Category Archives: Max Cure Kids

Jovi’s Story

Roar Beyond BarriersJovan, known to his friends as Jovi, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in January of 2013 at the young age of 13. Jovi’s battle began when they found a tumor in his left femur. He has undergone chemotherapy and major surgery to remove the tumor which has been successful so far.  Jovi’s strength is inspiring; he even had to learn how to walk again after the surgery. Unfortunately this year a new tumor on his rib (and possible others) were located.  He has started more chemo treatment and more surgeries are potentially planned.

Like most teenage boys he loves video games. His Make-a-Wish request is to be a voice in the next Batman video game and they are trying to make that happen. He always speaks about creating a video game when he grows up. Batman and Iron Man are some of his favorite hero’s. Jovi likes the Miami Heat and the Pittsburgh Steelers and although Jovi is primarily shy when it comes to the sports teams he likes they definitely catch his attention.

Jovi’s amazing team of warriors, including Weekawken High School Peer Leadership, West New York Board of Education (for collecting at 6 grammar schools), Hamilton School, in Harrison NJ, Sims Metal Management, the Latin American Motorcycle Association, Pocono Chapter for coordinating a drop off location at the Pocono Mountain Harley Davidson Store, USB Financial Services, and friends from Florida to Brooklyn to Gathersburg have aided in the collection of over 1200 pair of sneakers in the last thirty days. We were originally introduce to Jovi and his Mother when his Aunt reached out to the foundation.

The Aunt’s Pediatric Cancer Story

“The Max Cure Foundation was introduced to me by my friend and colleague from work, Amanda Goldman.  She explained the great mission the foundation has and how they strive to bring awareness and funding for Pediatric Cancer research.  I took this opportunity to coordinate a donation event with all of our supporters known as “Team Jovi”.  With the help of our amazing family and friends we have collected a total of over 1200 pair of sneakers and the donations keep coming.

Dunk Your Kicks

My personal mission in doing this is to let my nephew know that he is not in this battle alone!!  Kids get Cancer too and we fight as one!  My nephew is my inspiration and my hero.  His smile is one that lights up a room and this has helped him see that so many people close and as far as Florida are helping to bring awareness about this disease and are here for him.  He doesn’t fight alone as no child fighting this battle does. I am proud to be his aunt and proud to bring awareness about Pediatric Cancer!  #TeamJovi#Wefightasone”

You Can Help Too

Merrill LynchBy starting a Dunk Your Kicks collection you are making a difference in the lives of those who have children battling cancer, but you are also leaving an environmental footprint while providing jobs to individuals in this country and abroad. The Max Cure Foundation will receive up to $1.00 per pair based on the quality of the sneakers collected. Start a drop-box program, become an ambassador or host an event. There are many ways to help, you just start by clicking here.

Meet Manijeh and Her Family

For the month of February The Max Cure Foundation would like to honor the Ryan family as our Roar Beyond Barriers featured family. Manijeh, the Ryan’s oldest child, and only daughter is a brave 14-year-old who has been battling brain cancer for about five years. Manijeh started having seizures when she was 3 years old, which as it turns out, was caused by a brain tumor which was initially benign. In 2010 the Ryan family was given the news no parent ever wants to hear, the tumor had become cancerous.

Manijeh and Family 2012Over the years, with radiation and bi-weekly chemotherapy treatments, Manijeh’s medial team was not able to shrink the entire tumor however we are happy to share that as of right now, her chemotherapy is over and the cancer is gone! Even though the diagnosis is good, Manijeh continues to have seizures and requires continuous medication.   She will require continued care as those children that survive have a ten times greater mortality rate due to the increased risk of heart and liver disease as well as recurrence of the cancer. “Families facing such challenges have to stay positive” Amos said during an interview at Max Cure’s August 2013 event. With such positive surroundings, Manijeh has the inspiration she needs to continue to fight this battle with bravery.

