Children's Cancer Association

When seriously ill children and their families need more than medicine, CCA's innovative programs create joy one moment at a time.
Aug 24, 2016

A Taste of Hawaii for a Deserving Heart

Mason and his Chemo Pal Kiva at the luau
Mason and his Chemo Pal Kiva at the luau

Mason was a nine-year-old ball of energy with a personality as big as his heart. He loved sharing his toys, making people laugh, playing with his siblings, and watching Scooby Doo. CCA first came into Mason’s life shortly after he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma in September of 2011. He was matched with a Chemo Pal Mentor, enjoyed visits from CCA’s MyMusicRx Specialists, and was even a proud CCA Hero in 2014.

Mason battled hard for four years before entering hospice. Wanting to fill his final days with joy, CCA’s Link program put together a final wish for Mason who wanted to see real hula dancers. While CCA couldn’t get Mason to Hawaii, we did our best to bring Hawaii to him. Mason arrived in style in a limo for a luau with his family, friends, and Chemo Pal, Kiva, in the Tiki Room at the Bamboo Hawaiian Grille, where they enjoyed delicious food, live music, and of course, hula dancers. CCA also gave him a Hawaiian shirt and his very own ukulele. Mason was all smiles and laughter through the evening, enjoying every moment with all his loved ones.

  • Link, a community network of caring people and organizations that provides wishes and unites local families with essential needs and connections to resources
  • The Alexandra Ellis Caring Cabin™, a secluded home along the Pacific Coast nestled in 24 acres of surrounding woods with plentiful wildlife and a serene lake, provides an essential health connection with nature and an extraordinary place for families to relax and create once-in-a-lifetime memories
  • Chemo Pal Mentor® Program, an award-winning program that matches children and teens with trained adult mentors
  • MyMusicRx®, a one-of-a-kind music medicine program that lets “kids prescribe” the music experience that feels right to them. The in-hospital program, led by MyMusicRx Specialists, includes bedside music and provides access to CCA’s digital music medicine program, MyMusicRx.org, which enables kids to play free music games, explore digital instruments and watch exclusive video song prescriptions from their favorite artists – whenever and wherever, 24/7.
Mason and the hula dancers
Mason and the hula dancers

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Aug 24, 2016

"Little Superman" Meets His Match

2015 CCA Hero Asher
2015 CCA Hero Asher

Little Asher is a super friendly kid with a smile that’s guaranteed to melt your heart. He loves to dance, play with his siblings (all nine of them!), and sing the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” song with anyone who cares to join in.

Asher was born with Down syndrome and diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) at the age of 1. But even though his life is filled with tough treatments and long hospital stays, Asher’s mom, Sharonda, says he continues to bring joy to everyone around him. “He’s our little Superman”.

Besides the love of his large family, Asher also has the support of his Chemo Pal mentor, Brittany. The two were matched up last year and have been best friends ever since. “We’re so grateful for our Chemo Pal who has become a part of our family,” says Sharonda. “If there’s a bright side to this experience, it’s been meeting wonderful people like Brittany.”

Asher was named a 2015 CCA Hero and was honored at a ceremony alongside his family and friends.

Asher is one of the 250 Pacific Northwest children and teens CCA’s Chemo Pal® Mentor Program has brought the joy of friendship in the past year. Trained Chemo Pal mentors have devoted 5,800 hours forging and strengthening friendships and family bonds, bringing diversion, fun, and activities to kids during their treatment. Chemo Pal mentors also give parents a much-needed break to grab a cup of coffee, talk with doctors, or spend time with their other children.

In 2013, Oregon Mentors awarded CCA’s Chemo Pal Mentor Program with their most prestigious award for mentoring excellence, recognizing the program for exceeding standards of excellence and quality.

With your support, we can match even more seriously ill children and teens with compassionate adults who offer supportive relationships throughout treatments.

Asher and his Chemo Pal Brittany
Asher and his Chemo Pal Brittany

Links:

Aug 24, 2016

Leading the Parade

2016 CCA Hero Jazzy
2016 CCA Hero Jazzy

Jasmine, or “Jazzy,” may be just three years old, but this sassy little girl is already running the show. “One night at the hospital, she got all the other kids out of bed and led them down the hall in an impromptu parade,” laughed her mom Monique. “She’s just a natural born leader, I guess.”

She’s also a natural born fighter. Diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last year, she’s been battling her cancer with a sunny outlook and the support of her large extended family. She’s also gotten a little help from CCA.

“She loves the MyMusicRx team so much,” said her mom. “A lot of times when she’s in pain they’ll come in and sing her to sleep.”

Thanks to the frequent visits from our MyMusicRx Specialists, Jasmine is learning to play guitar, ukulele, harmonica, drums, and keyboard. She also loves to dance, play dress-up, and take rides on her grandpa’s tractor.

As for her career path, Jazzy already has all that figured out. “I want to be a princess!” she proclaimed. Long may she reign.

Jazzy was recently named a 2016 CCA Hero and was honored at ceremony in May alongside his family and friends.

CCA continues to deliver MyMusicRx to thousands of seriously ill kids like Justus across the U.S. and Canada, serving 5,300 children in the past year. Trained MyMusicRx Specialists engage kids in bedside sing-a-longs, offer instrument lending for self-expression, and provide access to CCA’s digital music medicine program, MyMusicRx.org. Scientifically proven to help pediatric patients manage pain, boost immunity, and decrease emotional stress, CCA uses music medicine to heal.

With your generous donation, we can grow this program and spread the healing joy of music to more children, teens, and families.

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