The Bstrong Kids project allows us to raise funds for children that are currently battling cancer and their families in the front line. This program is specifically for children under 18 yrs old that have recently been diagnosed, taking cancer treatments and are within the 5 year mark of remission.
- We provide a B-Box full of the child’s favorite items
- We also donate a Bryantstrong check to the child’s family for some financial assistance.
When a child is diagnosed with cancer , the whole family and community is affected by it. From Day of diagnosis, everything changes immediately. The parents need to decide who will keep working and who will care for the child through this intense long process of childhood cancer. The financial burden gets bigger with one less income and a lot more expenses, with long hospital stays and expensive treatments. In most cases, the single parent has to leave work to care for the child full time and depend on assistance from family, friends and foundations like the Bryantstrong Foundation, that offer financial assistance and emotional support.
Read the Journey’s of our BStrong Kids
Meet 16 year old
Like most childhood cancer cases, our child feels very ill, we take them to the doctor and they send us away with antibiotics. But like most cases, we end up taking our child back requesting more testing hoping to find what’s going on with our child.
Tzion was sick the month of December of 2017, he had swelling and just weakness for the longest. On a Wednesday we took him in to a regular sick appointment thinking that the doctors would tell them it’s allergies again, but he had a different doctor that morning. She decided to do a full blood work panel on him.
After her results, she hugged mom and sent them to a hospital 2 hours away. After hours of waiting for results, the Oncologist walked in to say, “Tzion has Cancer, High Risk ALL”. At the age of 13 years old, Tzion was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on January 10, 2018.
Immediately, Tzion ended up in PICU for 2 weeks due to heavy bleeding. The whole year of 2018, 2019 they were admitted in and out of the hospital, taking chemotherapy daily and going in for inpatient IV Chemo monthly. It seemed like Tzion started feeling better. He started working out with the baseball team and then he started doing the same with football later on in the fall of 2019. Tzion loves football and baseball, but also enjoys his Xbox video games. His favorites list also includes Gordon Ramsey as his favorite famous person and Down Below by Roddy Rich as one of his favorite songs.
Around January 2020, mom and dad noticed Tzion was napping more than usual and was very tired after football practice. He was forgetting things again, so his parents pulled out pictures from when he first was diagnosed and compared them to how he was looking.
On February 4th, 2020, Tzion went in to an appointment, they explained his symptoms, showed them pictures and the doctor said it was allergies, but agreed to do a full blood work panel just in case. On Wednesday February 5, 2020, Tzion went back to school preparing for a scrimmage but that’s the day they received the call from his nurse and said, “Tzion has relapsed”!
Tzion’s parents said, “That day I checked him out of school, he knew he was going in to the hospital the next day, so we decided to go to his friends house where Tzion played basketball, we cried, ate pizza and ice cream. His words going in the hospital the next day, “ Let’s do this!” Tzion spent a month in PICU on continuous dialysis. On June 5, 2020, Tzion had a Bone Marrow Transplant and his sister Cayleigh was his donor! Although we have had many scares, he is still recovering with hiccups along the way, but he is determined and knows that March 2021 he will be practicing football again!
Tzion’s parents shared a little known fact: “Even till this day before every procedure, Tzion prays regardless of how he’s feeling! He has this song he plays called “Come on in the Room” by Mississippi Mass Choir that he listens to before a procedure. God is good and we are grateful!’
What are symptoms of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children? Common signs and symptoms of acute lymphoblastic leukemia can occur in other illnesses. You should see your pediatrician if your child has any of the following:
- Unexplained fever and headaches
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, arm pits or groin
- Pain in the arms, legs or back
- Easy bruising and bleeding
- Tiny red spots in the skin
- Fatigue and low energy
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained weight loss
Raising Funds for Childhood Cancer Families
Meet Joshua Ribeiro
On October 19th, 2018 at the age of 12 our Bstrong Kid was fighting for his life.
Joshua Ribeiro was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Childhood (ALL) it’s a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). Signs of ALL include fever and bruising.
His mom tells us, it all started with flu like symptoms which lead to his diagnosis. By then, the Leukemia had attacked his liver and Josh was not able start the typical protocol cancer treatments. They first had to heal his liver before they could start chemo. The first five months of chemotherapy treatment were extremely hard and he was sick every day. He couldn’t even get out of bed without throwing up. It took tons of medications to figure out what cocktail finally worked for him. By the grace of God on day 29th of treatment he went into remission. However, Josh will have to continue to take cancer treatments for 3 years.