Amos Ryan EH BasketballManijeh is supported by her loving family and friends including her younger brother, Jalen, her Mother Canela, and her Father, Amos. Amos Ryan is a former high school (East Hampton High School) and collegiate (Southampton College) basketball star who, while in college, went on to be ranked among the nation’s top rebounders. Amos came to this country as a teenager from Union Island in the Grenadines. Following graduation from college, Amos became a police officer in New York City, a position he continues to hold. The Max Cure Foundation recently awarded Amos with the Roar Beyond Barriers Award on August 28, 2013 for his honor, bravery, integrity and the unconditional love he had shown for his family and community.

Manijeh’s Mom stated while the family was included in the Roar Beyond Barriers program that it “has been a great help. It’s taken a weight off so that we can focus on the medical part. If it weren’t for the Plotkin’s foundation, we probably would have our lights shut off.”

The Max Cure Foundation has provided support in excess of $260,000 to 77 families in 12 states from 21 different hospitals. Currently those families receiving support are located in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. You can help support the program by making a donation here and by starting your own Dunk Your Kicks collection. Together we will “Roar For a Cure” until one is found.

Max Cure Friend Brightens Smiles on Christmas

Pediatric cancerRichard Plotkin, Vice Chairman of The Max Cure Foundation (MCF) visited one of the Roar Beyond Barriers, NYC, families during the holidays at their new home on Staten Island.  The Christmas tree was decorated with festive and religious ornaments, signaling the joy and serenity of this holiday season and the hope along with the anticipated prosperity for the year ahead.  Grace, age 9, had made the paper snowflake hanging from the ceiling over the tree. Her proud parents were all smiles as MCF brought gifts donated by a friend (who has requested to remain anonymous) of Max Cure Foundation for Grace and Nikki, her 8 year-old sister.

american girl dollThe presents, which were placed under the tree, included two gift certificates to American Girl Doll’s Manhattan store to allow Grace and Nikki to purchase two American Girl dolls, and outfits. The friend of MCF facilitated for Grace and Nikki the dream of many young girls to take their American Girl dolls to the retail store for the experience of a lifetime. Grace is anxious to be the “make – believe mother” of her special doll, who she will proudly name when she gets to the store, looking into her doll’s eyes with the love and emotion she will hopefully someday experience as a “real life” mother.

Nikki on the other hand will not be able to look into her doll’s eyes with the same expectations and hope. Nikki is blind and she has brain cancer. Indeed, no one knows what the year ahead will bring for Nikki or if she will ever experience the joy of motherhood that awaits Grace. Nikki for years has been battling this horrific disease that robbed her of her sight and continues to take her childhood, and potentially her future. Since May, 2012, this family has been part of the Max Cure Foundation Roar Beyond Barriers program in New York City which financially assists low income families battling childhood cancers.

The friend of MCF heard of the family’s situation and wanted to give the girls special Christmas gifts.  The family has received and continues to receive gift cards each month from MCF to be used at a local Target Store to purchase food and other necessities. The New York City program assists families being treated at NYU Cancer Institute, NYU Langone Medical Center, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  This program in New York City is supported by PNC Foundation with annual grants of $25,000, having been given to MCF since the launch of the program in 2011.  The Roar Beyond Barriers program currently assists over 40 low income and military families from around the country who are battling cancer in their children, with over 15 additional families having been part of the program since its inception. Of the 15 children in the latter families they have either gone into remission or passed away. 

Until last year, Grace and Nikki’s family lived in a basement apartment on Staten Island. Nikki, who is wheelchair bound had a very difficult time. Hence, they were forced to move into an apartment with wheelchair access.  Having a hard time finding a suitable apartment that would accommodate a wheelchair, this family called upon The Max Cure Foundation for advice and guidance.  Max Cure Foundation made a phone call to a prospective landlord, who, following that call entered into a lease with the family for their current apartment. When asked in an interview about what MCF means to them, the father replied, “We cannot thank MCF enough for everything they have done for us! The money I make goes towards bills. It is hard and so frustrating. We just barely make ends meet. I get paid bi-weekly, so that is extremely hard.  Again, thank you so much for everything.”

