Inspirationalstories

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JASMIN BOYD - JanuaryMy name is Jasmin Boyd I am a fun loving and kind 15 year old that can’t wait to get my driver’s license. I enjoy dancing, acting, baking and really love science and chemistry. On March, 1st 2019, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. It was a shock and struggle at first, sometimes I cry and scream out of sadness and anger; however I am learning to be more positive. I don’t think it’s fair for anyone to get cancer because it turns your life upside down. Lucky for me, the type of cancer I have is treatable and on the last week of June I was told that my cancer is remission. I am excited that my cancer is remission but, will ALL I realize that I still have to go through 2 years of treatment. I am anxiously waiting for the day that I am allowed to go back to school (Not sure why), dance, and swim again. One thing is for certain I am strong and a fighter. I will get through this with some great stories to tell and be able to help others going thru similar situations.

PORTER LILLEY - FebruaryPorter Lilley was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in October 2011, at age 8. He successfully completed three and a half years of chemotherapy and was living the life of a typical teenager, healthy and thriving; when a routine visit to the doctor in October 2018 revealed that he had relapsed and is now going through treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia for a second time.

Porter lives at home with his mother and sister and will be a junior at Northwestern Lehigh High School in the 2019-2020 school year. He enjoys listening to music, playing video games and Dungeons and Dragons, hanging out with his friends, skateboarding and watching movies-especially scary movies. He also loves good food and wants to be a chef when he graduates from school.

Porter is a very determined patient. He has been strong over the course of both of his battles and never waivers in the thought that he will win. Cancer has slowed him down and put many things on hold for him, but it hasn’t taken away his spirit or sense of humor. Porter gets through each day with a smile and many laughs.

WILL McLAUGHLIN - MarchOn May 15, 2018 Will was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He was 6 years old and finishing 1st grade at Plainfield Elementary School. The first 8 months of treatment were really tough for our family. Will faced pneumonia, an allergy to one of his chemotherapy drugs, a viral infection, bacterial infection, a kidney stone, and extreme pain from steroids. But in January 2019 he hit maintenance. Since maintenance things have been going amazing. Today Will is 8 years old and a vibrant 3rd grader. He loves art and music. He is also very proud of his Irish heritage and he is honored to represent the month of March!

TRAVIS REESE - AprilMy name is Travis, I was born on April 1, 2003, and was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia with a Mediastinal Mass on Halloween 2018 at 10:38 am, when I was 15-years old. I had been sick for about 8 days with vague complaints and my Mother, a Critical Care Nurse, knew something wasn’t right. In the ER, we never expected to hear the words, “You have cancer”.

I was admitted that very day in critical condition, received transfusions of blood, platelets and plasma, and underwent a PICC placement & Induction chemotherapy within hours. I remember the word Leukopheresis being mentioned. I was hospitalized for over a month, and I am proud to say I achieved “Clinical” Remission in 28 days determined from a Bone Marrow Biopsy. In December, I had a port placed for long term chemotherapy treatments. My treatment plan will continue until March 11, 2022.

I live with my Mother, my younger sister Laurel, and older brother Thomas. They are my world & my support system, having been with me through everything, including each & every lumbar puncture, every chemotherapy dose and even a Grand Mal Seizure requiring a round of CPR in my home while awaiting the arrival of EMS.

I was a Sophomore when I was diagnosed, am enrolled at the Perkiomen School, and have yet to return to school. However, I completed my sophomore year and several AP and Honor Classes from afar, maintaining High Honors through it all. I was Co-Captain of my Soccer team, am an avid Mandarin Chinese student, love video games, mini golf and enjoyed spending time with my brother who is in college in Philadelphia.

I intend on graduating with my peers on time in May of 2021, and refuse to let my struggles hold me back from my ambition. I look forward to the day I will graduate Medical School and give back to the community that has given me everything!

