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Meet Brylie,

a sunny 5-year-old fighting a rare bone disease with the help of the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.

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Leave Your Footprint

Share a story about how you or someone you know is making an impact in the fight against childhood cancer. You could be featured here and through the Aflac Duck on Facebook!

Footprints honoree: Ellanor Young

Ellanor Young

Atlanta, GA

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Footprints honoree: Dorothy Jordan

Dorothy Jordan

Atlanta, GA

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Footprints honoree: Scott Slade

Scott Slade

Atlanta, GA

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Footprints honoree: DJ Fisher

DJ Fisher

Columbia, SC

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Footprints honoree: Paul & Sarah Towns

Paul & Sarah Towns

Columbia, SC

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Footprints honoree: Ron Neuberg

Ronnie Neuberg, M.D.

Columbia, SC

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Footprints honoree: Stacy Sawyer

Stacy Sawyer

Columbia, SC

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Footprints honoree: Melinda Marchiano

Melinda Marchiano

Nipomo, CA

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Footprints honoree: Centerville Noon Optimist Club

Centerville Noon Optimist Club

Centerville, OH

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Footprints honoree: Robbie Mirisciotti

Robbie Mirisciotti

Dayton, OH

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Footprints honoree: Colin & Maureen Beach

Colin & Maureen Beach

Dayton, OH

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Footprints honoree: Vicki & Ansley Riedel

Vicki & Ansley Riedel

Atlanta, GA

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Footprints honoree: Jeff Foxworthy

Jeff Foxworthy

Atlanta, GA

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Footprints honoree: Kaitlyn Jacobs

Kaitlyn Jacobs

Columbia, SC

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Footprints honoree: Airport High School

Airport High School

West Columbia, SC

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Footprints honoree: Linda Wells

Linda Wells

Columbia, SC

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Footprints honoree: Theresa Clark

Teresa Clark

Weatherford, TX

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Footprints honoree: Scott Odom

Scott Odom

Ft. Worth, TX

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Footprints honoree: Mark Lewis

Mark “Hawkeye” Louis

Ft. Worth, TX

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Footprints honoree: Amie Koronczok

Amie Koronczok

Houston, TX

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Footprints honoree: Colette Hernandez

Colette Hernandez

Chelan, WA

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Footprints honoree: Jess Ekstrom

Jess Ekstrom

Charlotte, NC

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Footprints honoree: Robyn Raphael

Robyn Raphael

Whitter, CA

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Footprints honoree: Nanacy Lewis

Nancy Lewis

Chicago, IL

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Footprints honoree: KAtie Haertle

Katie Haertle

Orangevale, CA

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Footprints honoree: Francesca Arnaudo

Francesca Arnaudo

Ripon, CA

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Footprints honoree: Joseph Clark

Joseph Clark

Pittsburgh, PA

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Footprints honoree: Milena Theodorides

Milena Theodorides

Jersey City, NJ

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Footprints honoree: Esme Miller

Esme Miller

Dalton, GA

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Footprints honoree: Tom & Chris Glavine

The Glavines

Atlanta, GA

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Footprints honoree: Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott

Austin, TX

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Footprints honoree: Mia Gradney

Mia Gradney

Houston, TX

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Footprints honoree: Caitlyn Mortus

Caitlyn Mortus

Katy, TX

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Footprints honoree: The Teal Family

The Teal Family

Hartsville, SC

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Footprints honoree: Craig Melvin

Craig Melvin

Columbia, SC

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Footprints honoree: Harold Bessent

Harold Bessent

North Myrtle Beach, SC

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Footprints honoree: Kevin McRedmond

Kevin McRedmond

Chapin, SC

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Footprints honoree: Amanda Hope

Amanda Hope

Phoenix, AZ

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Footprints honoree: Killian Owen

Killian Owen

Atlanta, GA

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Footprints honoree: Stacie Eichinger

Stacie Eichinger

Tucson, AZ

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Footprints honoree: Peter Facinelli

Peter Facinelli

New York City, NY

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Footprints honoree: The Zuch Family

The Zuch Family

Bay Shore, NY

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Footprints honoree: Jonathan Fish, MD

Jonathan Fish, MD

West Hempstead, NY

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Footprints honoree: Abigail Slaven

Abigail Slaven

Holtsville, NY

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Footprints honoree: The Glaub Family

The Glaub Family

Troy, MI

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Footprints honoree: Michelle Nguyen

Michelle Nguyen

Johns Creek, GA

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Footprints honoree: Alexis Russell

Alexis Russell

Columbus, OH

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Footprints honoree: Adler Bryce

Adler Bryce

Griffith, IN

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Footprints honoree: Bailey Moody

Bailey Moody

Johns Creek, GA

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Footprints honoree: The Sepsi Family

The Sepesi Family

New London, SC

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Footprints honoree: John Smoltz

John Smoltz

Atlanta, GA

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Footprints honoree: Mason Link

Mason Link

West Bend, IA

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Footprints honoree: Gwen Aylward

Gwen Aylward

Manhattan, KS

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Footprints honoree: William Woods, MD

William Woods, MD

Atlanta, GA

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Footprints honoree: Kasyn Olivadotti

Kasyn Olivadotti

Athens, GA

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Ellanor Young
Atlanta
At the end of July 2014, Ellanor Young’s family was vacationing in Panama City Beach, Florida, when Ellanor started complaining of severe pain when she walked. Her parents, Patrick and Kelly Young, also noticed that whenever she took several steps, her face and lips would go pale. On the last day of the vacation, Ellanor woke up feeling much worse.

Ellanor’s parents took her to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite because Ellanor’s blood counts were extremely low. Upon arriving at Children’s, her parents were told that their sweet 4-year-old daughter had cancer, specifically leukemia.

Ellanor's father, Patrick, a high school lacrosse coach, knew it would be hard to devote a lot of time to his team when Ellanor was diagnosed and decided to skip a season. But when the players heard the news, they wouldn’t have it. Instead, he continued to coach, and the team formed the nonprofit Lax for Leukemia Inc. as a way for the team to give back and help other families battling childhood cancer. Funds raised by Lax for Leukemia Inc. support research and programs at the Aflac Cancer Center.

Ellanor was declared in remission after the first month of treatment.

“We will be forever grateful for the Aflac Cancer Center and for the many nurses, doctors and cancer families we have met along the way,” Kelly Young said. “They have all made this experience bearable.”
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Dorothy Jordan
Atlanta
Dorothy Jordan is an advanced practice nurse in Georgia, and she is board certified as a family psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and as a psychiatric mental health clinical nurse specialist. Dr. Jordan graduated with a B.S. in nursing from East Stroudsburg University in 1979, an M.N. in child health from Emory University in 1982, a post-masters certificate in psychiatric mental health from Georgia State University in 2008 and a doctor of nursing practice from University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 2014.

Dr. Jordan’s clinical practice in pediatrics focused on children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. It was through her work with children with cancer and their families that she had the idea to provide pediatric oncology patients the normal childhood experience of summer camp. Dorothy, with the help of others in the pediatric oncology community, founded Camp Sunshine, a nonprofit organization offering year-round recreational, educational and supportive programming for children with cancer and their families in Georgia since 1983.

Dorothy served as the first executive director of Camp Sunshine and has served on the board since its inception. She continues to volunteer at Camp Sunshine teen week and provides camper and staff mental health support. Her recent clinical practice includes psychiatry at the Marcus Autism Center, consult liaison psychiatry at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and psychiatric mental health at Community Advanced Practice Nurses. Dorothy is an assistant clinical professor at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University. Her current clinical interests include early mental health screening, mental health promotion, early intervention, the universal prevention of psychiatric mental health disorders and the integration of mental health into primary care. Her research interests include the impact of volunteering at a pediatric oncology camp on the pediatric oncology nurse’s practices. Dr. Jordan has a particular interest in the access to psychiatric mental health care for children and adolescents.
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Scott Slade
Atlanta
Scott Slade is host of Atlanta’s Morning News, consistently one of the top-rated radio programs in metro Atlanta for over 25 years, and among the top-rated news-talk programs in the USA. The show airs weekdays, 4:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., on News 95.5 FM and AM 750, WSB.

