In Silverton, Oregon, 13-year-old Aaron was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2009 and admitted to Doernbecher Children’s. Through it all, he has maintained an upbeat attitude, and tells other kids: “Don’t give up. Always fight. And just hang in there!”
From Raleigh, North Carolina, three-year-old Adyson was diagnosed at the age of two with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Looking back at her time in Duke Children’s, mom Karen observed: “We try to find the good in every step.” She is thrilled that Adyson is now “getting back into life and doing normal things again.”
Now 16, Emma was diagnosed a year ago with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and treated at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon. Looking back, she commented: “I went a long time without my normal life and I had to focus on getting better instead of doing what a normal teenager would do.”
Seven-year-old Eve was two when she was found to be suffering from Bilateral Wilms’ Tumor, a cancer that attacks the kidneys, and later taken to Duke Children’s in Durham, North Carolina. Eve’s mom, Christy, advises other parents to encourage a support system among friends, saying: “If people want to come in and help you, let them come.” Now anticipating a bright future for Eve, she just really wants her “to reach her potential.”
“Anything is possible,” Hanna declared with a huge smile, proud to be a survivor. This 14-year-old from Edgewood, near Seattle, Washington, was diagnosed at 13 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Her mom sees a new strength in Hanna: “Even though this has been the hardest thing we’ve ever done, it has built this strength and character inside her.”
This eight-year-old from Tacoma, Washington was diagnosed at age seven with Acute Lymphoid Leukemia. His mom Gwen Lewandoski said: “You can’t protect your child all the time. You really need a support system.” And they found an awesome one at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.
Now 13, Jaelyn was 12 when she was found to have Acute Lymphoid Leukemia. Her treatment was at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, Washington. “It’s something that really changes your life,” she reflected. Mom Suzanne added: “When a family member is diagnosed with cancer, everyone is diagnosed really … you learn to live it, to love your way through it.”
At 17, Lizzy is a proud survivor of stage II Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and lives in Tampa, Florida. She was treated at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. Lizzy’s advice to other teens diagnosed with cancer is this: “The news is very shocking. You have to be a fighter, a warrior. Never give up. I just knew I was going to make it. Be positive, stay strong!”
Now 12, Logan was 11 when she heard she had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. From her home in Philadelphia, she commented on the fabulous attitude of hospital staff, saying: “It’s really rough sometimes. But my doctors and nurses help me get through it.”
In July 2014, at the age of 12, Melanie learned she had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and was whisked into Miami Children’s. Losing her hair was traumatic; getting it back again, though, was cause for major excitement. “Hair’s a lot!” she exclaimed. Mom Mayte reflected on the family’s strength through the ordeal, noting: “It’s about togetherness.”
Now five, Monty was diagnosed at just 10 months of age with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Doernbecher Children’s in Portland, Oregon, became his home for quite some time. Looking to the future, Monty’s mom Breane said: “I want him to live a long, healthy life and to conquer the world one day at a time.”
Diagnosed when only 18 months old with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Noah went to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa for treatment. His mom Theresa said the doctors and nursing staff really helped get her through a very hard struggle. “They do everything as if for their own child,” she commented. Then she added: “Cancer is the scariest word in the dictionary.”
MEET OUR 2015 HYUNDAI SCHOLAR GRANT WINNERS
In September, 45 hospitals will receive a combined total of $10.5 million.
Hope On Wheels is proud to announce 45 grant winners this year. Doctors at each of the winning hospitals are conducting innovative research projects in pursuit of a cure for childhood cancer. For all of us at Hope On Wheels, it is a privilege and an honor to help fund these invaluable projects.
The Hyundai Scholar Grant is awarded in the amount of $250,000, and the Hyundai Scholar, Young Investigator Grant is for $150,000. This year, several hospitals will receive both grants for a grand total of $400,000. Presentations will be made through the month of September, each one celebrated with a Hope On Wheels handprint ceremony.
Come meet these talented doctors and explore the direction of the extraordinary work they are doing. For a brief profile of each, please click here.