Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Camp Hobé

Hi Moms! We wanted to introduce ourselves to you and tell us about Camp Hobé, our low-cost psychosocial support program.

Camp Hobé is a special summer camp designed for kids currently undergoing cancer treatment, as well as for their siblings. Our goal is to create an atmosphere that enhances self-esteem, fosters independence and friendships, and creates a feeling of belonging. Camp accomplishes this by giving kids the opportunity to experience activities they would normally be unable to do because of their own or their sibling’s treatment. Most importantly, they build lasting friendships with peers who understand the life situation.

We offer three sessions: a 2-day day camp session for children ages 4-7, a 5-day overnight session for ages 6-12, and another 5-day overnight session for ages 12-19. At camp, kids participate in a variety of activities including swimming, archery, hiking, arts and crafts, creative writing, science, drama, music, rock climbing, field games, scuba diving, and our new high and low ropes course (challenge by choice). We have a full medical staff onsite 24/7, to ensure everyone’s safety.

It costs us approximately $625 per camper to provide the overnight sessions. However, we know that many camper families could not afford this, because of the incredible financial burden of cancer. And we strongly believe in never turning away any camper because of financial need. For these reasons, we charge only a nominal registration fee of $15 per camper for the day camp and $35 per camper for the overnight sessions. We also offer fee waivers for families with financial need. We raise funds from donors within the community to cover our remaining costs.

Our goal this year is to increase awareness about Camp and we are focusing much of our efforts on social media. You can help! To stay up-to-date about what we are doing in the community and to show your support of our cause, like our Facebook page, Camp Hobé! You can also support our efforts through Facebook Causes or visit www.camphobekids.org to learn more. 

Wapiti Mama, Director, Camp Hobé, 801-631-2742, wapitimama@camphobekids.org
Becca Larsen, Volunteer, becca.larsen@camphobekids.org

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Will You Be My Voice?

Each of these kids lives in Utah!
Will you be their voice?

Please donate $10 today!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blood donors desperately needed!

The blood supply in Utah (and the Midwest and Northwest, as well) is critically low! You can go here to read more: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=20794107&title=blood-donors-desperately-needed&s_cid=queue-16. All blood types are appreciated, but there is a specific need for types O-, O+, B-, and A-.

All of us Cancer Moms know firsthand that blood donations are literally lifesaving. Our cuties wouldn't be here today without them. We also can imagine just a little too well for comfort being the ones sitting in the hospital waiting for blood that isn't available. It is a terrifying feeling. Please make an appointment today to go give blood, if you can. If you are unable to donate blood consider volunteering a few hours at a blood drive or spreading the word about the need for donors.

And did you know that in many states, there are different blood donation banks that supply blood to different facilities? Here in Utah, the exclusive blood supplier of our cuties at Primary Children's Medical Center is ARUP Blood Services. (They are also the sole blood provider for Shriner's Children's Hospital, Huntsman Cancer Institute, South Jordan Health Center, and the University of Utah Hospital and Clinics.) You can go here to schedule an appointment for a donation. Or for a more general blood donation, you can go here to the American Red Cross.

Give blood and give life!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

How did you find out your child had cancer?

Your world can change in an instant.  Some things come without warning.  No one ever imagines that they'll hear the words, "your child has cancer."  For these moms, it was in the most unimaginable ways:

"I was coming home from a class at Weber State when my husband called me to say that our child had a mass in his brain." -Cindy P.

"I was lying next to her in a hospital bed." -Kristin T.

"My child was in an MRI which was supposed to be 30 minutes which turned into an hour with 'additional images'.  They sent me to opthalmology and said I should probably call my husband to meet me.  I knew the results were bad at that point." -Lisa K.

"I was in a hospital room with my son when the doctor came in and broke the news." -Becki L.

"After being sick for a week, our local clinic drew my son's blood and sent us to the hospital ER where a doctor walked in and blurted out, "your son has cancer."  I never suspected anything so serious, he only had earaches and a sore throat without any fever so it was a complete surprise to hear 'cancer'." -Angela R. 