Scott initiated the WSB Radio Care-a-Thon for the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in 2000, raising millions of dollars to fight children’s cancer and blood disorders.

Scott is a rare two-time winner of the National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award as Best Radio Personality in America in both major and large markets. Atlanta’s Morning News with Scott Slade has won numerous awards since its inception in 1991, including the national Edward R. Murrow Award as Best Radio Newscast in the nation.

Scott has been with WSB Radio since 1984 as a producer, show host and helicopter traffic reporter. His career includes all facets of media since 1970. He was won numerous news, programming and advertising awards since his broadcasting career began at the age of 15. In fact, his first award was an Associated Press award in 1971 for “News Interpretation” for a weekly program where he and other teenage journalists interviewed newsmakers on a local radio station. He is an Atlanta native.

He is a graduate of Georgia State University, a commercial airplane and helicopter pilot, and enjoys hiking, playing jazz saxophone and, of course, flying, among his hobbies. Scott has been the voice of the Great Georgia Airshow for all but one year since its inception.
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DJ Fisher
Columbia
DJ Fisher is a 17-year-old student at Richland Northeast High School. He was an avid lacrosse player until November 2015 when he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). At first, medical personnel thought DJ was having a bad reaction to a flu shot, but after further testing, it was determined to be cancer and treatment began immediately.

Although DJ has had to face a lot in his young life, he has a great attitude. He’s developed great relationships with the team at the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital and is part of the “welcome committee,” greeting new patients and cheering them up. He is a participant in Lasting Impressions, a group for patients ages 13–19 that provides invaluable peer support for young cancer patients who experience physical changes and emotional upheaval as a result of a life-threatening disease and treatment. DJ went to CAMP KEMO, a week-long summer camp for patients with cancer, ages 5–18 and their siblings, for the first time this summer.
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Paul & Sarah Towns
Columbia
There’s nothing quite like Christmas lights to bring joy to a child. And Paul Towns, along with his wife, Sarah, know how to make that happen in a big way. For several years, Paul and Sarah elaborately decorated and lit their home and yard to bring joy to neighbors and passersby. In 2004, inspired by the death of 11-year-old Cole Sawyer, Paul and Sarah decided to fully dedicate “Elgin Lights,” a magical show of Christmas lights, to honor the memory of Cole and bring happiness to local children and their families during the holidays. With hundreds of model trains and toys on display and more than 40,000 lights, the Towns have invited families to their property each year to experience hay rides and view the displays. Over the years, the Towns have accepted contributions in a simple milk jug in return for the light displays, and Sarah has contributed proceeds from her Pampered Chef business. Together, they have contributed more than $75,000 to CAMP KEMO programs since 2004. Paul is battling cancer himself and knows first-hand the discomfort of treatment. He loves nothing more than knowing that Elgin Lights helps children enjoy a week at camp “just being kids.”
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Ronnie Neuberg, M.D.
Columbia
As a young child, Ronnie Neuberg used to fake being sick so he could go to the doctor. He just loved to go. How ironic that he chose to be a doctor for his profession. Ron was the third of four children and the first to graduate from college. In his fourth year of medical school he did a pediatric oncology elective at Roswell Park Memorial Institute, a cancer center in Buffalo, New York. His experiences with severely ill children and their families convinced him that he wanted to help during the worst moments of a family’s life, when it really matters. And that’s what he’s been doing ever since.

“Dr. Ron,” as he is known by patients and staff, is currently the Aflac medical director of the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. Although he is gratified by his work each day, his favorite week of the year is during CAMP KEMO, a weeklong overnight camp for children with cancer and their siblings. For his lifelong work and his lifelong devotion to patients with cancer and their families, he is being honored with a Duckprints Award.
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Stacy Sawyer
Columbia
Although her life ended much too soon, Stacy Sawyer left an indelible print on the lives of countless children facing cancer. When her own son, Cole, was diagnosed with cancer, Stacy and the entire Sawyer family became intimately acquainted with the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. They saw first-hand the specialized treatment, the caring staff and physicians, and they became part of the family. Cole died at age 11 in 2004 and in spite of deep sorrow, Stacy worked tirelessly to bring comfort to other patients and families affected by childhood cancer. She began serving on the CAMP KEMO Advisory Council in 2006 and served as its vice chair in 2013 and chair in 2014 and 2015. She was a gifted advocate and fundraiser. She knew how invaluable CAMP KEMO was to the hundreds of children and their siblings who enjoyed a week at camp–a week of happiness and respite from trying times. She broadened her passion last year when she spoke and helped organize an event at the statehouse in September that recognized the small amount of federal funding that is given to Childhood Cancer Research. Stacy’s ongoing commitment to the success of CAMP KEMO is still felt by all who are involved in the program.
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Melinda Marchiano
Nipomo
In 2007 at the age of 13, Melinda Marchiano was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Since then, she has been a force to be reckoned with in the fight against childhood cancer. During her recovery, she experienced all the typical post-treatment effects that destroyed her physically, spiritually and emotionally. It was this struggle that led her to share her story to help bring hope to other children and to bring awareness to the cause.

Melinda continues to use her life and her talents to help children fighting cancer; in 2010, Melinda’s Book, Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery was published. After that, she toured the country for two summers visiting 15 different children’s hospitals to bring hope to children currently in the battle.

In 2012, Make-A-Wish made Melinda’s wish of bringing more awareness for childhood cancer by sending her on a month-long journey called Melinda’s Make-A-Wish hope Tour. She hosted the first Emmy Award Winning The Truth 365 Film, which has brought great awareness to childhood cancer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oljTL1iuMmY

Recently she spoke on behalf of the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences to share her survivor perspective and advocates on Capitol Hill for more funding for childhood cancer research.

Melinda is studying Creative Writing at Pepperdine University with plans to continue dancing, writing and working to end childhood cancer. Her life mission has indeed, just begun.
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Centerville Noon Optimist Club
Centerville
The Centerville Noon Optimist Club is a fellowship of people who embrace an optimistic mindset to set an example for the community. Their mission is to provide positive programs and activities to benefit young people and they have become an integral part of the community at Dayton Children's Hospital. Members host a "Build-A-Bear" event for cancer patients and their siblings twice a year and invite them to the annual golf outing for a chip, putt and drive event.

To date, the Centerville Noon Optimist Club has donated nearly $100,000 to Dayton Children's Hospital. Each year, proceeds from the Tom Frazier Tee-Off For Youth Golf Outing benefit programs including the hematology/oncology needy patient fund, the Treatment Away Fund for children needing to travel to other hospitals and the outpatient clinic.

Most recently, the Club made a $25,000 pledge for the Reaching New Heights campaign,which will support the Outpatient Access Triage room in the new cancer center being developed at Dayton Children's.
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Robbie Mirisciotti
Dayton
"Don't be afraid to give your heart." As a cancer nurse at Dayton Children's, Robbie Mirisciotti lives by those words of advice. She remembers almost every child she's ever helped through the difficult diagnosis of cancer. She can recall their family's names and the quirky little details that make every child unique. Thousands of children have met and loved Robbie in her 20 years in the department and each one holds a special place in her memory - and in her heart.

This is Robbie's calling - to walk with a family through their crisis. It is an intense relationship and not one you can do in half measures. She is honored by the trust they place in her and always up for the challenge of guiding them on their path.

