgery and chemotherapy during the1st year of her life. Everything in Abigail’s life was wait and see, according to the neurosurgeon post brain surgery and was given a 5% chance of survival. She has defied the odds and has become a smart, sassy, funny, sweet 6 year old little girl, who loves karate and playing baseball. Abigail is my heroe!!” – Alison C.

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Parents Magazine: 11 Inspiring Families Raising Funds to Fight Childhood Cancer

Gold Ribbon Hero Traci K.

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: This mother just lost her baby girl to ALL (Acute Lukemia) Simone was 26 months and had been in Remission. She relapsed only 3 weeks ago and her little heart could not take anymore on September 18, 2015. If you follow her story on #SuperSIMONE,  you will see why Traci is a hero too Simone, her other daughter Jade, and the thousands of people who have fallen in love with this smiling angel. I know it would mean so much to her in this time of mourning to know that she is a HERO to all of us. Thank you” – Sarah S.



Gold Ribbon Hero Aric B.

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: My son Aric is a brain cancer-fighting superhero.  When he was 8, a softball sized tumor was removed from the back of his brain.  3 years later, he started volunteering his time to fight homelessness.  Today he’s 15. Although he’s blind in one eye and has very little vision in the other, he plays football, wrestles, and has helped the homeless in Orlando, Florida, and in Pontiac, Flint, Detroit, and Grand Rapids, Michigan.” – Adam B.


6th Annual Childhood Cancer Summit

ACCO Was Proud to Attend the 6th Annual Childhood Cancer Summit

Ruth at 6th Annual Childhood Cancer Summit

ACCO Executive Director Ruth Hoffman and Congessman Michael McCaul (R-TX)

ACCO board member Greg Aune and ACCO Executive Director Ruth Hoffman were proud to attend the 6th annual Childhood Cancer Summit held Friday September 18th in the Visitor’s Center Auditorium of the U.S. Capitol Building. The Childhood Cancer Caucus is co-chaired by Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).  ACCO’s office is located in Congressman Van Hollen’s 8th Congressional District of Maryland, so we were once again proud of our relationship with our Congressional Champion. Congressman Van Hollen thanked all in attendance for, “coming together to push forward on research and treatments for childhood cancer.” He assured the advocates in attendance that, “Progress happens when individuals work towards positive change.”

Congressman Michael McCaul opened the summit, welcoming all in attendance. His commitment to this cause was evident in his opening comments, “I chair the Homeland Security Committee and my job is to protect the American people from threat. Childhood Cancer is the number one threat to our children.” He went on to say that he “can’t think of anything more important than saving a child’s life.” Congressman McCaul highlighted the need for more federal funding for childhood cancer as well as the need for the passing of the Childhood Cancer STAR Act (Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research) as well as the 21st Century Cures Act. Anything short of this he considers, “unconscionable.”
ACCO Board memmber Greg Aune MD, PhD and Congessman Michael McCaul (R-TX)

ACCO Board memmber Greg Aune MD, PhD and Congessman Michael McCaul (R-TX)

Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) also highlighted the dysfunctional state of the institution and Americans being deeply troubled at Congress’ inability to get, “anything done.” She also challenged those in attendance to, “Let Congress know that they CAN do something by supporting the STAR Act and by increasing funding to the NIH.” She advised families in the room who had gone through the childhood cancer experience, “to use our grief to make change.”

Other guest and panel speakers at the Childhood Cancer Summit included: Dr. Lee Helman (NCI), Dr. Michael Link (Stanford School of Medicine), Dr. Roger Jeffs (United Therapeutics), Dr. Amy Fowler, (Dell Children’s hospital), Danielle Leach (Alliance for Childhood Cancer) and Casey and Leslie Ryan (parents of neuroblastoma survivor). 
The Summit was followed by a luncheon hosted by the Alliance for Childhood Cancer. ACCO Board member Dr. Greg Aune highlighted survivorship issues through his personal story as a survivor of Hodkin’s requiring open heart surgery, as well as his perspective as a pediatric oncologist and researcher. 
The luncheon was followed by the White House Briefing on Childhood Cancer. Located at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building all attending were welcomed by Fae Jencks, Senior Policy Advisor for Public Engagement, WH Office of Science and Technology Policy. Speakers included Dr. Doroshaw, Acting Deputy Director of the NCI, Dr. Peter Adamson, COG Chair, Stephanie Devaney, Project Manager for the WH Precision Medicine Initiative and Adaeze Enekwechi, Associate Director of Health Programs in the Office of Management and Budget. Adaeze summarized that of the $31 Billion NIH budget of which $3 Billion is allocated to pediatric research, she noted that, “There is room for growth for pediatrics.”
Throughout the day of meetings, advocates were united in their message that childhood cancer needs to be a national priority!

