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Maya is a cheerful and active 3-year-old. Her parents, Sara and Scott started noticing unusual bruising, a lingering cough and Maya had complained about her legs being tired a few times. Maya’s teacher mentioned to Sara that Maya’s heart was beating fast and she also noticed how pale she was. Being a dietitian, Sara knew that this was a sign of anemia. “As we look back at all of these signs and symptoms it is still shocking. Individually they are normal ‘kid’ things that we didn’t think twice about until we truly had to,” said Sara.

Maya’s parents took her to see her pediatrician where they were ordered to do lab work. By lunch time that same day, “‘Sara, it’s not good’. I heard our doctor crying. I lost my breath. It was as if the wind was knocked out of my body.”

Sara immediately called Scott to come home from work and within 20 minutes they packed Maya and her 1-year-old brother, Lincoln, to leave for Children's Hospital Oakland. Late that evening, Maya’s diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia was confirmed.

“For the next few days, we felt as if we were floating in space while the world whizzed by. During Maya’s 12 day stay at Oakland Children’s, Lincoln wasn’t allowed up to see Maya, and we were torn between worlds with a nursing 1-year-old and a sick little girl stuck in different locations. We were blessed to have The Family House available to our family as we danced between the hospital and the house - being right across the street was priceless. My parents were able to come help us and helped to entertain and comfort Lincoln when both Scott and I needed to be with Maya and the doctors.”

Maya’s family was then introduced to NNCCF through their social worker at the hospital. “At first, it felt awkward and almost wrong to accept financial assistance from a program like this. My husband and I have good jobs, we have insurance, and are over all doing okay financially. I felt guilty taking from families that might need more help than us. After the first few months, we quickly realized how long of a journey this is. This journey doesn’t just include hitting ‘max out of pocket’ for at least 3 years (likely 4) in a row. It is about so much more than that. Too much more. NNCCF has offered us more than financial assistance. They have a safe space to go and visit. Maya loves going to see what books they have in the nook and all the new faces. They have resources and ideas of how to cope. They have information and they have support - like hugs. And while I don’t think I have another battle in me this year, they have sparked a desire to advocate for more funding towards children’s cancer research. I will fight beside them and we will help each other make a difference.”
 
Because of Maya’s diagnosis, she can no longer attend preschool and her brother's start of school or daycare is delayed. Sara has cut back on her work hours to spend time with the family. “I think one of the biggest fears is that Maya won’t get the enrichment she needs in these first years of school. I know that at some point she will be cleared to return to school but we will have to balance this with the possibilities of fevers or outbreaks at the school. She was on such an amazing path with the Child Development Center at Western Nevada College, but we worry that the isolation will stifle her growth to some extent.”
 
As we have found, many parents with a child battling cancer, spend days, weeks and even months in the hospital with their child. Sara encourages these parents to “become a part of the medical team” and ask questions and engage in your child’s treatment plan. “Also, forgive yourself. And let yourself and your family grieve. The initial months are so filled with survival and crisis that I think we have forgotten to mourn. We must mourn for our previous life. The life we thought we’d have. The life we thought our girl would have. It is okay to grieve while being strong and calm.”
 
A closing message from Sara and Scott:
We are so very thankful for the support and generosity of family, friends, and strangers. The love and encouragement you’ve consistently sent our way keep us energized and confident in this fight. We have been journaling since the very first weekend. Please go to Mayathedragon.com if you’re interested in reading a thorough journey of Maya and our family. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
"All In" for Childhood Cancer Poker Tournament
October 27, 2016
Peppermill Casino


"Brave the Shave" South Lake Tahoe
March 3, 2017
Heavenly Mountain Resort

"Brave the Shave" Reno
March 17, 2017
Downtown Reno Ballroom


Learn more about upcoming community partner and NNCCF events here.
We would like to recognize the vital and valuable contribution and support from our sponsors and donors who help us ensure no child or their family will walk the childhood cancer journey alone.

We rely on the generosity and support of all our partners and cannot do what we do without them!

View our Help, Hope, Courage and Hope Society donors here.
The Northern Nevada Children's Cancer Foundation is the region's only nonprofit solely dedicated to serving local children and their families affected by childhood cancer.

Since its inception, the Foundation has helped 403 families and provided more than $2.5 million in direct financial assistance.

Learn more here.

Join Microsoft and Northern Nevada Children's Cancer Foundation for a poker tournament benefiting local children and their families in the fight against childhood cancer.  Play for a chance to win amazing prizes, giveaways and have fun helping local children with cancer.

October 27, 2016
Peppermill Resort
6:00 pm Registration & Cocktails
7:00 pm Tournament Start

Dress in your best cocktail attire and join us in the fun!