By welcoming every child and family with an open heart she grows stronger and better able to support the next child and family who many need her resilience, her compassion and her love.
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Colin & Maureen Beach
Dayton
Every mother and child share a bond, but Colin and his mom, Maureen, are bonded together not only in love, but in a war on cancer. At just five months old, Colin was diagnosed with a rare cancer which caused eleven tumors in his eyes and would eventually leave him blind in his left eye.

He became an ambassador for Dayton Children's Hospital, sharing his story to encourage others in their fight against cancer. As a result, he garnered the hospital a $5 million donation towards a new patient tower at Dayton Children's that will house a state-of-the-art center, specially equipped to accommodate he special needs of children in their crusade against cancer.

Colin has also furthered cancer research by letting doctors and residents study the progression of his disease in hopes of helping other children survive. He is passionate about working to make life more comfortable for children all over the world and has inspired others to do the same. While this will be a lifelong battle for Colin and his mom, they face it with determination and dedication to each other. They're lighting the way on the path of battling cancer, hoping to make the journey easier for any child who must follow in their footsteps.
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Vicki & Ansley Riedel
Atlanta
In 1995, it was Ansley Riedel who was the catalyst for the start of the Aflac Cancer Center. At 10 months old, Ansley was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia – a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Her mother, Vicki, became a huge advocate for the Cancer Center and it was her passion and drive that led her to Aflac’s door in search of a donation that could help children like hers receive the treatment they needed here in Atlanta.

The request was for a $25,000 donation to help make some general upgrades to the facility. Instead, Vicki walked away with a $3 million pledge that would ultimately lead to the creation of one of today’s top-10 children’s cancer facilities in the nation.

Thanks to her mother’s love and dedication, the Aflac Cancer Center was established and Ansley was able to receive the follow-up treatment she needed. Twenty years later, she is now a pediatric transplant nurse at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
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Jeff Foxworthy
Atlanta
As the largest-selling comedy-recording artist, a best-selling author and host of “Are you Smarter Than A 5th Grader?” Jeff Foxworthy is a man who needs no introduction.

What most don’t know is that outside his comedic relief efforts, Foxworthy has dedicated his time and services to the fight against childhood cancer. He has created public service announcements for CURE Childhood Cancer, a nonprofit organization dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through funding targeted research and through support of patients and their families, and with Camp Sunshine, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enrich the lives of Georgia's children with cancer and their families through year-round recreational, educational and support programs. He is closely involved with the Duke University Children’s Hospital in Durham, helping the hospital in raising funds for cancer treatment.
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Kaitlyn Jacobs
Columbia
A typical high school student, Kaitlyn was very active in various clubs, particularly the Drama Club. Last fall while working on the Homecoming float, Kaitlyn felt extremely fatigued with continuous arm pain that was believed to have been a pulled muscle, she knew that something wasn’t quite right. Her doctors told her that her white blood cell count was high and they thought she might have mononucleosis. The family was shocked to hear the diagnosis. At age 17, just eight months prior to her high school graduation, Kaitlyn was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, (ALL). ALL is a cancer of the blood that starts in the bone marrow and spreads to the bloodstream.

Kaitlyn began her treatment at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital in October 2014 and continues weekly chemotherapy treatments. The clinical staff has come to rely on her encouraging spirit and her heart for kids. She is committed to lifting the spirits of younger patients in the clinic. She can usually be found playing cards and other games with them.

Kaitlyn recently graduated from Brookland-Cayce High School and has been accepted into Clemson University where she plans to study secondary education. Her love of kids continues with her goal of becoming a high school history teacher at an alternative school.
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Airport High School
West Columbia
Students and leaders of Airport High School have created a grassroots movement unlike anything they ever imagined. The school’s annual 10-day charity drive has created a culture of philanthropy, and the outcome has been transformational—nearly $300,000 for CAMP KEMO Programs of Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.

Since 2004, Airport High School’s student government has set a fundraising goal and empowered students, faculty, alumni and community partners to support the daily events of the charity drive. A garage sale, bake sale, kickball tournament and pie throw are among many creative fundraising efforts led by students. As CAMP KEMO Program’s fifth largest donor, Airport High School continues to inspire philanthropy and encourage our community to make a difference in the lives of more than 750 children treated each year in the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.
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Linda Wells
Columbia
Selflessness and an unwavering commitment to children embody Linda Wells. Because of her work as the first pediatric oncology/hematology nurse at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, Linda had a vision to create a camp experience for children with cancer and their siblings. She wanted to give them an opportunity to feel independent and just be kids at camp. Thirty-six years ago, she was instrumental in co-founding CAMP KEMO, the fifth oldest camp of its kind in the United States. Linda’s expertise in nursing research and pediatric cancer care translated to numerous enhancements of programs and services for children and their families. She helped create CAMP KEMO Programs to meet the psychosocial needs of patients and families facing challenges caused by cancer. The programs educate, inspire and support the entire family so life is more manageable and enjoyable.

After 25 years of helping thousands of patients and families, Linda retired from Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital in 2002; however, her legacy of giving back continues as she serves on the CAMP KEMO Advisory Council. In 2013, Linda and her family established the Linda Wells CAMP KEMO endowment at Palmetto Health Foundation to continue to support children with cancer and their families for many years to come. Linda's nursing career has spanned 50 years, and she is currently the Post Award Program coordinator at the University of South Carolina College of Nursing.
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Teresa Clark
Weatherford
Before coming to Cook Children’s, Teresa Clark served 10 years as a registered nurse with a specialty certification in hematology/oncology at Irving Community Hospital, Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Research Center and Medical Plaza Hospital in Fort Worth.

In 1991, she joined the hematology/oncology staff of Cook Children’s stem cell transplant unit where her focus changed from adult care to pediatrics. By 1993, as director of the Cook Children’s Cancer Center, she became an integral part of the growth and expansion of that area, providing leadership and supervision for all inpatient and outpatient care within the hematology/oncology program. At the same time, Teresa was continuing her own education, receiving a Master of Science in healthcare administration from UTA. In the years following, she would become the assistant vice president of nursing, vice president of nursing, and in January of 2014, chief nursing officer.

Teresa served on the Board of Trustees for Community Hospice of Texas and was involved in the development and ongoing support of the Cook Children’s AYA (Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer) program. She was a preceptor for administrative residents at Cook Children’s Medical Center as well as for Regis University, Texas Christian University and The University of Texas at Arlington masters-level nursing and health care administration programs. She was also involved with mentoring activities for undergraduate and graduate nursing students.

She was a guest presenter at the 33rd Annual Conference of the Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses where she shared the findings of an evidence-based practice project in pediatric stem cell transplant. She served as a member of several local, state and national nursing and nursing executives organizations.

Teresa Jo Clark passed away on May 20th 2015 at the age of 57 after a courageous battle with cancer. We will forever remember her and will continue her mission to help those affected by cancer.
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Scott Odom
Ft. Worth
Scott Odom was born in Fort Worth, Texas. As a young boy, he dreamed of becoming a professional athlete. At the age of 14, his life forever changed when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Months later, he made the difficult decision to amputate his right leg above the knee to return to an active lifestyle and to save his life. Scott went through months and months of rehab to relearn how to walk and use his prosthesis. When he went back to high school, he was unable to return to playing high school baseball as a pitcher. After high school, the reality that he would not be able to play college sports set in, and he felt lost.

After many years of trying to get a sports program for others with similar experiences off the ground, he posted a video on YouTube of himself playing basketball in his parent’s backyard. Soon, another amputee found the video and contacted Scott. Together they co-founded Amp1 Basketball.

