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Gold Ribbon Hero Ella L

Gold Ribbon Hero Ella L

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: My daughter Ella was diagnosed with ALL in July of 2016. She will be 3 in just a little over a week. She is my hero for fighting this awful disease and for being such a strong fighter. This isn’t easy by any means but because of her she has gives me strength every single day. We still try and process what we are going through and take one day at a time.” – Jen J

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Gold Ribbon Hero Ariadne S

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Ari was 2 1/2 years old when she was diagnosed with a Wilms tumor. Her sister Daniella had a wart in her foot that was bugging her so her mom made an appointment with their pediatrician. It was Ari’s turn to get checked, and the doctor noticed something in her belly. She had an ultrasound made where they were able to see a large mass in her left kidney. She was immediately sent to Primary Children’s Hospital for further care, blood tests, and an MRI. The day after the diagnosed was given. Wilms Tumor stage II. A week later she had a 5 hour surgery to remove the tumor and the kidney itself along with 12 lymph nodes negative in cancer. After 6 months of chemo treatment on December 30th Ari was sent home cancer free!!” – Patricia J

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Gold Ribbon Hero Trenton K.

“Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Trenton is my hero because he is the bravest, strongest, kindest person I’ve known. 3 1/2 years of treatment taking up the better part of your childhood is not something I would wish upon anyone. He has went through treatment with a wonderful attitude and fought very hard. He takes his very last pill on Halloween and has won his battle! It has been amazing to watch him rally for other children with cancer and want to spread awareness, share his story and raise money to help find a cure. He is my hero and my heart!” – Amanda K

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Gold Ribbon Hero Creed’s Story

Creed’s Story

1907700_1950126738545361_6529375051852203297_nWe would like to take a few minutes to share with you Creed’s story. Creed was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma just after his first birthday and courageously fought for his life through nearly a year of intense, difficult treatment. Unfortunately, the intensive treatment was unable to stop the spread of the cancer. Creed passed away on August 26, 2016, just one day before his second birthday. Yet Creed’s strength, his fighting spirit, and love of laughter live on: “Creed was the light of many of our lives. He inspired not only me, but so many others. He changed and impacted so many lives in just the short time he was given on this earth. After all, there is no footprint too small to leave an impact on this world that will last forever.

The Diagnosis: Medulloblastoma

Medulloblastoma is a rapidly-growing tumor that develops in the cerebellum, the lower rear part of the brain responsible for critical functions such as balance and complex motor functions. Medulloblastoma is a sub-type of tumors known as PNETs, which develop in the immature cells of the central nervous system known as primitive neuroectodermal cells. Between 250 and 500 children in the United States are diagnosed with Medulloblastoma every year. Unfortunately, the disease is most aggressive in children, like Creed, who are diagnosed under the age of three.

Brain tumors in children are amongst the most difficult forms of cancer to treat due to their location in such a critical and highly sensitive area of the body. Standard treatment involves removing as much of the tumor as possible through surgery, then bombarding the cancer site with chemotherapy and radiation to kill any remaining cancer cells and prevent the formation and growth of new cancer cells. However, for the developing brain of the young child, the treatment can be nearly as devastating as the cancer itself with the potential for serious short- and long-term side effects. In fact, most oncologists will avoid or delay the use of radiation in children under the age of three because the risk of brain damage is so high. The options are gut-wrenching, and until more targeted, less toxic treatments can be developed, sadly limited.

The Gift of Laughter

Yet Creed faced the intense treatment—the many surgeries, the chemotherapy, and the pain—with smiles and laughter. “He could always manage to make everyone laugh no matter the circumstances.” And it is the memory of his handsome, smiling face and his infectious laughter that will carry his family through this very difficult time. “Creed is forever in our hearts. Until we meet again. Love and miss you, Creed baby.” Creed, and his family, are in our hearts as well. It is for them, and for all childhood cancer warriors, that we continue to dedicate ourselves to pushing for new, more effective, and less toxic treatments for all forms of 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 www.acco.org.

To submit a Gold Ribbon Hero’s story, please Click Here

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

Want To Read American Childhood Cancer Organization On Your Phone? Click the NoteStream logo: NoteStream

Gold Ribbon Hero Ylija G

Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Why Ylija Gomez is a Gold Ribbon Hero!
This little girl was like no other, her presence when she walked into a room was remarkable.  She loved every one she came in counter with and they too felt the same.  She was a happy child who joked about everything till her last breath.  Ylija Gomez is my niece. She was diagnosed with glioma blastoma brain stem cancer in 2010. I remember her going through the most difficult mornings of her life,  but she still managed to come out smiling. She was really close to her grandparents Mr.Domingo & Maria Campos of New Braunfels Tx. Domingo whom is my father died on May 13,2012. I remember him telling me one day that he asked God to take him before her cause he knew he couldn’t handle it. Her last couple of months all she could talk about was she couldn’t wait to see her Dad again aka her grandfather.  So on February 26th of 2013 she went to be with the Lord.  Though I feel a great sense of pain not being able to be their on this day, I am content knowing that she was not scared nor did she cry. All she worried about was her mommy… this little girl was a fighter till the end! She was amazing and had the most incredible personality. She was a beautiful person inside and out.  I want her to know that because she came into my life for a short period of time I am forever blessed and thankful.  I couldn’t imagine my life without her in it. Till this day I always remember to tell you 2 good morning and goodnight:) cause your the start of my everyday and no matter how my day goes your the last person I get to talk to which makes any day a million times better. I love and miss you ylija, Love Always Your Nena…” – Daniela C