After visiting with the family over the holidays, Richard stated “I can truly say that my visit this past weekend with Nikki, Grace and their parents underscored for me the truism – It is better to give than to receive.”

Match a DunkThe Roar Beyond Barriers program has done remarkable things for these families and will continue to do so with your help! Donate today by “Matching a Dunk” online or you can mail your donation to:

The Max Cure Foundation
1350 Avenue of the Americas
2nd. Floor
New York, NY 10019

#DunkYourKicks and #RoarForACure

Meet Mia | She Helped Inspire Roar Beyond Barriers

Pediatric Cancer

Shreveport Louisiana: Mia, like many kids, has never had anything more than a cold or the flu during the first 8 years of her life. When she had symptoms of what was thought to be the flu, her family  took her to see the pediatrician. The flu was indeed ruled out but, blood work pointed to a virus. Another week went by, and symptoms were the same. Three weeks came and went, and  she got a small cut on her hand. Within 24 hours, that cut became infected.  Although her hand started to heal, Mia still felt achy and feverish. It was at this point her parents noticed her stomach starting to swell from internal pressure. On April 14th, 2011, approximately 4 weeks later, they took yet another visit to see her pediatrician; one which  changed their lives forever. They were immediately sent to LSUHSC in Shreveport, Louisiana. Mia, just 8 years old at the time,  was diagnosed with leukemia.

Mia Troquille

On April 15th, 2011 Mia and her mother, Christie Barnes, were flown to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. The days became weeks, which turned to long months filled with intense chemotherapy, and sleepless nights. Although, they were hopeful, there were many moments blanketed by fear.  Sometimes in life,  even in the darkest of moments there are small glimpses of light, even if just for a moment. That light coupled with a strong faith and strength from within, Mia, and her family powered through with courage and bravery.

Mia2It was in the beginning of Mia’s treatment when she and I first met. I was in Shrevport, Louisiana planning the launch of our first Dunk Your Kicks Event outside the Tri-State Area, with local friends Sonja Bailes, and Ken Ash.  I passed through security, and headed towards the gate, on my way home to Manhattan. As I approached the gate,  I noticed a mother sitting off in the corner with her daughter. Her daughter had a mask on her face, protecting her from germs. She was hairless. I knew instantly that they were off to St. Judes. I sat down next to the mom, even though there were at least 50 open seats available in the waiting area. I gave her my card, and said if there was anything that she needed to please give me a call. I got up and sat on the other side of the seating area to give them their space. My guess was that  they were not up for small talk, especially from  a random “Yankee” like myself. To my surprise, weeks later I received a call from Christie Barnes, Mia’s mom. Mia was one of the very first children to be in our Roar Beyond Barriers Program.

Mia Troquille_in treatment (3)

It has been 2 1/2 years since Mia was diagnosed with leukemia. Like all leukemia patients, Mia succumbed to the harsh side effects brought on by the treatments. She lost her hair, she gained weight, was pale and nauseous most days, vomiting often in the middle of the night. Her life was far different from her friends and their families. Many times her white blood cell counts were so low, and her fever ran high, she was forced to make late night visits to the urgent care unit. I can remember when Max’s fever would run north of 102 and his counts were low. We bundled him up, put him in a stroller and I ran down 68th street on the Upper East Side to the Urgent Care Unit at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center. Those were long and painful nights.

Happily, two weeks ago Mia finished her last round of chemotherapy. This was the best early Christmas present she and her family could ever have hoped to receive. Today Mia, is cancer free, which means today is a great day. Tomorrow is a new day of hope, and the following day is one step further away from the cancer that poisoned Mia, and the harsh memories of the past 2 1/2 years. One never knows how much our children will remember of the tough times. As parents, we hope it wont hold them back,  as they strive for greatness, and live the life they deserve. Perhaps, for many of the children who fought the battle of cancer and survived, will be better prepared  for life and its challenges. For the siblings and the family members of children who were not fortunate to survive, I hope they too will be stronger. There is so much to this disease that I will never understand. These innocent children get drafted to fight a war they never signed up for. Many do survive, but too many don’t. For me,   the words “it’s malignant” still echo in my ear every day. Walk one city block in the shoes of a parent who has a child battling cancer, and all the other stuff in your life becomes just “stuff”.

