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Gold Ribbon Hero Dashiell C

Gold Ribbon Hero Dashiell C

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: On March 2, 2012 Dashiell Maccabee Codd was diagnosed with a cancerous liver tumor called Hepatoblastoma at 4yrs old. After multiple chemotherapies and surgery to remove the tumor at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, he fell into a high-risk category for recurrence so we coordinated his care with liver tumor specialists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. After 3 months of treatment new tumors were found in his liver and he was immediately placed on the transplant list which he received 3 weeks later. After 7 weeks he got to go home to his brothers and sweet doggie. He was so happy, he did a somersault on the living room floor!

During his next visit a nodule was found in his right lung. The cancer had spread and he underwent surgery to remove it. But at his next monthly appointment new nodules were found in both lungs. The cancer was now believed to actually be the more aggressive, extremely rare Transitional Liver Cell Tumor. To be absolutely sure we tracked down leading authority on TLCT pathologist Dr. Arthur Zimmerman, Institute of Pathology, Emeritus Director, University of Bern, Switzerland. After reviewing Dashiell’s case history/pathology slides (free of charge), he confirmed it was this type of cancer, that there is no cure and diagnosis is terminal. To stave off the inevitable Dashiell underwent 10 rounds of radiation and an experimental chemo to no avail.

As with all of his treatments, Dashiell did not suffer. In fact, except for hair loss, he never endured the expected routine side-effects such as infection, mouth sores, nausea or fatigue. Even recovery from the all of the surgeries was without incident. Despite all our efforts, he succumbed to this disease on June 17, 2013 at 5 1/2 yrs old.

Dashiell had a blessed life, as sweet and blissful as any child could possibly dream — believing in Santa Claus, eating treats, cuddling Mama (Pam) and Daddy (Brian), playing with his brothers (Orson and Sumner) and hugging his doggie (Cider). He never knew one day of sorrow, neglect or abuse. He is deeply loved and all of his days were filled with pure happiness.

To ensure Dashiell’s journey was not in vain, his post-mortem tumors were donated to scientific research through UI Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, the COG and SIOPEL. He is currently one of three worldwide confirmed cases of TLCT with data-banked bio-specimens. His legacy is honored as we advocate for childhood cancer awareness/projects/programs/organizations, better treatment options, advancement in higher cure rates and increased medical research funding.

Dashiell’s indomitable spirit lives on in the hearts of his family, friends and supporters.”

“Though much is taken, much
abides; and though
We are not now that strength
which in old days
Moved earth and Heaven, that
which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic
Made weak by time and fate,
but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and
not to yield.”
Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Idylls of the King and a Selection of Poems” – Pamela C



Gold Ribbon Hero Ceci’s Cancer Journey

Ceci’s Cancer Journey

“Ceci is a strong and brave little girl with an amazing heart and mind…Ceci is our inspiration to keep moving forward with a positive heart.”—Reyna, Ceci’s Mom

14699940_1798124370445541_1881105782_nToday, we’d like to introduce you to Cecilia Amelia, or “Ceci” for short, a strong, brave three-year-old with, as her mother proudly states, “an amazing heart and mind.” Ceci began treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in May, at the tender age of 2 years and 8 months. She is nearing the end of the consolidation/intensification stage of her treatment, with the final, most intensive rounds of chemotherapy scheduled for late November and early December. If these treatments go as planned, Ceci will begin two years of maintenance therapy in January.

Ceci and Her Siblings: The Wider Impact of Childhood Cancer

“I have stopped working to take care of Ceci and attend to her needs. My husband Jose and I have four other children to care for. It has become very difficult to maintain a healthy family routine and a stable economic situation.” —Reyna, Ceci’s Mom

It’s not really fair that we have named this story “Ceci’s Cancer Journey”; it should really be called “Ceci and Her Family’s Cancer Journey.” Because childhood cancer impacts entire families: parents, grandparents, and especially siblings. Ceci is the fourth out of five children in her family and the impact of Ceci’s diagnosis and treatment has been as difficult and as challenging for her siblings as it has been for her, albeit in very different ways.

20160715_105054As Reyna so clearly notes, “when a child falls sick, sibling(s) too experience a roller coaster of emotional and behavioral responses to the advent of the illness.” Siblings, especially young ones, may not understand why Ceci is so sick all the time, why she must spend so much time away from home in the hospital, why they cannot visit her, and even why she looks and acts so different. They are worried and scared, yet all too often are unable to clearly articulate these feelings in ways adults can recognize or understand.

Siblings can also find it very difficult to cope with the drastic alteration of routines and norms that fighting childhood cancer often requires. Ceci’s siblings feel lonely and neglected as parents, extended family, and friends dedicate their time and attention to the sick child. The extended absence of one (or even both) parents as they attend Ceci during her hospital visits can lead to confusion, anger, anxiety, and behavioral issues. Even the financial strain that childhood cancer puts on many families can be felt, if not understood, by some siblings in subtle yet challenging ways.

ACCO Can Help Siblings Too!

As Ceci’s parents know all too well, explaining childhood cancer and all it entails to siblings can be an enormous challenge. Ceci’s family, in their updates and appeals to family and friends, have reminded their supporters that Ceci’s four siblings needs as much love, attention, and support as Ceci herself. And ACCO can help as well; our resources are designed to help parents understand and cope with the impact of childhood cancer on siblings, while other resources are directed at “sibs” themselves. Oliver’s Story, for instance, is geared for siblings aged three to eight. Written from the perspective of a six-year-old, this engaging, informative story addresses the many questions siblings have about childhood cancer, as well as offers some advice for siblings on how they can support their brother or sister during this difficult time. Oliver’s Story is available in both English and Spanish, and like all ACCO resources, is available free of charge to families, like Ceci’s, who are battling childhood cancer.

About the American Childhood Cancer Organization

The American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) is a non-profit charity dedicated to helping kids with cancer and their families navigate the difficult journey from cancer diagnosis through survivorship. Internationally, the ACCO is the sole US member of Childhood Cancer International (CCI), the largest patient-support organization for childhood cancer in the world. Here in the United States, the ACCO promotes the critical importance of ensuring continued funding into new and better treatment protocols for childhood cancer.  And most importantly, the ACCO is focused on the children: developing and providing educational tools for children fighting cancer and their families, empowering them in their understanding of childhood cancer and the medical decisions they must make during this difficult journey. All of ACCO’s resources are available free of charge for families coping with childhood cancer.

For additional information about childhood cancer or on the ACCO, or to order resources for you or your child, please visit our website at

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For additional information about childhood cancer or on the ACCO, or to order resources for you or your child, please visit our website at , call 855.858.2226 or visit:

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