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Colorado Rock Bottom Restaurants Go Gold® for the Holidays!

Colorado Rock Bottom Restaurants Go Gold® for the Holidays!

15032876_10154297337917955_1320671439161824597_nACCO would like to welcome another amazing partner—Colorado Rock Bottom Restaurants—into our community and, more importantly, we would like to express our most heartfelt “thank you” for adding their support to the ongoing fight against childhood cancer! On November 16 and 17, five Colorado Rock Bottom Restaurants in Denver and Colorado Springs invited ACCO to help them kick off a month-long awareness campaign and fundraiser dedicated to supporting kids with cancer and their families.

And what an incredible kick-off it was! Downtown Denver Rock Bottom, along with Rock Bottom’s other locations, was decorated in gold—the national awareness color for childhood cancer—and the entire restaurant staff participated in this special event by wearing pajamas (why pajamas? See below!) or an ACCO Awareness Shirt highlighting the names of thousands of children whose lives have been impacted by childhood cancer. Staff members invited guests to learn more about ACCO and the critical importance of the fight against childhood cancer. And the highlight of the evening was the first tapping of Rock Bottom’s signature “Wicked Elf Ale”!

15107377_10154297334497955_2785245833449004905_nA portion of the proceeds from purchases made at any of the five Colorado Rock Bottom Restaurants between November 16 and December 31 will go to ACCO in support of its mission to give critical resources and learning tools designed to empower children and their families through every step of their cancer journey. ACCO provides these resources free of charge to any family facing a diagnosis of childhood cancer. Patrons are also offered the opportunity to make a donation for a gold ribbon voucher to be displayed in the restaurants throughout the holiday season. If you are in Denver or Colorado Springs between now and New Years’ Eve, we hope you will stop by a Rock Bottom Restaurant, enjoy an amazing meal, and make a contribution to the fight against childhood cancer!

Why Pajamas? Rock Bottom’s Corporate PJammin’® Event


15032794_10154297339832955_5503245131459187645_n
We might guess that at first, patrons visiting Downtown Denver Rock Bottom on November 16 might have been a bit confused about why their server was wearing pajamas. Why pajamas? Because children fighting cancer spend days, weeks, and sometimes even months in the hospital, wearing pajamas, while undergoing intensive chemotherapy or surgical procedures. In fact, children in treatment for childhood cancer sometimes spend more time in their pajamas than they do in regular clothes!

The signature ACCO event, Pjammin’®, selected by Colorado Rock Bottom Restaurants to kick off their Go Gold® for the Holidays fundraiser, offers the opportunity to demonstrate understanding and compassion for what children facing childhood cancer go through. By wearing their pajamas, the amazing staff at Rock Bottom was sending a powerful message of caring to these children and their families, reminding them that they are not alone. As the team at Rock Bottom Restaurants have learned, Corporate PJammin’ events like this are an innovative and exciting way to foster team spirit while supporting an important cause that everyone can believe in.

If you are interested in organizing a Corporate PJammin’ or other signature event at your place of work, we encourage you to visit our website at https://www.acco.org/corporate-events/ for more information.

CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, our newest partner in the fight against childhood cancer!

15095067_10154297337732955_3143916043002607770_nOnce again, ACCO would like to thank Kelley Cochran and the team at CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, Inc., as well as the staff at all five Rock Bottom locations, for joining with us in the fight against childhood cancer. CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries is the parent company and “charitable arm” of Rock Bottom Restaurants, and is dedicated to working with organizations like ACCO to increase awareness of important charitable causes, as well as organize fundraising events. ACCO is so excited to have the opportunity to work with CraftWorks in the ongoing battle against childhood cancer. We are looking forward to supporting the “Rock Bottom Restaurants Go Gold® for the Holidays” through the rest of the year, as well as continuing this vital partnership into the New Year and beyond!15027422_10154297334332955_4930497998191043685_n

About American Childhood Cancer Organization

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, ACCO is the sole U.S. member of Childhood Cancer International (CCI), the largest patient-support organization for childhood cancer in the world. Here in the United States, ACCO promotes the critical importance of ensuring continued funding into new and better treatment protocols for childhood cancer.  And most importantly, 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 , call 855.858.2226 or visit:

