2008 Sunshine Kids SpokesKids
Each year a young cancer patient is selected to represent kids with cancer everywhere.
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Ashli   Ashli Cooper
2008 Sunshine Kids National SpokesKid
 
  Ashli Cooper’s first experience with Sunshine Kids was her invitation to attend the 2007 California Fun-Time Fantasy in Los Angeles, California.  “I loved being able to see the play “Wicked” and visit Malibu Beach.  I had never been to a beach like that before.” Ashli has also attended the recent SpokesKid Reunion in New Orleans, Louisiana and looks forward to representing kids with cancer everywhere on many future events. 

“My experiences with Sunshine Kids have been amazing.  Cancer has a strong bonding power and it is easy to become friends with everyone not only because we share that but also because we are experiencing so many new and incredible things.  Meeting new people and making a lot of new friends is my favorite part of being a Sunshine Kid.” 

Diagnosed at age five with a rare form of cancer, Spindle Cell Sarcoma, Ashli had to undergo a pioneering type of surgery to remove cancerous tissue from behind her right eye.  Now in remission, Ashli receives regular check ups at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.  With so much behind her she is now able to share her experiences and her positive attitude to inspire everyone around her.  “I think my experiences have changed me for the better.  I hope one day to become a volunteer for Sunshine Kids and try to be a part of it for my whole life.”

A freshman this year at Colorado High School in Colorado City, Texas, Ashli hopes to become involved in Theater, Track, Cross Country, Journalism and National History Day.  Her hobbies include swimming, running, listening to music, playing the flute and chatting with friends on My Space.  A natural for public speaking and the ability to captivate people, Ashli also served as a Spokesperson for Make a Wish Foundation in 2002.
       
       
Zach Infante   Zach Infante
2008 Sunshine Kids National SpokesKid
 
  “My experiences with the Sunshine Kids have been unforgettable - I’ve met amazing people and made lasting friendships,” said Zach Infante, a junior at Roselle Park High School in Roselle Park, New Jersey. “I’ve also been impacted by the volunteers who take their time to make each trip that much more enjoyable.”

Diagnosed with stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in November 2006 and treated at St. Barnabus Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, Zach attended his first Sunshine Kids trip to Orlando, Florida in October 2007. Since then he has attended a SpokesKid Reunion trip to New Orleans, Louisiana to help honor Prudential Real Estate at their annual conference and the Atlanta Teen Getaway in Atlanta, Georgia. “The Sunshine Kids experience has helped me to meet kids who have been or are in similar situations, I was never afraid to share my story because of the other kids I met.”

At Roselle Park High School Zach is President of The Performing Arts Club, the Creative Arts Club and on the Executive Board of the school’s Student Council. In addition to his full school schedule and Sunshine Kids travels, he is very active in local theater.
He was awarded a 2006 Rising Star Award Nomination by Papermill Play House and a 2007 Perry Award Nomination by The New Jersey Association of Community Theater. He has starred in many local theater performances and played the role of “Gordon” in the major motion picture “School of Rock” starring Jack Black. Zach plans to attend The New Jersey Governor’s School of The Arts Summer program with a specialization in theater.

In addition to theater Zach loves music, napping, ice cream and his family. “My big sister Megan always loves the souvenirs I bring her from The Sunshine Kids trips and my mom and dad are my heroes and I hope I’m as good a parent as each of them are.”
       
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