As parents of a pediatric cancer survivor, life is never the same.  We never know if the cancer will come back, nor will we know the side effects from the chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is like a tsunami and it takes out everything in it’s path. We hope the flowers will one day grow again, and pray the weeds don’t come back.

Mia Troquille after treatment

Learning that Mia successfully completed her treatment, and is in remission today, hits home to me personally. Of the 60 plus families across the country which we have helped and who is currently in our program, I don’t have the opportunity to meet most of them. But, Mia and her mom invited me to Shrevport, Louisiana back in spring of 2012 to bring Dunk Your Kicks to  Bossier Parish. I introduced the community to The Max Cure Foundation, and our mission. It was a roaring success, and we even made it to the State Fair in November.

Now that Mia is no longer on treatment, she and her family can try and get back to life as they once knew it.  Every time I approach a gate in any airport, I think of Mia and her mom, and how pediatric cancer does not discriminate. It can come into ones home at any given time, whether living in Manhattan or in Shrevport, Louisiana. It doesn’t care about the color of your skin, how much money you have, or who you know. I learned that for Mia’s Make A Wish Experience, she wants to visit New York City this summer. I promised her mom that with Max, we will take her to one of our favorite NYC Restaurants. On behalf of The Max Cure Foundation, I would like to give three ROARS for Mia. We will Roar for a Cure until one is found. – David Plotkin

Arizona Family With Pediatric Cancer Get’s Local Support

Pediatric Cancer

Max Cure’s Erica Bailey spending some quality time with Buddy before his big interview.

The Max Cure Foundation would like to extend a Roaring Thank You to for coming out to Phoenix Children’s Hospital today and interviewing our newest Roar Beyond Barriers family! Buddy, his Mother, Delilah, and representatives of both Max Cure and Phoenix Children’s Hospital spent some quality time today sharing Buddy’s story which should air on November 16th at 11:00 on Channel 7.

At first Buddy was unhappy that he was not going to school and had to come to the clinic instead! All it took was a smile, and magically pulling an iPad out of my purse to bring Buddy’s true loving character to the surface. I was welcomed with a hug and smile that could melt anyone’s heart. Buddy is an amazing 5 year old boy with Medulloblastoma, which is a high grade brain tumor. Buddy was diagnosed in December of 2011 when he was only three years old. Despite a surgical resection and a high dose chemotherapy regimen, Buddy’s disease progressed. During his treatment, Buddy spent almost a full year as an inpatient at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Buddy is supported by his loving single Mother and his 10-year-old sister. He loves Ninja Turtles, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Dora the Explorer and the PBS channel. His favorite thing to do is go to school. He loves learning. Buddy is a kind child with so much love to offer this world!

Pediatric Cancer

Delilah and Buddy during their interview with

Delilah’s stories are both heart breaking and inspirational. She shared with us today that every five weeks she has to fight to get her son’s life saving medication paid for by AHCCCS as it is even a battle to get the medications she needs to fight for her son’s life. Delilah also shared with us, that for three months prior to Buddy’s diagnosis, she told the pediatrician there was something wrong with her son. He slept so long she didn’t think he would ever wake up. He was throwing up constantly even though he was not eating, he lost 13 pounds over that time frame. Buddy even lost his ability to walk and his Mother was told not to worry. Finally, when he complained about a headache she rushed him to Phoenix Children’s Hospital and he was in surgery hours later. The two of them spent nearly the next year inpatient, and Buddy literally had to fight for his life.