Through Amp1, Scott has been able to travel the country hosting charity games benefiting different causes, as well as speaking at numerous school assemblies all over the country. Scott also attended a children’s cancer camp through Cook Children’s when he was 15 as a camper. Since then, he has returned to the camp as a camp counselor. He has been volunteering his time at Camp Sanguinity for 16 years. Along with the work he does with Amp1 to help amputees and Camp Sanguinity, helping children with cancer, Scott also mentors kids undergoing cancer treatments and surgeries. Scott's main focus in life is to give back and support others, especially kids. Through all these efforts of giving back, Scott has been awarded CBS 11’s Texan with Character, Fox 4’s Hometown Hero, and named a Community Hero. He was a special guest on the TV show “Red Band Society,” and became the first above-the-knee amputee to play in a professional basketball game.
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Mark “Hawkeye” Louis
Ft. Worth
Radio listeners in Dallas/Ft. Worth may recognize one of our first Duckprints honorees of 2015, Mark Louis Rybczyk, better known as “Hawkeye,” the longtime morning host on heritage country station 96.3 FM KSCS. “Hawkeye” began his involvement with Cook Children’s Medical Center, when he came to Camp Sanguinity and served as a camp counselor from 2002 until 2006. He returned to the camp in 2014 and has done a tremendous job making his teen campers feel comfortable by adding laughter to any situation. “Hawkeye” also served on Camp Sanguinity Board of Directors from 2004-2006.

In 2014, New Country 96.3 partnered with Cook Children’s for an inaugural radio fundraising initiative in which KSCS broadcasted live from Cook Children’s. The Radiothon raised over $120K for the patients at Cook Children’s.
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Amie Koronczok
Houston

I have come to the conclusion that I when I started practicing yoga, I was drawn to my mat simply because it made me feel good and it was a great workout. After a few years of practicing yoga, I began to get interested in teaching yoga. What I did not expect from yoga were the life and career changes, as well as the personal growth it would provide me. I completed my 200 RYT in 2012, and began teaching after work at a local yoga studio. In 2013, I gained the Mind/Body Intervention Specialist position with the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. As a mind/body specialist, I teach mind and body relaxation techniques to breast cancer patients to decrease the side effects of radiotherapy.


As a response to families’ request for integrative therapies that didn’t involve needles, the Little Yogis program was created in the summer of 2014. Families expressed feelings of helplessness as they tried to comfort their child while in pain or in discomfort. In collaboration with families at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, the Division of Pediatrics and MD Anderson’s Integrative Medicine Program launched Little Yogis to address the needs of our children. Little Yogis is a special yoga program for pediatric cancer patients undergoing aggressive treatment at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital. Our goal is to alleviate stress and physical pain, improve quality of life and make cancer treatment more bearable for patients and their families.

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Colette Hernandez
Chelan

My name is Colette and my son, Detric was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma in 2010, when he was 7 years old. He is now 4 years into remission but still suffers from the side effects of chemo and radiation. After his diagnosis I realized many people know Breast Cancer Awareness has a pink ribbon but not many know Childhood Cancer Awareness has a gold ribbon. So, I became a Childhood Cancer Awareness Advocate and go to businesses, schools, and groups to educate people about Childhood Cancers, the signs, and the need for money for research.


While Detric did chemo for the first year at Seattle Children's Hospital, we stayed at the Ronald McDonald House. I now do "extreme couponing" to provide items to donate to the Ronald McDonald House, as well as raise money for Childhood Cancer Research and the Uncompensated Care Fund at Seattle Children’s Hospital. The Uncompensated Care Fund ensures every child gets world class treatment, even if the family can't pay or insurance doesn't cover the costs.


Detric has been an Honored Hero for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and we go to schools to help raise money for research. I also volunteer with the American Cancer Society as an advocate for more money for research. My son is my hero and it has become my life's mission to advocate for more funding for research, getting treatments for every child with cancer, and to help find a cure!

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Jess Ekstrom
Charlotte

My name is Jess and I'm the founder of Headbands of Hope. For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to childhood cancer research.


When I was in college, I interned at the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I saw so many girls lose their hair to chemotherapy, and they loved to wear headbands after hair loss. One girl in particular, a four-year-old named Renee, wished to go to Disney World to meet Sleeping Beauty. About a week before her trip to Disney World, her condition worsened, causing her doctors to advise her to return home.


I came to her house dressed as sleeping beauty and made her wish come true. When her mom called me a week later to tell me Renee had passed, she said she was at peace with her daughter's passing because she knew she got everything she ever wanted: to meet sleeping beauty.


It was at that point that everything changed for me. I wanted to help girls like Renee all over the world and I saw that headbands would be the perfect way to do that.


Therefore I founded HeadbandsOfHope.org during my junior year, in April 2012. Since then, we've donated to almost every children's hospital in the US and even some hospitals internationally.


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Robyn Raphael
Whitter
Robyn’s efforts have raised more than $5 million dollars for childhood cancer research.

In 1998, after the loss of her 5-year-old son, Keaton, to neuroblastoma stage IV, Robyn founded the Keaton Raphael Memorial in Roseville, CA and served as CEO until 2012. Among Robyn’s accomplishments at the Memorial she created an innovative Childhood Cancer Family Navigator model which has served more than 8,000 families in northern California with safety net services and named Keaton’s Korner, at the UC Davis pediatric oncology outpatient playroom.

Robyn is a passionate local and national advocate for children’s cancer. For more than 16 years, she has participated in over 500 legislative meetings and served on numerous local and national childhood cancer committees. Robyn has represented the state of California at Childhood Cancer Advocacy Days in Washington D.C. as well as testified in front of the National Childhood Cancer Committee.

Robyn currently serves as the Co-Chairperson of the California Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan’s Childhood Cancer Committee as a parent advocate under her consultancy, Healthy Transitions.

Robyn resides in Sacramento and enjoys spending time with her 14 year-old daughter, Kiana and awaits weekend visits from her 20-year-old son, Kyle, who attends college in Chico, CA.
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Nancy Lewis
Chicago
A pediatric nurse for 33 years, Nancy Lewis was originally inspired by a rare tumor and a heroic physician at the age of seven. After graduating high school with a license in Practical Nursing, she wanted to learn more and quickly enrolled at North Park College, graduating 4 years later with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing.

While she began her career as a Pediatric Oncology Nurse at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, just a few years later she headed to California to join the UC Davis Hospital's inpatient Pediatric Unit. After just five years, she accepted a position in the outpatient Pediatric Infusion Center and has been there ever since. Nancy has held many roles during her time in the Pediatric Infusion Center, serving as a staff nurse, a charge nurse, and a nurse manager. Nancy currently holds the position of staff nurse, allowing her to fulfill her love of taking care of children directly at the bedside. Nancy also holds the specialty certification of Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse. Nancy works closely with the Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses to serve as coordinator and instructor of the APHON Pediatric Chemotherapy/Biotherapy Certification provider course held twice a year at UCDHS. This course serves both UCDHS and the community.

Nancy is planning her retirement in the next 4 years and hopes to pass on her love of nursing by actively mentoring younger nurses on how to enjoy the service of caring for children and their families.
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Katie Haertle
Orangevale
Katie has worked for the University California Davis Medical Center for over 20 years

A graduate of the Sacramento State University Nursing Program, she began her nursing career in 1983 on Tower 3 of UCDMC caring for adult post-surgical patients. Soon after, she applied for and earned her dream position as a Staff Nurse on the Pediatric Unit providing care for children hospitalized by minor illnesses to life threatening diseases. Katie held a brief stint at the Conway Regional Medical Center in Conway, Arkansas, but shortly thereafter moved back to her home at UC Davis.