"After seeing my son for a few seconds my Pediatrician sent us to Primary Children's where he said they would be waiting for us." -Crystal I.

"We were in the PICU at Primary's where our daughter was having respiratory difficulties and had lost movement in her legs when about a dozen people suddenly stormed our room and one of the Neurologists gave me the news." -Stephanie L. 

"The day she was diagnosed we were packing up a Uhaul and moving." -Cheryl R.

"I was teaching and my pediatrician called.  I was a wreck and had to have someone take over my class." - Jaysha E.

"I was standing in a checkout line at WalMart with a cart full of groceries when I got the call." -Jill H.

"I was at an appointment with a Dermatologist when she saw my 2 year old son and said, "Wow-he is pale!" which lead to a blood test to confirm a cancer diagnosis." -Jodi M.

"I was standing on my mom's front porch on a Sunday afternoon taking a phone call from our pediatrician." -Shawna W.

"After talking to a doctor I googled low red cells, high lymphocytes and leukemia came up....I knew then." -Amy J.

"I was in the ER at Primary Children's looking for answers before going on vacation the next day." -Mystee S.

"I was driving to Idaho for my nephew's funeral when I got the call that I needed to turn around and come straight to Primary Children's because my son had Leukemia." - Sadie S.

"I actually "found out" she had cancer before any doctor told me from a combination of googling her symptoms and the whisperings of the Spirit right before our doctor's appointment." -Briana H.

"I googled "my pale toddler" and when my husband asked what came up, I said "anemia or leukemia" and we looked at each other and just knew." -Megan G.

"I was in the hospital recovering from a C Section." -Kimberly B.

"We were settled into his hospital room and I was sitting in the rocking chair beside him when the 'team' of doctors came in to tell us it was cancer and the cancer was "everywhere that he has blood". -Elizabeth W.

"We got the call while we were at the movie, National Treasure Two." -Michelle S.

"I was in the car with my 3 kiddos on the way to pick up daddy who's car broke down." -Emily W.

"I was in an ER in Florida." -Nancy M.

"I was walking form the waiting room to the sedation recovery room when the anesthesiologist told me "there is something in there." -Sally Y.

"We found out when we were at home watching a movie with the kids goofing around." -Victoria A.

"I had just gotten back from taking our other daughter to school when my husband called to say the Dr. did an X-ray and had just told him "you are in for a life-changing event," this is Osteosarcoma." -Jessy J.

"We did tests and then the doctor came in and told us there was a 'mass' and that they were going to life flight our baby boy to Primary Children's." -Melanie G.

"The Doctor came out from doing my son's bone marrow aspirate and said, "please don't go home, I am pretty sure I have bad news.  Meet me back up in clinic in an hour." -Tammy B.

"I was sitting with my Pediatrician watching the Tech do an ultrasound on my son's belly to check for a hernia." -Laura S.

"We were in the recovery room after a sedated MRI waiting for our son to wake up when a Doctor took us into another room and told us the mass in his brain was indeed a brain tumor." -Tara M.

"We were at the ear and throat clinic when the doctor came in and used the word rhabdomyosarcoma." -Lorraine T.

"After spending all day in the ER with a horrific head and neck ache our daughter was admitted for what was thought to be meningitis.  An hour later we found out it was Acute Myeloid Leukemia." -Marie S. 

"I was standing in my kitchen cleaning up after lunch." -Leann C.

"After 10 months and many doctor visits we received a phone call to come to Primary Children's as soon as possible." -Yvonne D.

"We were told in the ICU it was Leukemia after our son was transported by ambulance to the children's hospital in Las Vegas." -Tabitha S.