When Delilah talks about how she never left her son’s side except on the first of the month to pay bills and get groceries, you can see how exhausting this ordeal has been. You can hear the pain in her voice when she talks about the sleepless nights, listening to her son cry in pain, knowing there was nothing she can do. You can also see her strength and ambition to keep her son alive. Her dedication to his healing is apparent in every action she takes. Both Buddy and Delilah are an inspiration and we are fortunate to have met them!

Sneakers are being collected at Fix24 Scottsdale Chiropractic and all Arizona Audio Express locations through November 22nd and we will be announcing another collection location shortly.

Arizona Child with Cancer Gets Support From Max Cure

Pediatric CancerToday, representatives of The Max Cure Foundation had the honor of spending some time with Maurice and his Mother, Amber, at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Maurice is a 9-year-old boy with Nf1 (a hereditary disease) and a Fibrillary Astrocytoma Brain Tumor.  He was diagnosed in November, 2011 and has been in treatment since that time. Maurice has had two brain surgeries (surgical resection) and 30 treatments of radiation. He is on round two of chemotherapy and He currently comes to clinic twice every month for treatment.

Maurice loves football and his favorite team is the Pittsburgh Steelers. His told us all about playing flag football and how much he loves playing offence, because, and I quote “so we can score!” His face lights up when he talks about football and his PS3, and you can see the true innocence in his eyes which makes his battle so much more difficult to watch.

We talked with Maurice and his Mother, Amber, during his chemotherapy treatment. Amber informed us that Maurice receives two hours of fluids before his two hours of chemo, and then another two hours of fluids. He has to sit there all day, and even though the clinic at Phoenix Children’s Hospital is a beautiful place, there is not much that entertains a 9-year-old boy other than video games and playing outside! When we asked Maurice how he feels after his treatment, you could feel the pain in his silence as he hung his head and shrugged. Anyone could see that Maurice was trying so hard to be strong, but the harsh treatments are excruciating on his little body.

The struggles are far from over for Maurice, Amber and their family but they are strong, and we have no doubt they will continue to fight this disease.

Maurice’s Message

Maurice Invites You to Dunk Your Kicks!

Meet Ava

The following story is courtesy of Ava’s family:

Ava with a hatAva has always been a healthy little girl & then during Christmas break of Pre-K she started having some pain in her right ankle, then the next week it was her left wrist, we took her to St David’s ER and they called it “growing pains” and advised us to follow up with her pediatrician.  The following day we saw the pediatrician and she referred us to an Infectious Disease doctor because she believed she may have “Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis” based on the migrating joint pain she’d been experiencing.  We followed up with the Infectious Disease doctor the next day & she ordered labs, x-rays of Ava’s wrists and TB testing.  I received a call from her a few days later stating she wanted a MRI of Ava’s right wrist because she saw a possible defect in the bone; the MRI was scheduled for the following week, in the meantime Ava started using her hand again & was running around as normal, then that Sunday, January 13, 2013 she woke up screaming & crying in pain, she was unable to stand or walk, and her knees were swelling.  I was scared and in a panic so we made the trip to the Dell Children’s ER; she endured many exams/test during this week (labs, x-rays, MRIs, fluid extraction, bone marrow biopsy & aspiration).  Ava was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) January 18, 2013 & the doctors moved quickly the next morning, January 19, 2013 she was taken into surgery to place her PORT, perform a spinal tap to determine if the leukemic cells had made it to her Central Nervous System (they were negative), perform another bone marrow aspiration and she received her 1st round of intrathecal (spinal) chemo.  The following week Tuesday, January 22, 2013 she received her 2nd round of chemo in the form of a 2hr infusion.  Ava was discharged from Dell Children’s Hospital on Friday, January 25, 2013 and scheduled to return for chemotherapy at her Pediatric Oncologist office according to her treatment plan.

Ava’s treatment plan has consisted of weekly intrathecal (spinal) chemo, IV infusions, multiple chemotherapy drugs being pushed through her PORT and taking 6 oral medications 2 times a day at home.