She returned as a Clinical Research Coordinator submitting data to the Children’s Oncology Group’s research studies, and as a nurse in the Pediatric Infusion Center. In 2005, Katie was approached by a Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Physician to serve as their Nurse Coordinator. She accepted the position and continues to guide children diagnosed with cancer and their families through the treatment process by providing education, coordinating complex care, and serving as a bridge of communication between the families and physician. Katie is honored and grateful to have the opportunity to work with and support families through a difficult period of time in their lives.
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Francesca Arnaudo
Ripon
Over the last 12 years Francesca has triumphantly battled cancer while balancing her schoolwork and other activities; her nurses even call her their “miracle child”…this tenacious teenager can say she has beaten cancer three times!

It all started 12 years ago when a six-year-old Francesca fell during T-ball practice, hurting her right arm. Concerned about a possible fracture, Francesca’s parents took her to the family doctor near her hometown of Ripon, CA, where an X-ray revealed a large tumor on her humerus.

At UC Davis, a team of top-notch cancer specialists, orthopedic surgeons and nurses developed a treatment plan. Following five months of chemotherapy to shrink the bone tumor, Francesca underwent surgery to remove the tumor and replace her diseased bone with a titanium prosthesis.

Sadly, six months after being declared in remission, Francesca was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, for which she received a bone marrow transplant and had to be hospitalized for 41 days. Then in 2009, four years into remission, her doctors found yet another a mass, this time on her right lung’s upper lobe. Fortunately, the doctors and staff at UC Davis successfully removed what was to be her third tumor.

Francesca has also been actively involved in bringing awareness to childhood cancer – serving as a national spokesperson for various campaigns, representing the disease and her home state.

In June, Francesca graduated with honors from Ripon High School and recently began her freshman year at UC Davis majoring in Environmental Toxicology and she aspires to become pediatric endocrinologist.
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Joseph Clark
Pittsburgh
Joseph Clark was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013 at only 12 years old, but he began leaving a footprint while he himself was engulfed in the fight.

 

Joseph had the idea of selling crafts that he made during therapy as a way to generate donations to benefit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Meadville Area Recreation Complex (his favorite place to ice skate)!

Pretty soon, his idea took off and became a craft fair that brought together his own creations, along with local vendor arts and crafts donations, and autographed items donated by the Pittsburgh Steelers football team. Thanks to Joseph’s enthusiasm for giving back, over $3,000 was raised in just a few hours.

 

While Joseph sadly lost his battle with cancer on April 18, 2014, the annual craft fair will live on through his mother, Lori Clark, and the Meadville Area REC, along with the many supporters and local sports teams that were proud to have a courageous young supporter attend their games.
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Milena Theodorides
Jersey City
Milena Theodorides leaves her footprint in the fight against childhood cancer by raising money and participating annually in the WalkForWishes walkathon in New Jersey. Milena was inspired by her friend Harold (1995-2008), her crush at the time, when she was 11 and he was just 12 years old. Harold is dearly missed by his friends and family, but his memory lives on through his WalkForWishes team Harold's Heroes.

Now 18, Milena and her dog will soon finish therapy dog training, they will walk in the WalkAThon together and go on regular visits to local hospitals in hopes of brightening the days of children battling cancer; she hopes that they will be “a little more happy to see and pet my dog, to feel that there is hope. That we soon will find a cure.
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Esme Miller
Dalton
In December 2013, at only 9 years old, Esme Miller was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. She had her first chemo treatment on Dec. 27 and followed a 29-week treatment protocol. She takes chemo as an inpatient and stays at the hospital several days after each treatment. She gets to return home between treatments, usually for two to three days at a time. Through all of this, the 5th grader at Westwood Elementary in Dalton, GA has worn her motto on her bracelet “You got this!” As of her appearance at the Aflac Duckprints Awards Ceremony in September of 2014, Esme’s scans revealed no indication of cancer!
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The Glavines
Atlanta
Chris and Tom Glavine are a dynamic childhood cancer advocate duo. Though they are busy parents to five children, the couple gives their time freely to benefit CURE and its many events, all without fanfare.

Tom, a major league baseball Hall of Famer and one of the greatest baseball players of all time, and his wife, Chris, super wife and mom, came face to face with childhood cancer in 2003, when a friend’s son was diagnosed with cancer. Chris was one of the first to step up to help her friends, and she stayed close by their sides throughout their child’s journey with cancer.

Along the way, Chris and Tom came to know many other families with children battling cancer. Each time they met another family or read another website about another child battling cancer, they were deeply affected. The Glavines were introduced CURE Childhood Cancer, and within a few short weeks, Tom signed up enthusiastically to help make childhood cancer a national priority. His first move was an appeal to the Commissioner of Major League Baseball to do more for childhood cancer patients, and at that request, Bud Selig launched "The Commissioner's Initiative for Kids." It raised 1.5 million dollars for research and brought the focus of all 30 major league clubs to childhood cancer.

About the same time, Chris wanted to do something special for the moms who had lost their child to cancer, or whose child has undergone treatment for cancer. With that vision Chris launched "A Tribute to Our Quiet Heroes," an annual luncheon, program, and auction that honors these much-deserving mothers. In nine years, "A Tribute to Our Quiet Heroes" has now raised more than two and a half million dollars for CURE, and honored hundreds of moms.

Aflac is proud to honor Chris and Tom with a Duckprints Award to recognize of all of their generosity.
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Kendra Scott
Austin
In 2002, Kendra Scott launched her first collection of jewelry from the spare bedroom of her house. Little over a decade later, what started as a $500 dream has grown into a global, multimillion-dollar brand sold at renowned retailers like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and 1,000+ specialty boutiques worldwide.

Since Kendra’s stepfather became ill in 1995, she remained grateful for the treatment and care he received while at MD Anderson. And as philanthropy is one of the pillars of the Kendra Scott Company, it is no surprise that this savvy entrepreneur and mother of three continues to hold a special place in her heart for those battling cancer.

Kendra donates to numerous women’s and children’s organizations through “Kendra Gives Back” parties, which raise funds for local and national nonprofits. She also works with major partners like the Komen Foundation and Dell Children’s Medical Center. Through her partnership with Seton Breast Care Center, Kendra created the Lolley necklace as a tribute to all who have suffered from breast cancer.

Today, with many family and friends who have battled cancer, Kendra makes it a priority to give back to causes that benefit cancer awareness and research.
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Mia Gradney
Houston
KHOU 11 News Reporter and Anchor Mia Gradney is a huge fan and friend of MD Anderson’s Children’s Art Project. A native Houstonian and three-time Emmy award winning anchor/host, reporter and producer, Mia has covered everything from Hollywood premieres, to hurricanes and health headlines, but always assists the Children’s Art Program in any way that she can.

Mia continually uses her position in the media to spread awareness about the Children's Art Project. She's documented its many accomplishments and milestones including the first ever Children's Art Project Thanksgiving Day Parade float. Mia has also traveled to Sea World and Park City Utah to highlight patients and CAP programs. When she's not facilitating media coverage Mia encourages donations and continued support by hosting parties and fundraisers benefiting Children's Art Project.
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Caitlyn Mortus
Katy
An encounter with Burkitt’s lymphoma at age 13 inspired Caitlyn Mortus to get involved with Children’s Art Project during her stint at MD Anderson. While her treatment was brief, intense and ultimately successful thanks to the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson, Caitlyn became a regularly featured designer, with seven designs featured in the 2013 collection alone!

Additionally, Caitlyn has participated in Camp A. O. K. (funded by the Children’s Art Project) each of the last four years, where she learned that being bald was no big deal at camp as all the other kids understood – they were patients, too.

Her desire to help others grew out of her treatment and also helped her focus on a career choice. In the future, Caitlyn would like to become a nurse at MD Anderson so she can help patients the same way doctors once helped her. Caitlyn completed high school this year and looks forward to attending the University of Texas at Tyler to start her college journey in the classroom and on the soccer field!