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Gold Ribbon Hero Camryn’s Story

Camryn’s Story: B-cell Acute lymphocytic leukemia

14124166_10210550444425711_2062575184_oCamryn’s cancer journey began just a month after her second birthday, in April 2016, when she was diagnosed with B-cell Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). The most commonly diagnosed form of childhood cancer in the United States, ALL is a fast-growing cancer that begins in the bone marrow and quickly spreads into the bloodstream. B-cell ALL forms in B lymphocytes which, when healthy, protect the body against bacteria and viruses by forming critical antibodies the body uses to fight infection and disease. Standard treatment for ALL is several rounds of chemotherapy to destroy as many cancer cells as possible, followed by about two years of maintenance chemo to flush out any remaining cancer cells as well as prevent the formation of new ones. As Camryn’s story shows, however, there is never anything “standard” about treating childhood cancer.

Delayed Intensification

“I feel like I live my life by numbers lately. Instead of days being days or even dates, our months and days are segmented into chunks of time. We live in phases and within these phases we have days.”

Camryn’s treatment plan involves several different stages of chemotherapy, varying in length and intensity. The first 30 days of chemotherapy, known as induction, is designed to kill as many cancer cells as possible, in order to achieve remission. Although remission is a positive step forward, it should not be confused with a cure. As Camryn’s mom notes, “…cancer is a nasty disease, it likes to hide in places that are tough to see and it’s pretty persistent and aggressive, that’s why we must continue with treatment.”

The next phase of treatment is consolidation, which is designed to continue reducing the number of cancer cells in the body while preventing the leukemia from developing resistance to the toxic drugs. In Camryn’s case, consolidation has been followed by a repeated induction phase, known as delayed intensification. Camryn is currently in the middle this, the most intense phase of her treatment plan. As Camryn’s family counts down these difficult days, they know they are scaling the most difficult peak in the cancer journey, and at the mid-way point in this 30-day period, they will be looking down the other side of the mountain, towards the finish line of two years of long-term maintenance chemotherapy.

Difficult Questions, Difficult Choices

“As Camryn said herself as she began ripping wires off and uncuffing herself… “I’m all done”. I know, baby, mama is too. I’m over all of this.”

Camryn’s oncology team is “cautiously optimistic” that her treatment will be ultimately be successful in its fight against childhood cancer. Yet the journey itself is difficult and dangerous; the toxic drugs required to destroy the cancer cells can have a disastrous impact on Camryn’s young body. Indeed, after induction, the cancer itself becomes less of a concern than the side effects created by the drugs: dangerous infections that Camryn’s body cannot fight because the cancer has destroyed her white blood cells; fluid retention, weight gain, and swelling that impact her ability to move and breathe; kidney damage and other organ damage if the toxic drugs cannot be flushed out of the system quickly enough. And the mood swings: from happy, calm two-year-old to an irritable, angry, and uncontrollable steroid-inflamed, “demon-possessed monster” in the blink of an eye.

How do you explain all of this to a two-year-old? How do you tell her that the chest x-ray, which requires her to be physically locked into position with her arms held up in the air, is necessary, even though it absolutely terrifies her? How do you manage the insomnia, the uncontrollable anger, and the insatiable hunger cravings brought about by the steroids? How can you reassure her that the needles, tests, and procedures are all designed to make her feel better later, even though they are making her feel awful now?

For Camryn’s family, these questions have been especially difficult to answer because of their own doubts about the long-term impact of Camryn’s treatment on her young body. The toxicity of the drugs and the visible short-term impact on her body are terrifying enough, but they know that the long-term side effects—particularly infertility and/or relapse with secondary cancer (especially acute myeloid leukemia, or AML)—are potentially worse. As Camryn’s mom so clearly states, “there’s no right answer” to any of these difficult questions. All they can do is cope with whatever each day throws at them, find strength in the support of family and friends, and believe that they are doing everything in their power to return Camryn to health and happiness.

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 www.acco.org.

To submit a Gold Ribbon Hero’s story, please Click Here

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

Want To Read American Childhood Cancer Organization On Your Phone? Click the NoteStream logo: NoteStream

Gold Ribbon Hero Creed W

Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Creed Alexander Wilson was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma shortly after he turned just 1 year old. Creed is our hero because throughout all of the pain, the chemo, the surgeries, he still managed to keep that handsome smile on his face. He could always manage to make everyone laugh no matter the circumstances. He definitely had the attitude for the fight he was given. Creed stayed strong for all of us as long as he could, the treatments were unsuccessful and the cancer spread. He passed August 26th, 2016, just one day before his second birthday. Creed was the light of many of our lives. He inspired not only me, but so many others. He changed and impacted so many lives in just the short time he was given on this earth. After all, there is no footprint too small to leave an impact on this world that will last forever. Creed is forever in our hearts. Until we meet again. Love and miss you, Creed baby.” – Destiny B

 

 

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Gold Ribbon Hero Mikayla O

Reason this person is a Gold Ribbon Hero: Mikayla is a six-year-old pediatric cancer survivor. last year on her second day of kindergarten we thought she had a stomach virus, a quick response from her mother led her to a pediatrician who was astute enough to realize that it was more than a virus. That day she ended up in surgery she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her journey started with school and ended up in the hospital that day.  MiKayla and her loving family went through a very long hard tough Journey this past year but we are happy to say today that Mikayla is cancer-free and her smile Shines on.  We are very thankful for the Wake Forest pediatric oncology medical team in all that they did for Mikayla” – Pamella G

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