Top row (L-R): Trisha, Beth, TeNeil, Misshay, Ericka
Bottom row: Jessica, Renee, Stephanie, Vanessa, Jordan
Photos by Ali Parker Photography
Each one of these moms has heard the words, “Your child has cancer.” Their kids’ cancer journeys brought them to the 10th floor of the University of Oklahoma Children’s Hospital. There in the halls of the pediatric oncology unit, friendship grew. Stronger together, they became 10 Strong.
On March 24th, 10 Strong shaved in honor of their brave cancer-fighting kids. Together, they have raised more than $60,000 for St. Baldrick’s, a childhood cancer foundation.
TRISHA: Molly’s Mom
Molly is a stage IV neuroblastoma survivor currently on an oral maintenance medication. She was diagnosed on 2/28/2011 at the age of 23 months. She has undergone some pretty rough treatment but so elated that she now enjoys preschool, dance, bothering her two big brothers, and being a happy almost-4-year-old outside of the hospital!
BETH: Mia’s Mom
Mia was just 16 months old when stage IV cancer become her reality. She fought neuroblastoma with chemo, surgeries, stem cell transplant, radiation, and antibody therapy, and has won. Today she’s cancer free and turns 3 this month. Mia is very busy caring for her nine baby dolls, playing with her little brother and is top chef in her little kitchen. Every day is cherished with little time to worry about tomorrow.
TENEIL: Eden’s Mom
Eden was a firework. From the moment she was born, she had magnetism about her that few could resist, and everywhere she went people stopped to smile at her. Music was in her bones, and she had a boogie like no other. After a series of issues and unanswered questions, she was finally diagnosed with stage IV high-risk neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer of the sympathetic nervous system involving a solid mass on her left adrenal gland.
For five months she fought like the firework she was…bringing a spark and light to all that met her. However, on December 26, 2010, she lost her fight due to complications from chemotherapy. Her parents have since started Eden’s Fireworks Foundation in her name to help spread her light to other kids fighting childhood cancer and to encourage all to be a firework.
MISSHAY: Shane’s Mom
Shane’s story began with a long string of misdiagnoses. Over the years, doctors have said he had a virus, then a gluten allergy; his pains were excused as nerves or psychological. Shane was actually diagnosed with somataform disorder, opositinal defiance disorder, ADHD, and anxiety disorder.
Once he became unable to walk, had constant fevers and a bulging belly, his mama said enough and took him to OU Children’s Hospital where he was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma. The cancer had filled his bone marrow, spread to his hips, neck, shoulders, sternum, ribs, skull and bones around his eyes. Shane showed improved with the first round of chemo (he’s completed 5 now) and is fighting like the bravest warrior.
ERICKA: Reece’s Mom
Just before his 3rd birthday, Reece was diagnosed with a very rare type of cancer, nephroblastoma. After surgery, 10 rounds of chemo, and 12 rounds of radiation he is cancer free! Reece is a mommy’s boy through and through. He loves life and has energy that is contagious. He loves going to church, playing t-ball, soccer, playing with friends, and getting chased by girls (even though he pretends not to). When he grows up he wants to be a WWF wrestler or the head elf at the North Pole!
JESSICA: Branagh’s Mom
On January 23, 2008, Branagh began her journey to beat acute myelogenous leukemia at the age of 9. She fought spiritedly through four very intense rounds of chemo, three surgeries, two experimental treatments, and one life-threatening fungal infection. Today Branagh is a five-year SURVIVOR who loves playing the violin, reading, painting, and hugs. She is gifted writer, an incredible big sister, and an inspiration to her mommy!
RENEE: Jordan’s Mom
Jordan was just 3 in 2004 when his mother noted his left eye was turning in. His doctor noticed a funny white color in his pupil and thought it might be a cataract. Unfortunately, it was a cancer called retinoblastoma growing in the back of his eye. It was too big to save the eye, so he had surgery to remove it and place a prosthesis. He received six months of chemotherapy to prevent it from spreading to his brain.
During that time, his family became unable to take care of him, and Jordan was folded into our family of boys. Jordan fit into the mix right away! In 2007, he was officially adopted into our family. He has been off treatment now for over 8 years and is 12 years old. He spends his days playing outside with friends. He is a terrific athlete despite having only one eye, and his true love is playing soccer!
STEPHANIE: Nathan’s Mom
Nathan was hitting home runs on the baseball field when neuroblastoma changed the game. With chemo, surgery and a stem cell transplant behind him, he’s in the 7th inning stretch, gearing up for radiation and his antibody therapy. Stage IV neuroblastoma is aggressive, but Nathan is a fighter. Pokemon and Mario Brothers help pass the time, and he can’t wait to put treatment in the past and start kindergarten in the fall!
VANESSA: Brock’s Mom
Brock was diagnosed with leukemia at just 11 months old. After 3.5 years, 12 surgeries, 20 CT scans, and 6 rounds of chemo, he is a SURVIVOR. He loves trucks, bikes, and wrestling with his sister.
JORDAN: Charlie’s Mom
Charlie was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma in March 2012. He is a cancer-fighting cowboy. When he’s not strutting around the oncology clinic in his cowboy boots, he is playing outside in the dirt, watching cartoons, and loves to spend time with his family.
We’re stronger together! You can help cure childhood cancer — make a donation or sign up to shave your head for kids with cancer. And don’t forget… Donations made on or before June 30 will help fund pediatric oncology research grants this year!