Caitlyn returned this year with her “Ladybugs” design featured in the Valentine collection, and her “Button Tree” design is a new holiday 2014 card. Visit http://www.childrensart.org/ to see her beautiful work.
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The Teal Family
Hartsville
Bayler Teal, diagnosed in September 2008, at age five, with Neuroblastoma, “was a strong, brave, courageous warrior against this beast we call cancer,” and was treated by what his parents refer to as the “heaven-sent” Child Life Specialists at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. Bayler died in 2010 at the age of seven, yet his parents Rob and Risha, along with siblings Bridges and Piper, remain stoically committed to the fight. Their story is one of loss, but sincere gratitude for the care they received at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. “These special people were so patient, so compassionate, and so gentle, that they quickly gained Bayler’s trust. The lengths they took to make such a terrible experience as comfortable as it could be was beyond any expectation we could have imagined. It was not the hospital experience of the old days where the attitude of ‘we’re the professionals and you’re the patient, so do as we say and do it now’. They told us early in his journey, that they would allow Bayler to make as many decisions as possible, because it was so important that he know that he had not lost complete control of his life.”

 

Bayler’s legacy continues through the Bayler’s Prayer Endowment established at Palmetto Health Foundation. Funds from the endowment help ensure the environment of love, patience, understanding, and yes – fun – provided by the physicians and staff of the Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital in Columbia, SC continues.
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Craig Melvin
Columbia
Craig Melvin began his career at local Columbia NBC affiliate WIS, and while there, participated in Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital annual telethon and radiothon several times, becoming a perennial favorite among donors. He connected well with families and kids, was sincere, articulate, and fun, and the Columbia community warmly embraced his attitude towards helping those in need. A short time later, Craig’s good work in Columbia sent him to the national stage as a MSNBC Live anchor and NBC News correspondent in New York.

In early 2013, Craig’s three-year-old niece Jasmine was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma. The complications put Jasmine in a Washington, DC children's hospital for nearly three months, and only six months following the diagnosis, Jasmine died. “Unfortunately, my family has significant and painful experiences with childhood cancer, which makes it very personal for us,” Mr. Melvin said. “But you don’t have to experience this terrible disease to see its impact and to make it your personal mission to help stamp out childhood cancer.”
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Harold Bessent
North Myrtle Beach
A long-time Palmetto Health Foundation donor and fundraiser whose motivation was inspired many years ago when his grandson lost his battle with cancer, Mr. Bessent is the owner of famous Fat Harold’s Beach Club in North Myrtle Beach. He is a legend to the shag dance community as well as the kids who attend CAMP KEMO, a camp for children with cancer and their siblings, which is led by Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. In 1980, Bessent was introduced to the medical director for the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. Through this relationship, Bessent began shag dance fundraisers in 1981 and has continued them for 33 years. His fundraising efforts have generated more than $1.2 million to support CAMP KEMO and its related programs.

Mr. Bessent's nephew Ronnie Amick traveled to Columbia to accept the award on his behalf.
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Kevin McRedmond
Chapin
“There is no harder job in medicine and there is no better job in medicine.”

Now retired from Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, Dr. McRedmond left his footprint in the fight against childhood cancer through his practice of hematology/oncology for 22 years. He also served as a participating member of the Children's Oncology Group during that time and contributed to research studies, some of which were featured in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. McRedmond is extremely proud that this center was, and remains, the only federally-funded hemophilia treatment center in South Carolina and continues to be the largest provider of care. Along with his passion for patients, he found motivation in teaching others. “I loved working with the residents and dearly miss that part of my work there. I loved teaching them and watching them grow and develop into excellent, caring physicians. I also enjoyed the opportunities to teach them about things that are not necessarily found in textbooks, such as effective communication, exhibiting kindness and compassion and developing a respect and devotion to our field, which is sacred ground - the bond between a pediatrician and child. I loved taking care of these children and was blessed to have been loved in return by them and their families.”

Dr. McRedmond’s legacy shines through the lives he has saved, and the families and doctors that he has inspired. He now serves as chief medical officer for Hands of Hope, Hospice Care of South Carolina.
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Amanda Hope
Phoenix
Nine-year old Amanda Hope was diagnosed with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia (ALL) in 2008, and for three long years she required intense chemotherapy. During that time, Amanda dreamt of one day designing a clothing line for patients that would allow them to keep intact a sense of “modesty and dignity” throughout the chemotherapy process.

In March of 2011, to Amanda and her family’s surprise, she was officially declared “in remission.” She soon started school again with her friends, took on karate lessons, built a Star Wars Lego Battleship with her sister, and found a passion for skateboarding and yoyos.

But the year 2012 brought on more sickness and challenges, and on March 30, Amanda Hope lost her battle to Leukemia. In her honor, the Hope family has carried out her vision of giving dignity back to childhood cancer patients through Comfycozys for Chemo, an idea borne of Amanda’s sense of fun, but practicality, for children like her undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Made using zippers, pockets and slits to allow access to chest-ports without exposing the child’s body and for storing of the IV lines preventing tangling and pulling on their clothing, the shirts also reflect the fun, tie-dye colors that Amanda loved so much.

The Hope family has truly left their Footprint in the fight against childhood cancer through creating these products and honoring Amanda’s dream.
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Killian Owen
Atlanta
Killian Owen was only five when he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, the most common - and curable - type of childhood cancer. For four and a half years he fought hard - undergoing chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant – at the Aflac Cancer Center. An avid sports fan and player, Killian loved participating in baseball, basketball and swimming anytime he felt healthy. When one of his brother’s coaches was moved by Killian’s brave fight, the coach asked his team to forego buying an end-of-season gift for themselves; instead, he asked that any money collected be donated to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on behalf of Killian.

Despite the great medical care, the leukemia proved too strong, taking Killian’s life on July 27, 2003. He was only nine years old.

A year after his death, Killian’s mother – Grainne Owen – adapted that coach’s idea and created Coaches Curing Kids’ Cancer. Today, youth sports teams from all over the nation make donations in honor of their coaches - with proceeds going to childhood cancer research.

On Friday, March 28th, 2014, the Owen family's dream came true: a testament to their hard work and the generosity of the community was put in concrete. Curing Kids Cancer completed a $1.5 million endowment for childhood cancer research and unveiled the Killian Owen Curing Kids Cancer Clinical Research Office at the Aflac Cancer Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
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Stacie Eichinger
Tucson
Stacie Eichinger was overcome with a passionate drive to get on her feet - literally - to raise funds and awareness in the fight against childhood cancer. Having volunteered with the Beads of Courage organization for several years, Stacie made a personal goal in 2011 to walk across the United States - a 3,800 mile trek in honor of pediatric cancer patients. She prepared to accomplish this personal goal for over a year, and has now raised nearly $20,000 in support of Beads of Courage.

By the end of her walk, Stacie will have visited 21 children's cancer hospitals. Every child and family that meets Stacie is motivated by her spirit and ambition; she gives each patient an official Walk 4 Courage Bead that is be packaged with a signed note of encouragement and includes the number of miles it had been carried along the walk route. The "Beads of Courage" program gives children a bead for every surgery they go through; the resulting bead collection represents their fight and courage through the treatment process.

After hearing of her story, Aflac quickly realized that Stacie is an ideal person to honor as someone who truly leaves his or her Footprint. She has personally left almost 3,100 actual footprints across the United States while raising awareness for children coping with cancer and other serious illnesses, and funds which support the organization are used to improve the quality of life for these children through the Beads of Courage program. Stacie will visit the Aflac Cancer Center on January 15th, and will then make her way to Macon, GA and finally, Savannah, GA, where she will end her walk on February 1st, 2014.