"I was sitting with my husband and our daughter in the doctor's office when the word Osteosarcoma came out of his mouth." -Sue C.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Raffle for Trampoline, Firehouse Pizza, and USU Aggie Tickets

Stop by the entrance to Cache Valley's Macey's in Providence 
between 4:00pm-8:00pm FRIDAY 
and buy a $1 raffle ticket, 
you'll be entered to win:

1. A 15 Foot Propel Trampoline donated by Al's Sporting Goods

2. A $25 Gift Card to Firehouse Pizza

3. Tickets to an Aggie Men's Basketball Game 

Raffle tickets are $1 apiece and you can purchase as many as you like to better your raffle chances. All proceeds will go to CureSearch for Children's Cancer Research.

Tickets will also be sold Saturday, May 26th at Al's Sporting Goods. Listen to Q92 that evening and the winner of the trampoline will be announced!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Blood Drive!

Skyler was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in August of 2010.  Skyler has had many complications during his treatment leading to 184 blood and platelet transfusions.  He would not be here today if it wasnt for those donors who took the time to donate.  We are celebrating Skyler's birthday this year by holding a blood drive.  What better way to celebrate his life than by helping others get to celebrate another birthday as well?  Be The Match will also be there to sign people up for the bone marrow registry.  It's just a quick swab of the cheek!  So for those that want to help but aren't good with needles this is a great opportunity to help.  Both of these things will literally help save someone's life.  The blood drive will be held on May 5th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at 875 West Foxboro Drive in North Salt Lake.  To schedule an appointment please email or text Crystal at crystaln_isaacson@yahoo.com or 801-628-6768.  Walk-ins are welcome but if you make an appointment it will make the proccess go by faster, also it will help give us a good idea of how many people are coming so we can have enough staff.  You dont need an appointment for the bone marrow registry.  We will also have a bounce house for the kids while the parents are donating!

Please watch and SHARE this video!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Cancer kids photography opportunity!!!

All cancer kids and their families are invited to come have their pictures taken by professional photographers! The group shot will be taken at 3:00PM so please bring your cancer cutie to be in this group photo, We will be using it for the CureSearch walk advertising and fundraising...we'd love to have all the cancer cuties included in this photo. Even if you can't come to the group sitting, come take advantage of these photographers, you can bring your family and get a family picture, or do a sibling picture for a fathers day gift! They will be set up in the Red Lion hotel conference room from 2:30-5 and they will stay until everyone gets their pics taken. They are setting up backdrops and bringing props so please come take advantage of this amazing opportunity! You will be given all the rights to your photos so you can print them out at your convenience.

Who's invited: cancer kids and their families
Where: the Red Lion Hotel conference room
161 West 600 South
Salt Lake City‎ UT‎ 84101
When: please try to check in from 2:30-3:30 or RSVP to Chelsea (801)808-2435

Can't wait to see you all there!!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

2012 CureSearch Walk

A video of some of Utah's cancer fighting cuties!

Join us at the SLC CureSearch Walk
Saturday, September 29th
Sugar House Park
1300 South 2100 East
Salt Lake City, Utah

or donate
to childhood cancer research.

Mark your calendar!

CureSearch Kick-off and Fundraising Training

Wednesday, April 25th
7:00 pm
North Salt Lake, Utah
Please email umwcfc@gmail.com  for driving directions

We will be discussing the upcoming CureSearch walk. We will have fundraising ideas, sponsor information, and we can even help you start your team that night! Light refreshments will be served.  We have decided to showcase our Utah cancer cuties at the walk! Please make a poster (on standard poster board) about your cancer cutie, include pictures and a brief explanation of their treatment. We will display the posters all over the park for walkers to read that day. It will be very touching. Bring these posters to this event or no later than September 22nd.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Meet Audrey

Audrey's story, written by her mom, Shelly K.
September 13, 2011 was a day that forever changed our lives!
Audrey was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

At 12 years old, she had just started 7th grade.
She had what I thought was just a cold that would pass.  She was having a hard time breathing when she lay down, headaches, and then when she woke up in the mornings her lips were bluish. I still thought just a cold.  She came home one day (Wednesday September 7, 2011) and told me that her collar bone was swollen (there was a golf ball size mass on her shoulder) and her throat was sore, I took her to urgent care and she was positive for strep throat, antibiotics should fix this.
But 5 days later (Monday) she was feeling everything but better, so we went into the pediatrician and he looked at her  and went to his office came back in and told us he wanted a CT with contrast, radiology wanted to wait for preauthorization, which after I was told the cost, I agreed.  Audrey called me at work that night in pain and with fever; of course I figured a Tylenol would fix it, short of taking off work to go to ER that’s what I told her to do.