Joshua missed out on all 6th grade and has suffered secondary side effects including memory loss, anxiety, depression and some days he is still feeling nauseous and sick due to all the medications. Through all this Joshua continues to be a vibrant boy who loves to make everyone laugh and loves to be the center of attention. Right now he is in the second block of maintenance. With the support of his family, prayers and his amazing positive attitude, Josh will get through this journey.
Joshua wants to be an Oncology Nurse when he grows up…
He is brave, courageous and has a heart of gold.
Today we we had the blessing to deliver some gifts and a Bryantstrong check for $500 to our Bstrong Kid Project recipient, Joshua Ribeiro and his family.
Josh is 13 years old and truly understands the reality of Childhood Cancer and how important it is to raise awareness. He is super smart, very mature and a respectful kid. He told us that when he grows up he wants to be an Oncology Nurse and soon he will be CPR certified. He also shared with us that if he had the choice of $1 million or to raise awareness for Childhood Cancer, he would choose raising awareness.
How amazing is he!!!!
Josh is always willing to participate in speaking engagements to share his journey through Childhood Cancer and offered to help us with our future toy drives. We are very thankful to his family for the thoughtful gifts they gave us and for even opening the doors to their home.
We are also very thankful to all the Bryantstrong supporters and donors, because of you all we are able to give back and bless kids like Joshua and his family.
Raising Funds for Childhood Cancer Families
Meet Baby Audrey
About 6 years ago Lydia’s teenage daughter Rachael, passed away after complications from a bone marrow disease, Severe Aplastic Anemia. In 2019 on May 24th, her granddaughter Audrey Mae Jones at just 7 months old, was diagnosed with Bilateral Retinoblastoma.
Retinoblastoma (Rb) is a rare form of cancer that rapidly develops from the immature cells of a retina, the light-detecting tissue of the eye. It is the most common primary malignant intraocular cancer in children, and it is almost exclusively found in young children.
Audrey’s mom Jennifer, tells us she took her baby girl to a pediatric eye doctor because her left eye was veering to the side. They simply thought their baby girl would come home with an eye patch or baby glasses. Instead, that day baby Audrey’s parents also heard the words, “Your child has cancer.” They received the devastating diagnosis—cancer in both eyes. The tumor in the right eye was about a third of the eye space; the tumor in the left eye, however, took up almost the entire eye space.
There have been many ups and downs—immunodeficiency, neutropenia, pain after treatment, port placement problems, respiratory issues, fevers, vomiting/diarrhea, trips to the ER. It’s been six months of monthly systemic chemo, laser and/or cryotherapy treatments, followed by almost monthly scans under anesthesia to see what progress or changes were occurring after each treatment.
As of right now, baby Audrey’s tumors are considered ‘inactive.’ Despite this, her tumors are still there and will always be there. We pray they will not become active again, but that chance hangs over her. At this point, the main objective is to try to save the structure of the eyes, especially the left eye. She has less sight in her left, at this point, than her right eye.
Through it all, 14 month old Audrey has been a warrior. She has managed many days to soldier through and her shining little personality has won the hearts of everyone. She is so brave for one so small.
Her family, once again is phasing another fatal disease. Her brother, Jack, is 4 years old. He is a good big brother to her, but he doesn’t quite understand the gravity of her illness and gets jealous at times because of all the attention given her. Her mom, Jennifer, quit work to take care of a sick child, and her dad, Ian is the only breadwinner at this time. Needless to say, this family is stretched emotionally, physically, and financially.
We are truly honored to be able to assist this family, in memory of their beloved Rachael Davies💜.
“Audrey got an awesome and very generous gift box today from Bryantstrong. We are very thankful for them and their donation to her as we go through this long journey of fighting childhood cancer. This made her day. And will forever be a sweet memory. I’m grateful for organizations like this who help make the kids fight a little bit gentler and take their mind off of things. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” -From the Jones Family
Raising Funds for Childhood Cancer Families
Rest In Peace
Meet Cristian Bernal
Meet 13 year old Ethan