Meet Our All-Stars
Kids with cancer demonstrate courage, patience, and resilience every day.
The kids who endure the unthinkable, we call them All-Stars! Pinky Swear Foundation is committed to helping support All-Stars and their families as they bravely battle cancer by helping to ease the financial and emotional impact during a very challenging time.
We are honored to share these All-Star stories with you!
“We were taking a lot of extra precautions and trying to keep the girls’ spirits up. We could only see family standing in the yard and talking. We were grateful for Facetime and for the support of our community. We had become part of a cancer community that we didn’t want to belong to.”
At 14 months old, little Isaac had his long open-heart surgery at Children’s Minnesota. A few days later, his team noticed that his platelets were low, one of the first indicators of cancer. Isaac also had red dots appear on his body; a sign that his blood wasn’t clotting. Isaac had a bone marrow biopsy, and a couple of weeks later Amanda and Derek received the news that Isaac had MDS: pre-cancer.
“Pinky Swear sent us an Orange Envelope, it felt good that there are Foundations out there willing to help families and to get support from people who don’t even know us. We felt very happy and thankful to get the support to get our mortgage paid and not worry about that for at least that month. We appreciate the hard work Pinky swear puts to help families and letting them know they are not alone! Thank you so much for all the love and support, it brings happiness to the families when we need it the most.”
"With incredible kindness Pinky Swear responded with a generous donation that helped to keep our home and prevented us from incurring additional debt. We felt such immense relief, it was like coming up for air after being knocked down by a wave in the ocean. We will never be able to completely repay the kindness that has been shown to our family by Pinky Swear, but from the bottoms of our hearts, we thank you and vow to pay it forward forever.”
For the first seven or eight months, Terrance and Terrayah were back and forth to the hospital almost every day. There were constant tests and procedures, and sadly the tumor was growing fast. There was never any set schedule, but a 20-minute drive each way clocked the miles up on Terrance’s car, and there were frequent visits to the gas station.
Then, late in 2020, Robert’s doctors decided to give him a chemo treatment meant for adults. He was the first child in the USA to take this medicine and, to his family’s amazement, he did a complete 360. He improved in three days, was out of the ICU, and his host versus graft disease was gone.
Once she was done with treatment, Maiya’s appointments went on another 1 ½ years. The family was going back and forth sometimes several times a week, driving 45 mins to an hour each way. There were labs and physical therapy; it was one test after another. Life was still far from normal.
Kylie had Acute Myeloid Leukemia and started on five rounds of chemotherapy. For the first round, they spent about one month in the hospital. Then, they got to go home in between rounds of chemo forever watchful of Kylie’s immune system, which meant that she was susceptible to infection at any time.
Just four months after Allison’s diagnosis, Karen’s mom diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2019, and she passed away only one month later. She was living in California, so Karen so trying to travel back and forth from Chicago at the same time as Allison was sick and her husband was in El Salvador.
Seven months into this journey, her family has realized the huge positive impact and support offered by having a community that understands the difficult aspects of having a child with cancer, and her mom, Lynnie, has also begun to connect with groups outside of the hospital.
Mitch was nine years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer. When he was in the hospital in December, he overheard the family next to him having a discussion that there would not be enough money for Christmas that year. Mitch looked at his dad and said, “This isn’t fair. How much money do I have in the bank?”