MEGHAN KLAUGH - MayHi, my name is Meghan. I was diagnosed with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in October 2018. I started treatment with chemotherapy at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, but transferred my care to Lehigh Valley since we live in Northampton. Although treatment is hard, I’m doing really well. I’m a freshman at Northampton High School. I keep doing all the things I love to do including going out and being social as much as I can. My advice to all the kids who are newly diagnosed is to not let cancer change who you are. Just take your treatment, move forward and stay strong because you can do this!

DEREK‚ÄôS CAMP FLIP FLOP - JuneWhen June of 2020 rolls around the Angel 34 Foundation will be traveling to Wildwood Crest NJ for its 10th Year of Derek’s Camp Flip Flop. Derek’s Camp Flip Flop allows kids facing a variety of limitations, because of their disease, to be kids. During their battle we forget that they just want to be kids and want to be treated like kids that don’t have cancer with opportunities to RUN, PLAY, SWIM and ENJOY BEING WITH OTHER KIDS. Derek’s Camp Flip Flop provides both support and opportunities so the child/family and are in control of their experience. By choosing activities in which they wish to participate, they are able to gain a sense of normalcy in their lives. Derek’s Camp Flip Flop is a respite assurance for all the campers involved. While at the camp the children can gain independence from the parents, meet friends, develop new skills and discover new and old interests in a safe environment. It also allows the parents to relax, gain support from other parents and spend quality time with their children in a fun environment.

Derek’s Camp Flip Flop creates a bond between siblings, friends and families that carries over long after the last day of camp. Through the camp experience, everyone is able to discover they are not alone, are able to have their feelings validated and discover there is HOPE.

MARCUS - July(In Memory Of An Amazing Angel Warrior)
On November 4, 2019 the world lost an amazing young man. Marcus’ drive and hard work inspired and empowered many people. He graduated from William Allen High School, where he was a standout football player, MVP, in the school's Hall of Fame and received many awards. He attended Temple University and was an exceptional student/athlete and excelled in many sports.

Even though his time with us was short, his message and spirit remain and empower others. Before his passing Marcus was the Founder, CEO and Creative Director of AMP Clothing Brand (Any Means Possible). AMP is the empowerment of one’s self. The will and drive that we seek through hard work that shows real character.
I want to INSPIRE, ELEVATE and HELP people in so many ways.

Keep going and put the effort and hard work into where you want to go for TRUE DESIRE and WILL TO LIVE.

LAUREN WHITE - AugustHi, my name is Lauren, I am 16 years old. I was diagnosed with a pineoblastoma in October, 2018 after a trip to Disney. I woke up on my 15th birthday with a terrible headache. When I first found out I was really sad. I went through six weeks of radiation therapy and eventually chemotherapy. Some times are hard but I have a lot of
support to get me through it. My siblings and pets were a huge help. Talking to my brother, Shane, and sisters, Carleigh and MacKenzie, made me feel so much better.

My 2 cats are Bentley and Simba, and I have 3 dogs, Apollo, Rocky, and Sophie. They always knew when I was feeling sick and were there to comfort me. I also would talk to my grandfather who passed. Although he wasn’t physically there, it meant a lot to talk to him.

I love to craft and draw. I really enjoy doing effects makeup and even performed my skills in the clinic’s talent show! I aspire to become a film make-up artist or a NICU nurse. My nurses and staff became my second family and mean so much to me. I hope to use my dream trip to go see the Ellen DeGeneres Show during the 12 days of Christmas! I am now in remission and have been off treatment for 2 months! I have learned a lot from my brain tumor. I’m still angry that I had to go through all of this but I know I can overcome anything because of it!

ASHLEY DRONENBURG - SeptemberIn November 2017 Ashley had a pain on her right side. This pain continued for a few days when I decided to take her to the doctor where she thought she just pulled a muscle. A week later the pain continued. A few days later she was scheduled for an ultrasound where they found a tumor on her ninth rib. I had to take her immediately to the er and started tests right away. She went in for surgery the next day where they did a biopsy, drained a liter of fluid from her chest, and put her port in. She was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma. The next day chemo started to try to shrink the tumor. As the chemo worked it was still to large for it to be removed.
In 2018 we packed clothes and traveled to Philadelphia for Ashley to start proton radiation and continued her chemo treatments at chop. After 31 days of radiation we were ready to come home and Ashley finished her chemo treatments back home at LVH along with seeing the burn unit where they treated her for 3rd degree burns from the radiation. Today Ashley is doing good. She gets bloodwork, scans, and sees the oncologist every 3 months.