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

 

 

Gold Ribbon Hero Layla’s Story

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Layla’s Story

Today, we would like to introduce you to Layla. Layla is a strong, courageous four-year-old who has been battling a rare, inoperable brain tumor for the past 15 months. Diagnosed at the age of two, Layla’s tumor has not responded to “traditional” chemotherapy-based treatments, and her family now faces the daunting prospect of attempting less well-known options, some well-researched and some still experimental, in the on-going search for an effective weapon against this devastating disease. In the meantime, they take every day as it comes, finding tools and resources to help Layla cope with the difficult days and sharing her smiles and giggles on the good ones. We hope you will join us in offering Layla and her family our support as they embark on this next stage of their cancer journey.

Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma

20160908_132323Layla has Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma, a rare brain tumor that grows in the supportive tissues of the brain known as astrocytes. In Layla’s case, the tumor is located on her brainstem, blocking the natural flow of cerebral spinal fluid. At the time of her initial MRI, the spinal fluid had begun to fill her brain causing headaches and mobility issues, and eventually leading to “life-threatening” pressure that required emergency surgery to drain the fluid and relieve the pressure.

Because of its location on the brain stem, oncologists could not surgically remove the tumor without risking Layla’s life. Another traditional tool in the fight against brain tumors—radiation—is not appropriate for children Layla’s age due to the extreme risk of severe brain damage. Still, the prognosis was hopeful: JPA is usually a benign, “low grade” tumor that Layla’s team felt would probably not grow. They placed a permanent shunt to enable the normal drainage of spinal fluid around the tumor, with the expectation that it would last for 10-15 years. Layla would receive an MRI every three months for the first year to monitor the tumor, with the frequency of MRIs decreasing over the years.

20161013_115549Unfortunately, the complications began almost immediately. First, Layla’s shunt over drained, causing massive bleeding. Two months later, the shunt failed to drain again, leading to more hydrocephalus. Another couple of months, another malfunction: Layla was back in the ICU for a failed shunt, hydrocephalus, and now bleeding as well. Each of these complications required emergency surgery to relieve the hydrocephalus, then additional surgeries to repair damaged tissue and replace the shunt.

20160908_134459Throughout this difficult period, routine scans of the tumor showed good news: as expected, the tumor was not growing. Yet once again, Layla’s family learned just how quickly bad news can follow good: just two weeks after a positive scan, another follow-up scan showed 25% growth in the size of the tumor. Layla immediately began chemotherapy through a clinical trial. Unfortunately, after three months of chemotherapy, it has now become clear that Layla’s tumor is not responding and she has been taken off the chemotherapy in order to avoid the potential for negative side effects.

Hero Beads and Port-a-Cat: “Life Changing” Resources for Layla and Her Family

img_9759As difficult and as devastating as this journey has been for Layla and her family, they have found much-needed help and support from friends and family, as well as tools and resources to help them cope. ACCO’s informational booklets have helped Layla’s parents navigate the incredibly difficult world of childhood cancer, while Layla loves Marvelous Marleigh, the only age-appropriate book Layla’s mother could find to help Layla understand what was happening to her. And perhaps most importantly, as her mother notes, “Cozy the Port-a-Cat was a life-changing therapy tool for her and her ACCO blanket is her most coveted comfort item.” Each time Layla visits the hospital, Cozy is treated like a patient, too, with his own regimen board just like Layla’s!

And Layla and her family have been able to document Layla’s journey with ACCO Hero Beads. Choosing a Hero Bead for every procedure gives Layla a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of ownership over her individual story; her Hero Beads provide a meaningful way to visually represent what she has gone through over the past 15 months. ACCO Hero Beads can be purchased individually or in bulk from our store; 100% of the proceeds continue to fund ACCO’s programs to help and support kids with cancer and their families! For more information about ACCO’s Hero Bead powerful program, we encourage you to visit our website at:  https://www.acco.org/hero-beads/.