She started her 6th cycle of chemotherapy (Interim Maintenance 2) on July 22nd, which has consisted of intrathecal (spinal) chemo on day 1 & 30 and Methotrexate & Vincristine pushes in her PORT every 10 days for the past month.  According to her treatment plan Ava should complete weekly chemo visits by mid-September and has been encouraged to return to school for Kindergarten!  She will begin Maintenance which consists of office visits every 2 weeks, Vincristine push 1x month, Oral Methotrexate 1x week, 6MP pill everyday, Intrathecal (spinal) chemo every 3 months & Bone Marrow Aspirations every other month until she has reached her treatment completion date of March 2015 (treatment for a female child with ALL is a total of 2 years & 2 months)!! REMISSION!!!

Ava in pinkThe emotion that came over us when Ava was diagnosed was a mixture of shock, fright, devastation, and excruciating pain; I believe this is one of the worst things a parent could ever hear.  We were of course grateful that they kept digging and found a diagnosis, just not the one we wanted to hear.  Ava’s father & I sat in the hospital room and cried our hearts out for hours & then built up the strength to call my parents & sisters to come to the hospital and bring Ava’s older sister, Arianna.  Then the medical team explained everything to them & began going over Ava’s plan for treatment, things were happening fast and seemed like a blur, but we ran with the motions and it has become our new normal.  This has definitely been a life altering situation, our family has been put through the ringer in the last 7months, we’ve overcome major obstacles, and continue to push through each day hoping for the best.  I had to quit my job upon Ava’s diagnosis in January to become her full time caregiver.  At the time she had insurance through her father’s employer, but things became hard rather quickly as we’ve been living solely off of child support, we’ve had to downsize our home and Ava’s father lost his job in May, which meant Ava lost her insurance and we became Self Pay.

The 1st 2 months were definitely the worst as Ava was very weak, losing weight, unable to walk and just wasn’t herself.  As her mom it was extremely hard watching her go through this & I would lay there at night and cry and just pray for my baby to get her strength back & just run around and act herself.  We spent many nights in the hospital, it became our 2nd home, luckily that streak ended around March and Ava started walking, eating and acting like a typical 5yr old, it has been the greatest joy!ava and her family

Meet Nicholas

Nicholas Portugal for FBThe Portugals’ dreams turned into a nightmare on December 12, 2012, when Nicholas was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).  He has been treated at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, among the premier cancer centers in the world. Nicholas is cared for by his Mother and Father and has two other siblings. His Mother is providing full-time care for his needs, while his Father works 90 hours a week to keep food on the table. Pediatric cancer does not discriminate. The incredible stress that a family has to go through, between the fear of loss, the medical care, the creditors, and so much more, is tremendous. This family is being beaten up by cancer, but they are fighting back!

Meet Qualeek

Felicia & Qualeek McNeil_ RBB NYCQualeek has been in remission since 2012. He was diagnosed with brain cancer a few years ago and has had a rough time with treatment (including losing his hearing, which is affecting his performance in school). He has 4 siblings and lives with them and his single mother in Brooklyn, NY. Their family was recently evicted from their apartment because of their financial constraints (Felicia lost her job while caring for Qualeek) and are now all staying in a friends apartment. Qualeek just turned 10 this year.

Meet Christian

Felipe & Christian Ramos RBB NYCFrom his family: Christian was very cheerful, loved to play with his brothers and sister in school and was a fast learner. He was very intelligent, strong and very friendly, but when he was diagnosed with Leukemia, he became sad and annoyed because he couldn’t do things he could do before. He began his chemotherapy immediately, which made him very sick.  The treatment was for 5 months, and we were happy to learn that Christian was in remission, but soon after he relapsed. Now Christian needs a bone marrow transplant, and luckily his brother Brandon is compatible with him and can donate his marrow. Brandon is extremely happy that he can help his older brother. It is heartwarming to see how his 2 younger brothers and little sister have helped Christian through this.  They are always there for him when he needs something. We are grateful to the Max Cure Foundation for their support through this difficult time.

