Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Heroes for Children 5K in Pictures

The Heroes for Children 5K Run/Walk is a fun event each year to honor cancer families and their cancer journeys. This year was another terrific event.

Special thanks to Amanda Blankenship and Tawn Merrill, our amazing 2009 co-chairs of the event. We could not have done it without you both!

Balloon release--two red hearts to represent Allie and Taylor

In memory of Allie

In memory of Taylor

MC of the event, WFAA's Steve Stoler

Team Phillip in honor of one of our special heroes, Phillip

Allie's sister, Maggie Scott, helps with the balloon release in memory of her sister
Co-Founder, Larissa Linton, poses with the Pro Spirit team (bottom left--Taylor's sister Tristyn)
Team Fighting Spirit wins top fundraising team and best team captain (Ashley McClain)

Grand Marshal and cancer patient, Brooke Bott, leads the race with Belle from Beauty and the Beast

5K runners take off on the course

Beautiful Brooke
Enjoying the 1 Mile Fun Run

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Heroes for Children 5K Results

Heroes for Children 5K was held Saturday, September 12, 2009 at Shops at Legacy. The rain stayed away for the most part, and we had over 1,000 participants! We netted over $40,000 for families with children battling cancer.

Thank you to everyone who came out to participate! Thank you to Tawn Merrill and Amanda Blankenship, our co-chairs, and to our incredible committee for their hard work in putting together a super fun event! Thank you to our wonderful sponsors, especially our presenting sponsor - WFAA, Gold Sponsors - TXU Energy and Boardwalk Autogroup, and Silver Sponsors - Baylor Medical Center at Frisco and Buford Builders! Thank you to everyone who volunteered! We couldn't have done it without all of you!

For 5K race results, click here. For pictures from the race, click here.

Congratulations to all of the following:
Julie Wall from Dallas - 1st place female
Evan Parsons from Dallas - 1st place male
Top Individual Fundraiser - Tracey Robinson, who raised $1,585.
Top Fundraising Team - Fighting Spirit, who raised $5,680
Largest Team - Pro Spirit, with 77 participants
Outstanding Team Captain - Ashley McClain of Fighting Spirit
Best Team Spirit - Team in Training

Remember it is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month ALL MONTH! We've got four more events this week to bring more awareness! If you are in Houston, hopefully we'll see you at the Hold'Em for Heroes event Thursday night, the HFC Friends Women's Auxiliary Coffee on Friday morning, the Celebra una Noche Hispana event Friday evening, or at one of the many HFC Kick-a-thons happening across the state on Saturday! For more information about any of these activities, please contact Michelle Peacock at

Friday, September 4, 2009

September Volunteer of the Month

Our volunteer for the month of August is Stacie Hampton! I have been blessed to call Stacie a close friend since 1989 when we were pledge sisters in college. Stacie is one of those friends that sticks with you through thick and thin and she ALWAYS has a big smile on her face. She is one of the most giving people I know, and has a heart as big as Texas! Stacie was there with my family and I throughout my daughter Taylor's, battle with leukemia. It was friends like her that picked me up and kept me going during the darkest of days.
After Taylor passed away and we decided to found a charity in her name to help assist other families in need, Stacie wanted to help. At our first fundraising event, a golf tournament called "Tee off for Taylor", Stacie stepped up as a volunteer. Since then, Stacy has volunteered her time at every one of our golf tournaments! In addition to volunteering at the golf tournaments, Stacy is the volunteer coordinator EVERY year at the Heroes for Children 5K! Stacie will move mountains to make sure we have all the volunteers we need. She oversees all of the volunteers on race day, which is no easy task, with approximately 100 volunteers! Without her leadership and volunteer recruitment, HFC would never be able to pull of our 5K successfully.
Heroes for Children is extremely blessed to have the love and support of Stacie! I am thankful and blessed to call her a friend.

Stacie Hampton, Regional Sales Manager for Allstate agents

How did you get involved with HFC?

Well, Larissa Linton and I go way back. We are pledge sisters from 1989, so I was obviously involved when her daughter, Taylor, was diagnosed and lost her battle with cancer. I have been involved with HFC from the beginning and I wouldn't dream of not being involved. This organization is definitely a part of my life for a long time to come!

Do you have any kids and or pets?

Unfortunately we do not have any kiddos or pets, but we're a really great Aunt and Uncle. My hubby and I have been married for 14 years.

From looking at you no one would guess that....I can still do the splits!

Favorite place to eat:

Mexican food is my weakness and one of our favorite spots to go is a little place in Coppell, -Ole's Tex Mex. Who can pass up chips and salsa??

What is on your book shelf?

Who has time for books? I feel good when I actually read my People magazine the first week it arrives.

What's in your iPod/CD changer?

I enjoy all types of music- especially if it has a beat and you can dance to it. A sample of my frequent play list is: Lenny Kravitz, Nellie Furtado, Tim McGraw, ABBA, Lionel Richie and Aerosmith.

Who's your hero?

My Mom. Our family has been through some difficult times, and she always deals with her emotions honestly and comes out the other side with a positive attitude. Her family and friends are always her priority and she lives life to the fullest- she just went zip-lining in North Carolina! Also, she's my date every year to go see So You Think You Can Dance when they tour in town!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

It's the first day of September. The first day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The gold ribbon, a symbol of awareness of what these children fight, should be found everywhere. It's not. Unfortunately, there are still too many people out there who are unaware of childhood cancer. It's a scary topic for many. I understand this. I was one of the people who shied away from the topic. That is, until my daughter was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

I quickly learned more about childhood cancer. More than I ever wanted to know. I learned the parts of the blood, about chemotherapy, and blood transfusions. I learned how to quickly jump up when my baby was throwing up and how to respond to her different cries of pain. I learned heartache.

But I learned so much more than that too. I learned about love--both the love of my child and my husband, the love of my incredible family, but even the love of strangers. I learned of strength. My daughter was incredibly strong, enduring so much in her little body that most adults would struggle with. I saw strength in nurses and doctors as they went through their daily work to help the children, comfort the parents, and find a cure to this disease. I saw other children going through cancer treatment having races with their IV poles down the hallway. The strength and courage of these children is a constant inspiration of my life.

I learned about mothers. The kind of mothers who have aching backs from sleeping on ICU chairs to be at their child's bedside and who didn't complain. Mothers who fight valiantly alongside their child, responding quickly to their needs. Mothers, like my co-founder and friend, Larissa, who not only had a child with cancer but juggled the demands of providing and loving the other children at home.

Finally, I learned that cancer cannot defeat a child's spirit. Though a child can be riddled with cancer, it doesn't mean he/she will stop being a child. A child wants to play, laugh, love, giggle, be goofy, scream, throw tantrums, etc whether cancer is present or not. Cancer kids are just simply KIDS. They are sweet kids who want the business of cancer to be done and the business of being a kid to continue.

This month, I challenge you to learn a little about childhood cancer. You don't need first hand knowledge like me to get a deeper understanding. You can visit organizations like Heroes for Children. Research online and get involved in your community. Attend an event that supports families and the battles with childhood cancer, such as our upcoming Heroes for Children 5K Run/Walk. You can make a difference this month during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Please consider making a donation in support of these families. Even something as simple as placing a gold ribbon on your email signature with a line about Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and a link would help direct people's attention to this important topic.

Throughout this month, we will be blogging about Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Keep up with us for more information about childhood cancer and what Heroes for Children does to alleviate some of the burden families face.