A young leukemia survivor spread holiday cheer to kids battling cancer by delivering toys throughout the D.C. area. Six-year-old Summer Grace Cernoch and her family drove around the region with the gifts. Summer Grace battled leukemia for two years, spending holidays in the hospital, had several surgeries and countless painful treatments. She finished her last treatment in February.
Two Christmases, 79 port chemos, 10 blood transfusions, and a countless number of pills later, Summer Grace beat cancer. Per her request, the night she took her last chemotherapy pill the Cernoch family set off fireworks in celebration. The fireworks, however, were just the beginning of their celebration of Summer Grace’s hard-fought battle – in September they started the Summer Grace Foundation in her honor.
December 21st marked three years since she was diagnosed. “I’ve dreaded this day every year as it … just brings back a lot of bad memories for our family,” said Summer Grace’s mother, Jessica Cernoch. The Cernoch family started the foundation to help kids like her and many of the toys delivered Monday were donated by the community.
The foundation’s mission is to raise awareness, raise funds for pediatric cancer research in hopes of finding better and less toxic treatments, and support the childhood cancer community. 1 in 5 kids diagnosed with cancer will not survive. On average, 43 kids are diagnosed with cancer every day, and 7 kids die every day due to cancer or because of the effects of their harsh treatments. “We remember very vividly how awful this journey is, and so we want to do everything we can to give back and support the childhood cancer community,” her mother said.
The world changes in an instant, and things are never quite the same ever again after a cancer diagnosis. Childhood cancer effects every aspect of family life. In addition to the physical aspect of cancer, there’s often a huge financial burden, and an indescribable level of worry and stress. Life becomes physically and emotionally draining, and there’s often little energy left to focus on anything or anyone other than the child. Marriages may become strained and siblings may be left feeling disconnected from the family.
Every year, the foundation also partners with various businesses to offer relaxing, overnight retreats. Donations to the foundation can sponsor a retreat for families battling cancer. Summer Grace and her family also plan to start a music scholarship program for cancer patients.
You can support the Summer Grace Foundation through AmazonSmile. At no cost to you, you can find the same selection of products and low prices! Upon checkout, Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase price to us. Simply go to smile.amazon.com, sign in, and choose the Summer Grace Foundation as your charity. Amazon will donate .05% of all eligible purchases.