We are very fortunate to live by one of the most prestigious children's hospitals in the country, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Families travel from all over the country just to received the exceptional care that CHOP offers. The CHOP Foundation is a charitable, tax-exempt organization benefiting The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. As a nonprofit organization, Children's Hospital relies on donations to make a difference in the lives of children, to research better treatments for the future, to help families that cannot afford healthcare, and to provide quality of life programs and services.
With each purchase of a Giving Tee, $5 will be donated the CHOP foundation specifically for cancer research and survivorship programs. Below is Austin's story through his mother's eyes. Read below to get a small glimpse of how childhood cancer has affected their life. When you purchase a Simply Happy Brand Giving Tee you are not only assisting someone in need, but you are joining us on our mission to spread happiness through giving to others. Together we can make a difference!
Erica & Angela
Austin's journey began on August 29, 2012 when he was only 5 years old.
2) Describe the day you were told Austin had Leukemia.
Oh gosh, I got a phone call at 4:30am. Our local pediatrician left a message saying he had cancer and that CHOP was expecting him over ASAP. We drove over and immediately I felt he became a pin cushion with blood transfusions. We still didn't know what kind of cancer he had yet. All this happened within 1 hour. We had a team of doctors tell us so much information, I can't even remember it all.
3) How has cancer changed your perspective on life?
Basically, I live in fear unsure if we will hear that his cancer has returned but I don't really tell anyone that. I try my best to just go on and hopefully one day, it will be something we look back on and glad we beat this horrible disease.
4) What would you want other parents to know that are dealing with childhood cancer?
Well every journey is different. The one thing I will say is don't say no to people that want to help you! And don't stress over the medical bills, just worry about getting your kid better.
5) How has CHOP helped Austin and your family?
CHOP has been amazing! They treat you like family. They have taken care of Austin very well. They take in all the things he likes and dislikes and make him as comfortable as they can. The nurses are fabulous, they always remember everything about Austin. The child life specialist is there to play with him and make crafts because a lot of days can be very long.
6) How often do you visit CHOP?
In the beginning we had to go in weekly for chemo treatments. Now that Austin is in the maintenance part, he goes in every month.
7) How would you describe your relationship with other families at CHOP?
Like I said, CHOP is one big family. All the families talk to each other, it's probably the one place you can talk to other parents and they can relate. When Austin was first diagnosed there were a few families I asked a lot of questions about the medicine and they were very helpful.
8) You are participating in the Four Season Parkway Run & Walk to benefit the CHOP Foundation Cancer Center in September. Can you explain why you wanted to participate and how someone can join your team?
Austin will officially be done all his chemo in November and what better way to thank CHOP for all they have done then to raise funds for a cure of childhood cancer. Hopefully one day, no child will have to go through what Austin and a lot of children have to go through. I would love for every one to join Team Austin. They can join right online by clicking on the link below.
9) During tough times, what has made Austin Happy?
We have had a lot of tough times. His favorite thing was to get mail . He enjoyed letters, drawings, and small toys. And his favorite thing was his Make-A-Wish trip, the Disney cruise. He still talks about it all the time.
10) Describe a Simply Happy Moment that has gotten you through a difficult day.
Austin would occasionally ask why he wasn't dead yet because he had cancer. He new if he didn't beat it, it would kill him. So one day he hugged me and said "Mom I will beat this cancer. I'm super strong!" and then he hugged me. It was one of those simply happy moments that I will never forget.