Learn More/Sign Up Here!
The northern Nevada community is one of the reasons we can do what we do! The outpouring of local support and desire to help is so appreciated by Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation.

Many companies and community groups partner with NNCCF for different volunteer projects and fundraisers. We would like to appreciate Intuit for all they do for our local community and NNCCF.
Barbara McKinnies, Payroll Tax Operations Leader, of Intuit explains, “‘We Care and Give Back’ is one of our core Values at Intuit and we are committed to making a difference locally in our communities, around the globe and in our work to protect the environment. Intuit wants to show their support in the communities where our employees live and work and have developed a ‘right for site’ approach in how we select and support local charities for each site.  Every employee is encouraged to ‘Give Back’ in their community and is provided 32 volunteer hours a year to use in support of a charity of their choice.”

Intuit Toy Drive DonationIntuit has helped NNCCF with multiple projects from wrapping raffle baskets for our golf fundraiser to helping address hundreds of envelopes for our annual mailer. Most recently, Intuit held and internal toy drive to help us stock our toy closets. “This year, one of the things that we decided to do was a toy drive during the month of September for Childhood Cancer Awareness month. This was an extremely successful event for our site and we were able to collect over 1500 toys altogether,” said McKinnies.

NNCCF is a small non-profit helping a small population in northern Nevada. But our impact to these families is monumental. Intuit has a unique connection to NNCCF as they have seen first-hand what it’s like for a family to go through the battle of childhood cancer. “I have seen [how NNCCF helps] first hand with 2 of our own Intuit employees. The love and support NNCCF provided, helped both of these families through a very difficult time. Their stories ignited a passion across the Intuit Reno site to want to ‘Give Back’ to ensure that NNCCF would be able to help other families in the same way,” said McKinnies.

Here at NNCCF we appreciate all Intuit does for us, but also our local community. We know they will always offer a helping hand in our time of need.
 
Did you know the average length of treatment for childhood cancer is 3 years? That's 1,095 days.

We ask that you give $10.95 every month to honor the little heroes that battle cancer every day for so long.

For the amount of skipping coffee a few times a month, you can help make the hardest 1,095 days a little more comfortable for local children fighting cancer and their families.

 
Give $10.95

NNCCF organizes family outings throughout the year to help provide an opportunity for families to meet others and to allow patients, their siblings and parents to enjoy an activity together without sweating the cost or details. Sometimes families forget – or are unable – to do the simple things like go to a baseball game, go fishing, or go miniature golfing.  NNCCF has faithful community partners and sponsors that provide opportunities for these outings for our families at no cost.

Last month, we went to the Lantern Fest in Fernley, Nevada and it was magical! Check out some pictures below:

Thank you to every one who came out for NNCCF's 12th Annual Tournament of Hope!
It was a great day and great success!

Special thanks to all who made it possible:

Platinum Sponsor
Panattoni Development


Gold Sponsors

Alston Construction
Construction Sealants and Supply
Desert Fire Protection L.P.
Granite Construction Company
The Heath Foundation
Helix Electric and Scientific Games
Holland & Hart
Newmont Mining Corporation
The Phillips Family Foundation
Renown Health
Robin S. White, MD
Vasko Electric

Silver Sponsors
A&B Precision Metals, Inc. - Aerotek - AT&T - Barrick Gold
Calibrex Dx, Inc.- Capital Glass - Cyanco - Enterprise Holdings
F & P Construction - Granite Construction Company
Hankin Speciality Equipment and Elevators
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Reno Office
NV Energy - Panelized Structures
Pediatric Hematology Oncology Children’s Hospital Oakland
Prologis - RHP Mechanical Systems - Shintech, Inc. - ShortStack
Summittech - Umpqua Bank - Wood Rodgers

Award Sponsor
Alston Construction

Reception Sponsor
Sierra Pediatric Blood and Cancer Consortium

Family Table Sponsor
Enterprise Holdings

Golfer Gift Sponsors
Crown Beverage - Granite Construction Company

Golf Cart Sponsor
KS Dealer Services

Hole Sponsors
Bobby Pages Cleaners - Capital Glass - Clausen & Company
Kidder Mathews - KRM Wealth Management
Leonard Wohletz Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
McKenzie Properties - MultiGenerational Financial Strategies LLC
The Mountain West Group at Morgan Stanley - Robin S. White Pediatrics
Ticor Title - Turner Real Estate Investments

Course Activity Sponsors
ABC Fire and Cylinder Service - Acura of Reno
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse - Chris Lavin - Nothing Bundt Cakes - MN|G
Raley’s Galena - Reno Central Rotary  - Verdi Local Distillery


 
Learn about these faces and see what NNCCF is up to each day by following us on Facebook and Instagram!
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775-825-0888

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