Elijah’s smile is a true definition of what joy looks like. It lights up his entire face and appears whenever he talks about his big brother Isaiah, his Chemo Pal mentor, Jack, or his favorite team on the planet, the Portland Trailblazers.
This good-natured teenager loves playing video games, watching sports, and taking road trips to anywhere sunny. He was recently able to visit Disneyland and like any typical teenager, sought out the scariest rides. “The Screamer was my favorite,” he laughed.
Elijah is fighting osteosarcoma with the same fearless spirit. It hasn’t been easy, but he says the support of his family has helped him get through the toughest times. “My family is my hero. They’ve stayed so strong through this, and that keeps me strong too.”
Elijah’s Chemo Pal, Jack, also shared his experience with the program. “I have had the honor of being a Chemo Pal with two amazing and courageous teens, over the past few years, who have brought me incredible joy and inspiration. I know that is what I am supposed to bring to them as a volunteer, and I am hopeful I have made a difference, but these two guys have undeniably enriched my life.”
Elijah, who was named a 2015 CCA Hero, 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.