I called the Doctors office the next morning for RX for pain and the nurse called me back and said He did not feel comfortable with that until he knew what was going on. Tuesday we went in for the CT, and an appointment to go talk to him after morning patients.   I received a phone call to come back for Blood test and chest X-ray, then to hear the news.

When he walked in to the exam room I knew in my heart it wasn’t good.  He sat down and said “Audrey has Lymphoma” the tears started, I knew Cancer was bad, (having went to school for Medical Assisting I knew “oma” was Cancer.) He told me he had been on the phone with Primary Children’s Medical Center and the Oncologist wanted her out there as soon as possible. We were introduced to ICS that night! What a whirl wind of a day.

Wednesday she had a biopsy and bone marrow aspirate and PICC line placement (line to give her the chemo (poison) that would kill all the cancer cells also any antibiotics and blood), Saturday September 17, 2011, she started her first of four rounds of chemo.
She done pretty good through most of the chemo, chemo was in patient, she had 3 inpatient stays for fever.  In all she had 4 rounds of chemo, 14 days of radiation therapy, several transfusions.

No child should have to go through this.
She finished her therapy on January 18, 2012.  No more cancer cells were evident, and she will follow up with Oncology every 3 months.  I thank God for her every day and for the doctors that helped her through this trial of her life.
I love you Audrey, you are my Hero!
Love, Mom

A thought for today

"Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of it's sorrow...
but only empties today of it's strength."

-C.H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Meet Zoey

Zoey's story, written by her mom, Kimberly B.

I was 34 weeks pregnant with Zoey when I had not felt her move all night. I decided it's better to be safe than sorry, so I headed up to the hospital. I was right, she was in severe distress and I had an emergency C section. Zoey Rae was born on April 8, 2009. Zoey was taken away to NICU immediately and put on a ventilator. Other than her lungs not being mature she seemed to be doing well for being 6 weeks premature. But she started to go downhill fairly quickly. Dr thought she was losing blood somewhere and wanted to do a CT of her head. It came back normal but he still had a feeling something was not right. So thankfully for his ill feeling he decided to do an ultrasound of her abdomen. And there it was, a golf ball sized "mass" on her Left Kidney. He immediately decided to life flight her to Primary children’s medical center. She was not even 5 hours old and she was leaving me. I had to be put under for the C section so I had not even held her or really laid eyes on her yet. They wheeled me into the NICU and I got to watch them load her onto the helicopter. Watching that helicopter fly away with my daughter that I had not even held was one of the worst moments of my life.

I was kept in Hospital for 5 days due to complications of my own. So it was Easter Sunday 2009 when I first got to touch and see my daughter. She was the most beautiful little girl I had ever laid eyes on. She was still on a ventilator and Swollen up like a balloon. She had needles and tubes all over her, PIC lines, Arterial lines, IV’s in each hand and one in her head. I could not believe that was my baby. And even though I had been contacted on the phone with Dr’s and nurses for the past 5 days I still really had no clue what was wrong with my baby.

The Dr’s kept calling it a tumor but I really did not grasp what that meant until the surgeon came in to talk to me about Surgery. And he was the first one to use the word "cancer" with me. It hit me like a ton of bricks. How could a newborn baby be born with cancer? I had never heard of such a thing. I had so many emotions running through my head. And I kept thinking what did I do wrong, what did I eat, what was I exposed too. So easy to blame myself for this.

Zoey was a week old when I first heard the term Neuroblastoma. I had a 6 week premature baby with Neuroblastoma, how on earth did that happen. She was finally off the ventilator at this time and was breathing on her own. Dr’s wanted to do surgery that week to ensure that the cancer did not spread. But when they did a new ultrasound they were happy to see that the tumor had not grown at all since her birth a week earlier. At this point they decided to wait and let her gain some weight and strength.