JACK OHL - OctoberJack is a 13 year old student at Orefield Middle School in the Parkland School District. Jack was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, B-Cell, on 02/28/19 and continues to endure several rounds of chemotherapy, blood and platelet transfusions. Jack has had several setbacks with a chemotherapy drug called Methotrexate which caused toxicity on his brain causing long hospital stays including the ICU. Jack has so much love for the sport of football. He has played football since he was 5 years old for the South Parkland Youth Association. Three days prior to being diagnosed Jack started preparing for the 8th tackle program at OMS. Unfortunately Jack was unable to continue playing football due to his cancer diagnosis. Jack is a diehard Cowboys fan and loves to watch football with his family on Sundays. During one of his hospital stays Jack had a visit from the NY Giants running back, Saquon Barkley. Even though Jack was unable to speak, and at that time experienced short term paralysis, he remembers Saquon’s visit and the words of encouragement to fight beat the cancer and one day to return to the sport he loves. Jack may not have been a Giants fan but he does have a lot of respect for a man named Saquon, who has left not only an impact on his life but taught Jack that you can overcome obstacles in life, including beating this cancer. Out of respect for a man that lifted his spirits that day, Jack is wearing Saquon’s jersey and is featured with the football signed by Saquon to say thank you. Thank you for encouraging me not to give up and to keep fighting for my dreams for one day in hopes to walk back onto the football field and play the sport I love.

DESTINEE LAROCCA - NovemberDestinee was diagnosed with Stage 2A Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in March 2019 at the age of 12 years old. She lives at home with her sisters and brother as well as her mother, who loves her dearly. Destinee is going into eighth grade in Pleasant Valley middle school and is a Honor roll student.

She enjoys playing soccer, as well as shooting her bow and hunting. Her favorite color is green and anything camouflage. Her humor keeps everyone’s life full of laughs and smiles. She has a heart of gold and her strength is powerful enough to give any one in her path the courage they never knew they had.

Getting diagnosed with cancer was a journey in her life that she did not expect, as no one ever does but she took it on with such a great attitude. When asked how can you be so strong during your chemo treatments, she responded with “There are so many people that have it a lot worse that I do, so I feel it wouldn’t be right to complain.” There were bad days, and good days but even on Destinee’s worst day she still managed to have a smile that could light up a room. Her powerful presence and positive attitude helped to get her through every day, and regardless of what different obstacles were thrown her way she never once gave up.

There was a promise that was made between Destinee and her mother, her mother asked that no matter how hard things get and the days that seem as though you can’t find any more strength inside of you please promise me you will never give up. July 2nd 2019, the best news was given. Destinee scans came back, she was cancer free! She never gave up, a promise she intends to keep forever and always!

This photo of Destinee represents her love and passion for the month of November with the hunting season coming about. The courage and strength can be seen in her smile, she hopes that her story will help others find their strength as well.

MARILOU REINHARDT - DecemberMarilou was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma in December 2016. She was 12. The pain in her back started one year and a half ago, in France. The back-specialist said that might be scoliosis. He asked not to dramatize, but the pain was sometimes excruciating.

In August 2016, a part of the family (the parents, Marilou and one of her three sisters) moved to the United States. At some point, Marilou could not go on the pain and the physical therapist advised her to go to the hospital to see a specialist. An MRI revealed the tumor.

Marilou went through chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. She’s doing really well now even if each exam (MRI, ultrasounds,…) brings a lot of stress before the results are known and there is no evidence of recurrence.

Now, Marilou is in tenth grade at Southern Lehigh High School and is part of the swim team, and the band. She’s also very protective of the environment and is concerned about endangered species.