Google "ICEE" and "Chemotherapy" and you will find numerous blogs, parents and children touting the remarkable soothing effects of ICEEs for children going through chemotherapy. You will even hear some parents telling tales of having to travel across town to find an ICEE for their child undergoing chemotherapy as it seems to be one of the very few things that can soothe the resulting side-effects of their treatment.
During her own battle with childhood cancer (which is the #1 disease killing children), 14 year old Nicole Sheriff founder of Angel 34, found that ICEEs (that cool, slushy drink) helped off-set the side effects that often accompany cancer treatments and chemotherapy. The ICEE helped her stay hydrated, relieved the pain associated with mouth sores resulting from treatment, helped soothe stomach pain, would help break the mucositis that develops with chemotherapy treatment which makes it difficult to swallow; and was the only thing she and other children seemed to be able to keep down. Scientific research has even shown that due to ICEE's particular way of mixing air, water and flavor into the drink that it is absorbed differently into the body (much like cotton candy is in our mouth), making it easier for children to tolerate while going through such invasive treatment.
After leaving the hospital, Nicole wanted to give back to those who had helped her and to help other children who would soon be going through what she did. It was upon that premise that Nicole Sheriff at the age of 14 formed the Angel 34 Foundation. Out of compassion for every child she came across, she vowed that she could make a difference in that child's life. It was her wish that every child have their own angel during their time of need.
Since her passing at the age of 15, Nicole's parents have continued her legacy. Angel 34 is committed to bringing hope and healing to the children and families of those affected by childhood cancer. With the help of supporters and donors, Nicole installed the first ICEE machine in the Lehigh Valley Hospital in 2004. Angel 34 continues to accomplish her dream with the goal to sponsor and distribute these drink machines in each of the 170 children's hospitals in the US and beyond. No longer will parents have to drive across town for an ICEE, but all children in these hospitals will be able to get an ICEE at no cost to any child going through treatment.
At each hospital machine installation, Angel 34 hopes to help each hospital celebrate by providing a fun-filled celebration for the children inclusive of ICEEs, the ICEE Bear mascot, celebrities and activities for the kids and their immediate families to enjoy.
It is through the generous support of donors like you that we are able to provide this much needed drink to the thousands of children (and families) already going through so much. "To have a machine in the hospital where your child is going through treatment, means so much," says Jacque Zupko whose own 5 year old daughter is fighting cancer. "A drink may seem like a small thing, but when it is free and easily accessible within the hospital and when, because of its light and airy consistency, it is the only thing your child can keep down and soothes her pain resulting from her treatment, it is a lifesaver."