Says Stacie, "I felt compelled to do something more. Something meaningful. Something tangible. Something to show them that they inspire me in day-to-day life. So I thought, I can 'walk 3,800 miles in their shoes!' I want to walk across America for Beads of Courage to say, 'You are not alone, I am walking stride for stride with you in your courageous journey through life.'"
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Peter Facinelli
New York City
Nurse Jackie and Twilight Saga star Peter Facinelli joined the Duckprints Award Ceremony at Cohen Children's Medical Center in Long Island, NY on December, 18, 2013, to recognize individuals who have left their footprint in the fight against childhood cancer. At the event, Peter told a story of his own struggles with a daughter who was hospitalized at a young age for three weeks with a fever of indeterminable origins. "The doctors were throwing out a lot of scary words," said Peter. "My daughter turned out to be healthy, so we were very fortunate; but, I met many other families during that time who were not so fortunate." Peter began his mission to get involved with spreading awareness about childhood cancer and generating research and treatment interest during filming and media events throughout his Twilight Saga promotional obligations. In every city, he would encourage cast members to join him in visiting children's hospitals.

"As an actor I have had the chance to play heroes on screen, but families facing the real-life threat of cancer are the true heroes," Mr. Facinelli said. "As a father of three healthy children, I am proud to honor Morgan, Dr. Fish and Abigail for their dedication and commitment to the families they serve and the lives they save."

Aflac is pleased to have Peter join in on the Duckprints campaign!
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The Zuch Family
Bay Shore
Patients often lean on one another and provide a healing influence during cancer treatments. Morgan and her family did just that when they founded the first preschool for pediatric cancer patients.

Morgan was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 2 in October 2000. In addition to the primary concern, battling cancer, due to chemotherapy treatment, Morgan had a suppressed immune system, and therefore could not interact with other children. She was truly affected by the lack of opportunity to socialize in a formal learning environment and needed play therapy and child psychologist sessions throughout treatment. While Morgan faced painful finger sticks, needles, shots and horrible medications, her friends went to school to learn, to play and to have fun. Morgan’s illness and experience at the young age of two led her family to discover an important need in their community.

Fortunately, in May of 2003 Morgan finished her chemotherapy treatment and was in full remission. In September of that year, Morgan began kindergarten and two weeks later her parents, Nancy and Rod, opened the doors of The Morgan Center for preschool age children with cancer. As the co-founder, director and teacher of the center, Morgan's mother, Nancy wants to give children with cancer the preschool experiences that Morgan and many children like her had been deprived forever leaving a positive impact on the growth of young children in the community suffering from cancer and the often overlooked side effects it has on a young child’s development.

The Morgan Center is the first preschool program for children with cancer in the country. It is tuition free to families and is supported by private donations and fundraising. As of 2013, its eleventh year, The Morgan Center has helped over 200 children battling cancer and their families. Nancy and Rod have also started the National Early Childhood Cancer Foundation whose goal is to open other Morgan Centers around the country.

Aflac proudly recognized the Zuch family and their commitment to the social and educational growth of young cancer patients at the Long Island Duckprints award ceremony on December 18th, 2013.
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Jonathan Fish, MD
West Hempstead
Dr. Fish boasts an impressive resume: Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Hofstra North Shore – LIJ School of Medicine; Section Head, Survivors Facing Forward Program, Division of Hematology / Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation, at Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York.

But to his patients, Dr. Fish is something of a miracle worker when it comes to stepping up to fight the disease. As over 70% of survivors of childhood cancer have a chronic illness related to their cancer treatment, long-term follow-up and survivorship care is critically important to health maintenance in this important population. Dr. Fish has left his Footprint in the fight through the founding of Cohen Children’s Survivors Facing Forward Program in 2008, a clinical long-term follow-up program for survivors of childhood cancer. In addition to clinical care, the SURFF program has a commitment to research into better understanding of the needs of survivors.

Aflac proudly recognized Dr. Fish and his ongoing work with improving treatment for pediatric cancer patients at the Long Island Duckprints award ceremony on December 18th, 2013.
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Abigail Slaven
Holtsville
A pediatric oncology nurse for 15 years, Ms. Slaven found this as her calling shortly after becoming an RN. She has served as a source of empowerment for the nurses at Cohen’s Children Medical Center by developing and implementing “Primary Nursing” for Cohen’s pediatric oncology patients. The patients meet their primary nurse when they are diagnosed, and this nurse is with them whenever they are admitted to the hospital. It gives the nurse the opportunity to take the nursing care to the next level. The nurse becomes one of the experts on her primary patient and a crucial element to their care, collaborating with the rest of the health care team. “I have been the Assistant Nurse Manager of the inpatient Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit for the past six years, where I have been given the opportunity to make an impact on pediatric cancer. Every day I am challenged to advocate for patients and their families facing the diagnosis of cancer. My role at Cohen Children’s Medical Center has given me the chance to be a part of ongoing quality and safety measures ensuring that we are always striving to perform compassionate and quality care”, says Ms. Slaven. “This job is a privilege and I am thankful every day to work with the most amazing kids battling cancer.”

Aflac proudly recognized Nurse Slaven and her passionate commitment to pediatric cancer patients and their families at the Long Island Duckprints award ceremony on December 18th, 2013.
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The Glaub Family
Troy
After seeing the passion that Aflac CEO Dan Amos and his wife Kathelen have for the fight against childhood cancer. the Glaubs decided to get involved. But it wasn’t until they visited the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta that they realized they were in it for the long haul. “Just one tour of the center makes anyone have that same passion,” Andy said. “It is an amazing place to make children and their families as comfortable as they can be during their stay. There is such a sense of hope and happiness surrounding every child and family that walks through their doors.” The Glaubs have been Circle of Care members, donating at least $10,000 annually to the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center since its inception in 2006. As the State Sales Coordinator of Michigan South, Andy has made it his goal for Michigan South to be the top fundraising state in the company benefiting the center. The couple believes that no matter how far away that you are, you can make a difference not only in a child’s life but in a family’s life when they are battling cancer. The Glaub’s love of the Aflac Cancer Center is a family affair as well. Their daughter Laura interned for the center during college and added her expertise to fundraising efforts.
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Michelle Nguyen
Johns Creek
14-year-old Michelle Nguyen from John’s Creek, Georgia is a patient at the Aflac Cancer & Blood Disorders Center and has special designs for this year’s Aflac Holiday Duck. After winning a contest to design the 2013 duck, Michelle is excited to help children with cancer and other blood disorders across the nation. She is thrilled that her duck will be raising money for treatments and research that could lead to cures. Michelle has thalassemia, a genetic defect of their red blood cells that affects the cells’ ability to produce normal hemoglobin. She needs a bone marrow transplant and is hoping that she will find a match soon and that she can help raise awareness of the need for bone marrow donor registration.
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Alexis Russell
Columbus
I’m writing to tell you about my superhero, 9-year-old Alexis Russell! She is my daughter, and on July 12, 2012, she was diagnosed with a very rare, cancerous Plexiform Fibrohistiocytic tumor. At the time she was 7; we learned that this stage 2 tumor on the back of her left knee. We went back to the hospital two weeks later to have the rare tumor removed from her leg. This one ended up being bigger than the doctors predicted, so surgeons had to remove her muscle, tendons, and cartilage in the back of her knee. She had a VERY long recovery with many, many setbacks. But this September, Childhood Cancer Awarenss month, no less, Alexis celebrated one year of NED (no evidence of disease)! Alexis inspires everyone around her through a passionate desire to support other children at the hospital where she is a patient and all her surgeries and scans are done. Last year, for her 8th birthday, she asked that no one bring her presents; that, instead, she wished for friends and family to bring items that she could take to other kids on the Oncology floor. Alexis made a list of toys, crafts, etc. that could be used and enjoyed by kids while they are stuck in a hospital bed. The first trip we took over $3,000 dollars worth of goodies for the kids! Her selflessness is unstoppable; Alexis continues to truly leave her Footprint by asking her friends, family, and local businesses in our area to help her bring smiles to patients. Every three months, when we go in for her scans, Alexis and I take a car load of goodies up to the young cancer patients. She also became a local spokesperson in our area to bring awareness that Childhood Cancer is not rare: Alexis has spoken at several large events and given interviews for the local Columbus news stations. Alexis is my superhero. She has shown so much strength, courage, heart and selflessness. Over the past several months she has inspired me, her family, and our community every single day. I know she will do big things and I can’t wait to see them!
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Adler Bryce
Griffith
Hello! I am writing to nominate my story and my son Adler Bryce to be featured as a Footprint in the fight against childhood cancer. Adler was diagnosed at the age of two with a very rare and aggressive brain tumor, a Supratentorial PNET. He underwent numerous brain surgeries, 31 treatments of Proton beam radiation to his head and spine, and many harsh chemo treatments. Adler unfortunately often relapsed in the middle of his treatments and eventually lost his nine-month battle on September 10, 2012. Since my son passed, I feel the need to help other families and children on their cancer journey. We began with a walk, called the ADLERSTRONG Birthday Walk, around the time of his birthday this January. The event raised over eight thousand dollars, which we donated to Riley hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana! Our family and friends also held a motorcycle “poker run” in June and donated over a thousand dollars from that event to Riley again for brain tumor research. I feel Adler has touched many lives. When we announce fundraisers and talk about our lives without our baby, our mission is to bring awareness. One day we hope to find a cure for this horrible disease. This past June, I traveled to Washington, DC, for Childhood Cancer Action Days and spoke to some of our state reps on Capitol Hill about getting more funding for our children. I miss my son so terribly much, but I will continue to fight for a cure in his honor!
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Bailey Moody
Johns Creek
Bailey Moody, a brave 11 year-old girl diagnosed in 2012 with an aggressive form of cancer called osteosarcoma, recently underwent a remarkable procedure called Rotationplasty. The procedure detached her leg and then reattached it backwards, enabling her ankle joint to function as her knee joint. A prosthetic is attached to her foot to facilitate walking and running.