Sadly we lost Christian to the disease on August 8, 2013 at the young age of 11. This picture was taken approximately 6 months prior to his death. We will always remember your smile. Be Brave Christian.

Meet Ashley

michelle & Ashley 1.11.12jpgDiagnosed with brain cancer at a very young age. Ashley is currently in a wheel chair, living in Harlem with her single mother and brother. She has been in remission since 2012 and is finally back in school, which she enjoys very much!

Meet Rowan

Max Cure KidsRowan is a 1 yr. old child diagnosed  with hi-risk- ALL in  late January.  Her mother is a single parent who had been attending school full time prior to Rowan’s diagnosis.  Ms. Stuckey (mother) tried  to keep up with her studies  but with all the hospitalizations and clinic visits she had to withdraw this term. Along with scholarship money she also received  a monthly stipend of approx. $400.  Unfortunately, that amount was cut in half as a result of withdrawing from school.  The help you will provide will be tremendously helpful to this mother and her child.

Meet Lexi | The Faces of Pediatric Cancer

Max Cure KidsMy name is Alexandra (Lexi) Medina and I am 7 years old.  Back in August of 2011, the day before I was supposed to start 1st grade, I was diagnosed with Leukemia (ALL, a cancer of the blood).  I found out I had this disease because a couple weeks before my diagnosis, I was playing outside with my little cousins when I fell down and got a scratch on my arm.  By the end of the weekend, that scratch turned into a very large, infected wound on my arm.  Other symptoms I had were loss of appetite, fevers for no reason, no energy and tired all the time.  I was brought to the doctor and they did blood work.  My pediatrician confirmed my diagnosis and I started treatment at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) the day I was supposed to start school.  I lost my hair from some of the chemotherapy, but it is coming back now.  It’s beautiful!! I just recently went back to school, after having a tutor since the beginning of my diagnosis.  I still have the tutor for the days I don’t feel well, but am happy to be back with my friends.  Sometimes I have to stay in the hospital for a long time when my blood counts are low and I get a high fever.  I have received blood transfusions and platelet transfusions too.  I also get spinal taps every few months at the hematology clinic.  I have met a lot of cool kids there.   Even though I am now in remission,  I will be continuing chemotherapy and treatment at CCMC until November 7th of this year.  I can’t wait to take that last chemo pill!!!!!


Meet Naveah

Nevaeh after haircutFrom her family: Naveah would come home every day from school and her arm, leg, head or back would start hurting.  It seemed to be something different every day, so we took her to her pediatrician, who kept saying for three weeks it was just growing pains. She was on Tylenol and Motrin for the 3 weeks for high fevers. We took her to Manteca Hospital, and that doctor told us the same thing.  One night Naveah could not fall asleep.  She kept crying in pain, so this time we took her to Dameron Hospital in Stockton, CA and they found an inflammation throughout her entire body and said that we need to have her seen by a bone doctor. We were then referred to Oakland Children’s Hospital and when we got here they took blood,urine and did all kinds of tests and we stayed for a month and 5 days after ONLY 2 days of being here they told us they were 90% sure it was Neuroblastoma cancer and that’s her story. She’s still being treated for her Cancer and has not yet got in remission:( But we will not give up and she is a fighter:) thank u again.

Meet Alonzo

Max Cure KidsAlonzo is 8 years old, diagnosed with Leukemia and also has ADHD & Pervasive Developmental Delays (on the autistic spectrum).  Mother is a widow, father died in an accident almost two years ago, they were married for a long time and have older children. Mother is on a very low fixed income. Mother does not have a car and lives about 2 hours from the hospital.  Transportation to treatment has been a struggle.  Prior to the father’s death, she had been attending the local community college and obtained her AA degree.  However, due to the patient’s diagnosis, mother cannot look for a job as she needs to take care of her child.  It is obviously difficult for any child to go through cancer treatment, but definitely a lot more challenging for a child like this patient with pre-existing mental health and behavioral issues.