Zoey had been living in the NICU for 3 weeks when the Dr’s, nurse practitioners and nutritionist’s met to talk about her surgery. They wanted to wait and see what the tumor was going to do but because it had grown on her adrenal gland it was causing severe blood pressure problems and they were worried about long term heart damage. Also her thyroid was not looking so good. So they decided that they would do surgery on her 4 week birthday. At this point we were not sure what would happen after surgery. All depended on what it looked like once they got in there and what the lab had to say about the tumor.

May 6th 2009, the day of surgery. I remember that day like it was yesterday, my sister had flown in from Maine to be by my side (did I mention I had become single while pregnant). So it was so nice to have her there with me. It was the longest 5 hours of my life. Sitting in the waiting room while my 4lb 11oz baby was being cut open. The surgery actually went really well. They were able to get the entire tumor out. Bad news was the adrenal gland had to come out, and the main blood supply to Kidney was wrapped around the tumor. They tried to save Kidney, but over the next year Kidney died and shrunk down to about pea size.

We got great news about 5 days after surgery, they classified her Neuroblastoma at stage 1…the best it could be. The tumor was solid on outside although it was not on the inside they were pretty sure it had not spread anywhere. At this point and time Zoey would not need any other treatment from Oncology. They were feeling really great about her outcome.

Zoey was discharged from the NICU at 6 weeks old on May 20th. We found that really funny, she was due May 19th and my son always says is she would have come on her due date she would not have gone home until the 20th anyway!  He was super excited about her coming home; it was RSV season so he was not allowed in the NICU.  He had not met his sister, only seen pictures of her.  It was the best homecoming ever.


Zoey is turning 3 in April and we are so thankful for the NICU doctor that did not give up.  His persistence is why her journey was so short and that no other treatment had been needed.  Finding her cancer at stage 1 was such a blessing, Zoey is called our miracle baby!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Childhood Cancer Supporters

There are always great things going on to support childhood cancer.
It is wonderful to see the good others in this world are doing.
As always, feel free to share these with your friends!
LEGO friends event at Toys "R" Us Stores
Saturday, Feb. 4th

This special event being held at Toys"R"Us stores across the country lets you experience the brand new building craze, LEGO® Friends, and support Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) in the fight against childhood cancer! LEGO will hold an exclusive event at participating Toys”R”Us stores on Saturday, February 4 from 12 to 2 pm, where children can create a complimentary LEGO Friends lemonade stand to take home. For each stand built, The LEGO Group will donate $1 to ALSF*!

*Up to $10,000 to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation.
Limit one per child, quantities are limited.
To support CureSearch
25 Limited Edition Skinny Cow Candy Bowls
for sale on Ebay until Feb. 5
100% of proceeds support CureSearch

Bowl details:
10’ ceramic Skinny Cow Candy Bowl
Bowls are individually marked 1-25
Designed in collaboration with Sarah and Ingrid Harbaugh, sisters-in-law and wives of legendary pro football coaches
Bottoms up, ladies! This bowl is bottomless and includes a year’s supply of Skinny Cow Candy
Bid HERE on Ebay!
The CureSearch site now has a section titled
"School Support"
that covers practical suggestions for parents, teachers, school administrators, and classmates in keeping the cancer child involved in school.  There are sections on Guidance for Parents, Guidance for School Personnel, and Learning Problems During or After Treatment.

Gold The New Pink Awareness Products
100% of proceeds go to support CureSearch
Until Jan. 27th use this code: 15WINTERSALE
to get 15% off

GOLD: The New Pink! exists to help raise awareness for childhood cancer. These products give you an easy way to spark conversations with the people you meet every day. Show your support for our kids with these items and spread the word! In addition, 100% of the proceeds from your purchase go directly to CureSearch.
I got this awesome bumper sticker and customized iphone cover!