About American Childhood Cancer Organization

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, ACCO is the sole U.S. member of Childhood Cancer International (CCI), the largest patient-support organization for childhood cancer in the world. Here in the United States, ACCO promotes the critical importance of ensuring continued funding into new and better treatment protocols for childhood cancer.  And most importantly, 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 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 Dashiell’s Story

Dashiell’s Story: Transitional Liver Cell Tumor

Gold Ribbon Hero Dashiell
Dashiell’s cancer journey began on March 2, 2012, when, at four years old, he was diagnosed with a malignant liver tumor called hepatoblastoma. Although devastated by the diagnosis, Dashiell’s family believed that Dashiell could beat this “highly curable” tumor. Treatment involved chemotherapy, followed by surgery to remove the tumor. After three more months of treatment, Dashiell received a liver transplant. While the fight was not yet over, Dashiell’s family hoped he had taken the first step on the road to a long, healthy life.

Unfortunately, at his very next follow-up visit, Dashiell’s family received even more devastating news: unusual for hepatoblastoma, the tumor had spread to his right lung. He immediately underwent another surgery to remove the nodules, only to discover more lesions in both lungs only a month later. His oncology team confirmed their worst fears: what had been masquerading as hepatoblastoma was actually a highly aggressive form of liver cancer known as Transitional Liver Cell Tumor (TLCT). TLCT is an exceedingly rare diagnosis, and in fact has only been confirmed by the medical community as a distinct form of liver cancer within the past two decades. A specific course of treatment has not been agreed upon by oncologists, and TLCT frequently does not respond to traditional treatment protocols.

30250732813_34ab1aa9ef_zUnwilling to give up, Dashiell’s family sought a second opinion from the leading authority on TLCT, Dr. Arthur Zimmerman, Emeritus Director of the University of Bern, Switzerland. Dr. Zimmerman reviewed Dashiell’s case free of charge to confirm the terrible diagnosis. Dashiell underwent 10 more rounds of highly aggressive chemotherapy, as well as an experimental chemotherapy, but his cancer did not respond.

Dashiell passed away on June 17, 2013 at 5½ years old. Dashiell’s family took comfort in knowing that Dashiell’s body handled his treatment extremely well, and despite the aggressive protocols he underwent, his sole side effect was his hair loss. As his mother states, “Dashiell had a blessed life, as sweet and blissful as any child could possibly dream…He is deeply loved and all of his days were filled with pure happiness.”

Dashiell’s Legacy: The Difficult Decision of Tumor Donation

Thanks to the incredible strength and bravery of his loving family, Dashiell’s short but fierce fight with Transitional Liver Cell Tumor has left a lasting and critical legacy. In the last weeks of his life, Dashiell’s family decided to donate his tumor to the oncology team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where he received his treatment, with the stipulation that the donation would be available to anyone who wanted to use it and that all findings would be made public. The decision to donate Dashiell’s tumor was not an easy one. It required what Dashiell’s mother refers to as one of her “hardest ‘mommy’ moments”: renting a bouncy house for his celebration of life for his 5½-year birthday, then walking across the street to the coroner’s office to be ready to flash freeze the tumors within 24 hours of Dashiell’s passing.

Yet as difficult as the decision was, Dashiell’s legacy has been a critical one and it lives on today. The oncology team was able to keep the cell line from the tumor alive and it is now one of only three confirmed cases of TLCT with data-banked bio-specimens worldwide. The research this donation enabled has begun to confirm what many oncologists have believed for many years: that cancers are mutating in response to our efforts to eradicate them. According to Dashiell’s oncology team, his tumor cells are currently being used in clinical trials for adult and pediatric cancers in three countries (Germany, Poland, and Japan).

By making the difficult decision to take action in the face of the worst news they could have received—to donate his tumor to research—Dashiell’s family is fighting back against the disease that took their son’s life.

“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.”

Dashiell’s story inspires other families who sadly will also face the same difficult decisions. Their contribution to childhood cancer research has provided hope for treatment and cure for other children diagnosed with this disease and hope for the day when no child has to die from cancer.
Gold Ribbon Hero Dashiell

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 U.S. 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 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.

More about Childhood Leukemia Cancers:

Learn More About the Different Types of Childhood Cancers:

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