Aflac is proud to have hosted Bailey at the inaugural Duckprints Awards ceremony at the Aflac Cancer Center on September 4, 2013, where she met the Duck, award recipients John Smoltz and Dr. William Woods, Ernie Johnson, Jr. (ceremony host and CBS Sports broadcaster), Dan Amos, Aflac Chairman and CEO, and Kathelen Amos, President of the Aflac Foundation. At the event, Bailey represented children and families facing cancer and shared her brave story with press conference attendees.

Bailey is currently practicing with her middle school volleyball team and enjoys playing tennis and rock climbing!
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The Sepesi Family
New London
A chance. A chance to grow up and live a normal life. A chance to accomplish your dreams. That chance is one of the reasons Jeff and Lisa Sepesi have been Circle of Care members, giving $10,000 annually, since the program’s inception in 2006. But it’s not the only reason. Jeff and Lisa know from experience the courage and spirit it takes to fight cancer. Lisa is a two-time cancer survivor. The children at the Aflac Cancer Center have become an inspiration to them, and Jeff and Lisa have inspired many more, through tireless fund raising and continued financial support. “For almost two decades we have been blessed to adopt these children as our own, share in their journey, and watch them grow and live their dreams,” Jeff said. He and Lisa have witnessed firsthand the impact a donation makes in the fight against childhood cancer and count themselves as blessed to be a part of the center’s mission.
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John Smoltz
Atlanta
Aflac is proud to honor inaugural Duckprints Award recipient John Smoltz. An eight-time All-Star, winner of the 1996 Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in the National League, and one of only 16 pitchers in major league baseball history to strike out 3,000 or more batters over the course of his career, mostly with the Atlanta Braves, he also has truly left his Footprint in the fight against childhood cancer.

In 1991, John met a young cancer patient Andrew Mcleroy. A friendship quickly ensued, and after Andrew's unfortunate passing, Mr. Smoltz honored Andrew by becoming the inaugural host of the Atlanta Braves Celebrity-Am Golf Tournament to benefit children's cancer. Since 1992, the annual tournament has generated nearly $1.5 million in proceeds to the Aflac Cancer Center. Since 1991, Smoltz has maintained a close relationship with the Aflac Cancer Center, often visiting children unannounced, participating in the company's Annual Braves Night for cancer patients at Turner Field, and often spending holidays by the side of patients at the cancer center.
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Mason Link
West Bend
I knew nothing of the great lengths that Aflac went in the fight against childhood cancer. My son Mason was diagnosed at the age of 7 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He is my inspiration. He went through so much at such a young age and without a complaint. He is the reason I want to help families with our protection. I know the devastation that the word Cancer can cause. I want my Duckprint to help to make sure one more child does not have to hear those words, that one more family does not have to wonder if they are going to lose their child.

Mason is now 12 and thriving, but without the cutting edge research, things could have turned out so differently for our family. After you have a child diagnosed with Cancer you have a new appreciation for life and the fragile state it can become in an instant. We thank God every day that we had wonderful doctors that had the knowledge to treat Mason so he can be the fantastic young man he is today.

Thank you for all that you have done, continue to do and the impact that you will have on families and kids in the future!
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Gwen Aylward
Manhattan
In the fall of 1997, Gwen Aylward heard eight words no parent can ever imagine having to hear and process: “The tumor is malignant, your daughter has cancer.” Samantha Aylward, at just 13 years old, was diagnosed with brain cancer and began a 15-month battle that would take her sight, ability to walk, and ultimately her life. Throughout these struggling times, Samantha’s unfaltering faith and sense of humor filled everyone around her with superhuman strength, allowing them to get through their own pain and battle the disease alongside her. Though Samantha was given a short time in this world, her life has proven to be an eternal gift. Motivated by the tenacity of Samantha, Gwen dedicated her life to fighting childhood cancer. As the Kansas state cancer ambassador, she created platforms to spread her passion and help these inspiring children. “We KEEP THE FAITH that we will defeat childhood cancer”.
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William Woods, MD
Atlanta
For most of his professional career, William G. Woods, MD has been dedicated to researching and treating pediatric cancer. Under his leadership, the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center in Atlanta has grown to become one of the largest and most preeminent childhood cancers and blood disorders program in the nation. He completed his residency at the University of Minnesota and went on to conduct his Fellowship at Cornell University. He then returned to Minnesota to complete another Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology so he could learn more about childhood cancer. Currently, he is the director of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Director of Children’s Healthcare. The work he is able to complete there has benefited children from all across the country. Due to efforts by Dr. Woods and hundreds of others like him, the Aflac Cancer Center has been ranked in the top 10 pediatric centers and the top 12 children’s hospitals in the nation.
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Kasyn Olivadotti
Athens
Kasyn Olivadotti was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) before she reached kindergarten. At age 4, the daughter of University of Georgia linebacker coach Kirk Olivadotti began treatments at the Atlanta Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Kasyn and her family instantly bonded with all the medical staff at the hospital, making their difficult trips between Athens and Atlanta as comforting as possible. Throughout treatment, the wives of the other UGA coaches joined together to support their newest Athens family. They offered home-cooked meals and helped the Olivadotti family in any way possible. When Kasyn was in remission and back home, the women decided to continue giving as much as their schedules allowed to the children of the Aflac Cancer Center. The Kasyn Cares Fund was created to benefit a fund for clinical research at the center.

In November of 2013, Kasyn's father declared, "she had a surgery that should hopefully be the last surgery that we've got. So far, we're declaring victory right now."
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