CLICK HERE to shop!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stuck Having Fun - things to do inside with a low ANC

Have you ever been stuck inside for days on end with your cancer cutie who is completely bored? 

Enjoy this list of ideas from experienced cancer moms:

*Get a big box.  Write "Stuck Having Fun" on it and fill it with things to do when your cutie is stuck inside the house.  Some ideas: A dollar store swim floaty for swimming in the tub.  A strobe light for dance parties, getting exercise, and releasing energy.  Painting and art supplies, coloring books, recipes and box mixes for playing chef, and duck food for and outdoor get-a-way. -Lea S.

*Get the wigs, turn on the tunes, and show off your dance moves. -Chelsea C.

 One of our cancer cuties doing some dance moves while being stuck inside.

*A Movie Night complete with setting up a concession stand and theater. -Lea S.

*A picnic in the backyard or on the kitchen floor. -Lea S.

*Hot glue magnets to pom poms and stick them on a cookie sheet to create different shapes and pictures. - Chelsie Y.

*Glue pennies onto a pair of shoes to make tap shoes (this would go nicely with the earlier strobe light idea) - Chelsie Y.

*Have your child make pictures or cards for their friends so that they still feel connected to their friends while they are unable to see them. -Chelsie Y.

*Make a tent in the living room and do a pretend camp -Kcee A.

*A camping trip at home.  Fishing in the bathtub and an indoor fire (flammable gel can in a bucket of rocks) to roast marshmallows, and a foam dodge-ball set. -Amy J.

*Make mundane tasks fun.  When doing the housework make it into a game, folding towels and sorting socks can bring some fun together time and you'll get your housework done. -Melissa A.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Door Sign To Welcome Healthy Visitors

We all have friends, neighbors, and family who want to support us and visit our cancer kiddos.  One tricky situation though is when someone shows up at your door with a sniffly nose or a hacking cough and doesn't think twice that they could get your child sick.  What do you say?  Do you have the guts to tell them they cannot enter your home?  Here's a simple solution:

Dani P. had a great idea by making a sign that would kindly get the point across. 
We all love visitors, but they need to be healthy ones.

Another great idea to post on your door:
a poem written by Lea S.'s neighbor:

Coughs and sneezes, boogers and germs
None may enter, by no uncertain terms
We want our house to stay clean and germ free
So help us out by following steps 1 through 3
1-Sanitize your hands every cranny and nook
2-Cough in your elbow, right in the crook
you followed those steps and now your done
3-So come on in and have some fun!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Megan McNeil "The Will To Survive"

In 2010 I came across a music video that touched my heart.  I wasn't only impressed with the lyrics, but because it was actually written and performed by a cancer patient, Megan McNeil, and other children who were fighting cancer.  Megan was diagnosed with Adrenalcortical Carcinoma Cancer at age 16.  She beat back cancer 3 times, but succumbed to it during her 4th battle on January 28, 2011 at age 20.

Megan McNeil made a difference in this world, she spent much of her time and energy to campaign for childhood cancer.

From Megan's Obituary...

"Megan captured hearts across North America and even overseas for her tireless campaign promoting childhood cancer awareness. She wrote a beautiful song about the childhood cancer journey called “The Will to Survive” that legendary producer Garth Richardson (Rage Against the Machine, Nickelback) produced. Emerging star Ryan McMahon arranged the song and provided backup vocals.

Megan and “The Will to Survive” were featured on media outlets across the United States and Canada, with Canada AM naming her campaign one of the best stories of 2010 and CBC’s Connect with Mark Kelley naming her the most inspirational person of the year.

As Megan’s time to depart this earth grew near, she requested that those who love her continue her campaign to end childhood cancer through her song “The Will to Survive.”

As a gesture of remembrance, the family asks anyone wishing to honour Megan to download her song from iTunes and share The Will to Survive video on YouTube with those they treasure. Funds raised by downloads of Megan’s song benefit BCCCPA (British Columbia Children Cancer Parents' Association) and The James Fund."

Read more about Megan McNeil