Caitlyn is a fun-loving, bubbly 14-year-old, who is everyone’s friend. Her mom says she is “definitely a teenager” who loves to text and listen to music. Caitlyn has colon cancer, which is the third type of cancer she has had since her first diagnosis at 15 months old. She is used to putting on a brave face to get through tough times. However, with her Chemo Pal Amanda, she has a friend to stand beside her. When Caitlyn met her Chemo Pal, she was in the hospital going through a painful procedure. Amanda walked right up to her bed and they started gabbing like they had known each other for years. “We can talk about anything and everything. It’s really cool to have someone there that wants to be with you and sits with you while you are in the hospital. Also, we get to do outings outside the hospital, which are just so much fun,” says Caitlyn. Their most recent outing together was a big surprise for Amanda. While she was out at dinner with friends, Caitlyn and the KATU Channel 2 news team snuck up on her and presented her with an “Everyday Hero” award for her life-changing work as a Chemo Pal. Amanda really appreciated the honor, but can’t understand what all the fuss is about. “I just love, love hanging out with Caitlyn. It’s been wonderful getting to know somebody in her teen years who I can connect with and have a conversation with…it’s been great.”
Since July 2010, the Chemo Pal Program has proudly matched an additional 33 children and teens with a Chemo Pal Mentor and has seen an overall program growth of 54 percent.
Thank you for supporting the Children's Cancer Association Chemo Pal Program. Because of your generosity, hundreds of children and teens undergoing treatment for cancer are matched with a compassionate, trained adult mentor. For a child facing yet another painful treatment and a lonely day at the hospital, a caring friendship goes a long way.
Arianna is a 26-year-old pre-med student who only has time for work and study. Natali is a two-year-old with leukemia who blows bubbles and play with dolls. They have nothing in common, but they are Chemo Pals who have a wonderful time together.
Arianna offers friendship and constant support to Natali and her mother throughout Natali’s chemotherapy treatments, a scary and isolating time. On their special visits they watch Michael Jackson music videos (who Natali calls “Joe Beat It”) and play along on their favorite instruments, while dancing their hearts out.
“Because of Arianna, Natali actually looks forward to appointments,” Natali’s mother tells us. To which Arianna replies, “When I walk in and she is lying on her bed, she sees me and my big bag of toys and perks up. When I have to go, she says ‘no!’ That is an amazing feeling.”
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Vice President, Development