A Childhood Cancer Survivor Blogging about the World of Childhood Cancer

Posts tagged ‘UNICEF’

The National Children’s Cancer Society and One Day Soon…

Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery

Article 23 “Children who have any kind of disability should have special care and support, so that they can lead full and independent lives.”

~From UNICEF Children’s Rights and Responsibilities Leaflet


Ask any childhood cancer survivor about survival, and they will undoubtedly tell you about people and organizations that helped them through their darkest of times. Thankfully, there are organizations that help survivors live “full and independent lives.” The National Children’s Cancer Society is one of these vitally important organizations.  I am personally grateful to NCCS for assisting me with my education at Pepperdine University with a Beyond the Cure Scholarship.  After suffering the financial devastation that comes along with childhood cancer, families are in even greater need of assistance to send their children to college.  Offering educational scholarships is one of the ways that NCCS gives “special care and support” to children who are fighting—or have fought—childhood cancer.

The National Children’s Cancer Society’s mission:

“The mission of The National Children’s Cancer Society is to improve the quality of life for children with cancer and their families worldwide.

We serve as a financial, emotional and educational resource for those in need at every stage of illness and recovery. In the United States, we ease the financial burdens that accompany major illness, give crucial support and address the challenges of survivorship. Abroad, we provide lifesaving pharmaceutical drugs and medical supplies to facilities that treat children with cancer.”


The history of NCCS is fascinating to me. This organization was born in the late 80’s because BMT’s, bone marrow transplants, were becoming viable forms of treatment for some types of childhood cancers, but insurance companies would not cover the cost.

“Since its inception, the NCCS has provided more than $57 million in direct financial assistance to more than 34,000 children. The organization works closely with over 300 hospitals and pediatric oncology units throughout US and reaches thousands more through its ongoing education programs and materials.”

NCCS’s Pediatric Oncology Program, or POP, provides emotional and financial assistance to families in the midst of the emotional and financial devastation that is childhood cancer. They recognize that the burdens the families bear are extraordinary. NCCS even assigns caseworkers who will guide families through the treacherous, unknown “waters” they have been thrust into. The peace of mind of having someone available with information/advice makes this an enormously valuable service.


Educational Services are one other type of service that NCCS provides, through web conferences for healthcare professionals and childhood cancer survivors and through regional survivorship conferences.


“The National Children’s Cancer Society’s Beyond the Cure Survivorship Program provides funding to hospitals across the U.S. to host survivorship conferences in their local community.”

Schedule of Web Conferences:


 In addition, The National Children’s Cancer Society provides educational services for pediatric oncology nurses. Ped/Onc Nurses can earn up to eight hours of continuing education credit, with no charge. They will award one credit hour for each program.


One final way NCCS serves to educate about childhood cancer is through publications and video available through their website.


The National Children’s Cancer Society is able to provide “special care and support” to children with cancer and to survivors through:

Private Donations:


Fundraising Teams:


Corporate Partners:




I must comment on this one–my dad, Stooge-fan-extraordinaire, will be first in line for this one!!!

Thrift Stores:


Charity Vending:

This is a way for business owners to help children with cancer and their families.


Treasure Chest Vending:

The NCCS has partnered with Accessit Corp. of Canada on its new Treasure Chest machines. As their exclusive US charity partner, this program generates support for our Pediatric Oncology Program.”


In addition to all of the services and resources I have mentioned, The National Children’s Cancer Society acts swiftly to assist families in times of natural disasters, like Sandy. Disrupted communication services caused by super-storm Sandy left children in treatment in even more danger, and NCCS acted to bridge those temporary gaps.

I love that NCCS was born out of a huge need that they filled, helping save children’s lives and families’ financial stability. I love that NCCS has a huge variety of services available to help families in the middle of the Crisis Of Their Lives. I love that NCCS recognizes the difficulties of survivor-ship and how they provide where there is great need.

Finally, I am grateful to NCCS for my Beyond the Cure Scholarship. I will always be grateful and show my gratitude by giving everything I have to my studies. May my cancer story come full circle to be able to help children through their cancer journey, to help gather funds for pediatric research, and to one day be able to conduct my own childhood cancer research—that will lead to cures for childhood cancer.

The National Children’s Cancer Society gives me hope; they give me hope that one day there will be no need for a National Children’s Cancer Society. Without a doubt, I know they feel the same.

One day…

One day soon…

Austin Munoz –Moorpark Football Senior Night





I Met Jenna Bush Today!

The exclamation point at the end of my post title tells you how excited I am about meeting Jenna Bush today:) Each time I recall this morning, I smile and my heart feels happy.

My mom noticed an ad in The Tribune earlier this week. It said that Jenna Bush Hager was scheduled for a discussion at the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo (exactly where I will be performing in The Nutcracker in a few weeks:)) on November 8th. I remember her questioning the date, and then she concluded that the paper must have made a mistake on the date and that it had to be today.

We dragged our weary little bottoms out of bed in the deep darkness of morning and prepared to travel north to San Luis Obispo. I brought along a copy of Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer And Recovery to give to Jenna (yeah, right… like I would really get the chance to do that!!!) Mom and I joked on the way there about how this whole adventure reminded us of setting out for Solvang to look for Lance Armstrong so he could sign my port jar– like a needle in a haystack, we found him. Not only did we find him, but we somehow managed to accomplish our mission, despite the massive crowds.

As we walked to the entrance of the Performing Arts Center, there, over to the far side of the entrance, was none other than Jenna Bush. She was with a photographer who was taking her photos, one other man, and that was all.  Mom quickly assessed the situation and figured that the man with them was most likely Jenna’s “Security Person.” After walking over to this “Security Person,” we found his name to be Cornell, and he was very friendly. Mom explained that I had a gift to give to Jenna and what it was. Cornell responded with an open heart, kindness, and care, asking us to wait with him until Jenna was finished with her photos.

And then, I met Jenna Bush Hager.

I have to tell you that my excitement is not because I met “Jenna Bush,” but because of the person I learned that she is from my experience talking with her. Her smile is brilliant and when she looks at you, she looks straight into your eyes and soul with genuine care. I am still deeply moved by the way she stopped everything– even though she was scheduled to speak within minutes– to ask me thoughtful questions about my book. She is a lovely, beautiful woman, and I feel blessed to have had our lovely talk.

Just in case you don’t know, Jenna is a contributing correspondent for the Today Show, and she’s chair of UNICEF’s Next Generation whose purpose is reducing preventable childhood deaths worldwide. Jenna’s book is “Ana’s Story,” and I am really looking forward to reading it.

To Jenna’s parents, former President Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush, what a beautiful daughter you have raised! You must have given her lots of love, because she sure does have a lot to share.

I am extremely grateful she chose to share it with me today.

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