For more information about the American Childhood Cancer Organization and how we can help, call 855.858.2226 or visit:


Gold Ribbon Hero Anya C.

” Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: She is a strong and sweet little girl who has changed my life and many others lives. She deserves this and SO MUCH MORE! She’s mine and my daughter’s hero!” – Lauren G.


News Release: Local Energy Company Provides Medical Play Kits for Kids with Cancer



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 17, 2015 (Kensington, Md.) A hospital can be a scary place for a child. Imagine how difficult it must be for a child undergoing treatments for cancer. The on-going initiative by Columbia Utilities and PALMco Energy is generously donating $10,000 to help underwrite the Medical Play Kits distributed free by the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO).

Columbia CaresThe Medical Play Kit helps a child with cancer better understand and mentally prepare for upcoming tests or treatments. Kids can interact with Cozy the Port-a-Cat, a stuffed animal that serves as a teaching tool and a companion for children before, during, and after their cancer treatment.

Through the “Columbia Cares” and “PALMco Cares,” programs, the companies also donate $1 every month to ACCO for each gas and/or electricity customer account that registers.

“Being a family owned business, we feel a special connection with ACCO not only because it was founded by a group of parents, but also because it is a strong voice and pillar of support for all families of children with cancer,” said Robert Palmese, President of Columbia Utilities and PALMco. “The partnership enables customers to turn an everyday task like paying their utility bills into an opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child. As a father myself, I am proud to do my part to help ACCO, and hope customers will join us in aiding families to combat this deadly disease.”

“While childhood cancer has seen an improvement in survival since our organization’s founding, sadly, childhood cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease of America’s children,” said Ruth Hoffman, ACCO’s Executive Director. “The needs are great and ACCO is thankful for this partnership with Columbia Utilities and PALMco. We are grateful to their customers who can so easily make a difference in the lives of these courageous children because kids can’t fight cancer alone.®”

About American Childhood Cancer Organization:

The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) is the nation’s largest grassroots organization at the forefront of the crucial battle against childhood cancer. The ACCO is dedicated to improving the lives of children living with childhood cancer and its long-term impacts, and to offering critical advice, support, and assistance to families engaged in this life-altering struggle.

About Columbia and PALMco Utilities:

Columbia Utilities and PALMco are sister companies, based in Brooklyn, New York, and owned and operated by the same family. Columbia Utilities supplies electricity, gas, and oil in New York, while PALMco supplies gas and electricity in Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SET UP AN INTERVIEWRuth Hoffman, Executive Director, Cell: 202-262-9949, Direct Line: 855-858-2226, ext. 104


For more information about the American Childhood Cancer Organization and how we can help, call 855.858.2226 or visit:


Gold Ribbon Hero Alicia M.

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: This is Alicia’s 2nd bought with sarcoma. This time it’s in her spine. She is a hero. Alicia is 25 years old. 1st tumor was found when she was just 24 weeks pregnant.  Against the advise of her drs and family she continued the pregnancy.  Her son Wylee was born 5/14/13..healthy and strong.  Now she is struggling to raise an active 2y/o after 2 major back to back surgeries to both remove tumor and reconstruct bone she lost. Three days after being released from hospital she helped deliver her sisters baby and she does it with a smile on her face.” – Kelly S.


Gold Ribbon Hero Brodie M.

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: My son Brodie is my hero not just today but everyday. Brodie was diagnosed at the young age of 8 months old. Brodie went through many rounds of chemotherapy. Even on his worst days he was so full of lover and life. Brodie always had a smile on his face even after being messed with all day. He made so many friends in the hospital. We almost had to spend Brodie’s first birthday in the hospital  but we were released a few days before. I am so lucky and proud to be able to watch my baby grow into such a great young man. We are so very thankful for everyone we have encountered throughout our hospital experiences they all have left a mark on our lives. Thanks to all of you my son is a soft understanding little boy who loves to help others in need. Brodie will soon be 3 on October 15th and thankfully he has been on watch and the scans have shown the tumors are still there but aren’t sure if they are growing. I am one proud momma.” – Kylie M.


Gold Ribbon Hero Quinn S.

” Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Quinn was first diagnosed with cancer when he was 20 months old. Rhabdomyosarcoma. He had a soft tissue tumor in his abdomen the size of a cantaloupe. After five surgeries, nearly a year of chemo and six weeks of radiation, he was cancer free! Unfortunately, the first week of this year, at the age of 10, Quinn was diagnosed with a secondary cancer. Osteosarcoma. This time, a bone tumor in his pelvis caused by the radiation he received as a little guy. So far this year, he has had round after round of high dose chemo and another five surgeries, including a hemipelvectomy in April, where his right hip and leg were amputated. Despite all of this, Quinn can almost always be found with a huge smile on his face, inspiring all who are fortunate to know him!” – Teresa H.