Meet Terrance

Max Cure KidsFrom his family: Sir Terrence is a 10yr. old boy that lives in Shreveport, LA and was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called NATURAL KILLER T-CELL LYMPHOMA back in August 2010. He was then introduce to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital were we resigned for three months, he began chemo/radiation and we thought he was in remission until May 2011 when they discovered a huge mass sitting in between his face, but more to the left.  They started chemo immediately and stated he needs a bone marrow transplant. When just a week ago I was told that there’s no 100% chance that transplant will cure nor this chemo he’s taking now, because it’s such a rare and aggressive type of Cancer.

Meet Mia

Max Cure KidsFrom her family: Mia, like many kids, has never had anything more than a cold or flu during her first 8 years. When she had symptoms of what we thought was the flu (fever, fatigue, and body aches) we took a trip to her pediatrician. The flu was ruled out but the symptoms and blood work pointed to a virus. Another week or so went by and we were back at the doctor’s office and received the same diagnosis. Roughly three weeks after the first doctor visit, Mia got a small cut on her hand. With 24 hours the cut was obviously infected so we made a trip to a local “quick care” facility, diagnosis; Staph Infection. A few days later the hand began to heal but Mia still felt achy and feverish. It was at this point we noticed that Mia’s stomach was starting to distend. On April 14th, 2011, roughly 4 weeks after Mia started to fill ill, we took another trip to her pediatrician. This time…. all signs pointed toward Leukemia. Doctors at LSUHSC in Shreveport affirmed the diagnosis. On April 15th, 2011 Mia and her mother, Christie Barnes, were flown to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Weeks turned into over two months of initial treatment. This time was filled with much hope, but also many very frightening moments, including a nasal fungus. But we put our faith in God and St. Jude and treatment continues on. Mia and her mother continue to take trips to St. Jude, sometime for only a few days, sometimes for several weeks. Each week that passes gets us closer to the end of treatment and that is a day that cannot come soon enough. We are blessed to have St. Jude and appreciate the Doctors and staff there more than words can express. This journey, however, has been and continues to be the most emotionally trying of our lives. Difficult doesn’t really go far enough to express what we all have been through. From months apart from each other, to being able to spend less time with our special needs son, Ryland (Asperger’s Syndrome), to financial issues. Cancer has been the controlling force in our lives for nearly the past year. Mia continues to fight and so will we, until this moment in our lives is a distant memory.

Meet Keira

KEIRA.Day 161[3]From her family: Keira was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in May 2012 when she was 19 months old. We had just been moved by the Air Force (my husband is active duty) from our home in Virginia to Florida the month before. Keira has handled treatment so well from Day 1. She held on to her hair for quite a while until a harsh chemotherapy protocol wiped it out in the beginning of October. It is now growing back, and she insists it will be pink. She is the sweetest child and never complains about the hourly trips to the hospital we make so often. She loves princesses and the park. She does a fabulous rendition of The Little Mermaid’s “Part of Your World.” Keira still has two more years of treatment, and all signs point to a full recovery. She is the bravest person we know.

Meet Julie


Max Cure KidsOn December 29th, 2011, Julie was diagnosed with Choroid Plexus Carcinoma, a very rare brain cancer. It is found in only 3% of all childhood brain cancers. Of those 3% only 10% of those children are older than 2 years old. Julie was 4 years old when she was diagnosed and the tumor on her brain was the size of a grape fruit. Doctors gave her a 20% chance of making it through surgery. After 6 months of 5 different strong chemo-therapies, 6 weeks of intense proton radiation, 20+ blood and platelet transfusions, countless nights in the hospitals and many many prayers, our Julie is in remission. Cancer couldn’t take the beautiful smile off her face. She is playing soccer and going to Pre-K and hasn’t slowed down a bit. She loves singing, playing house with her sister, and getting her nails done. She can’t wait to have long hair again.