2012 Sunshine Kids SpokesKids
Each year a young cancer patient is selected to represent kids with cancer everywhere.
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  BEN HU
2012 Sunshine Kids National SpokesKid
 
  My name is Ben Hu, and I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with a Germinoma brain tumor on February 27, 2009. I went through 4 rounds of chemo and 4 weeks of radiation. As of today I am cleared of any cancer. I do have some brain damage, causing my right side to burn and tingle and feel numb at times, but I'm alive. One word of advice I give to patients today is to take it one day at a time. Don't think about tomorrow or what it may bring. This is your fight now and today.  Don't dwell on the all of the bad things. Have fun. Enjoy what you have. Cherish every moment. We have amazing technology to defeat this. I used music to help me pass the time. Now I have an album in the works (Independently of course!)

The Sunshine Kids was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. They really love you with their whole heart and will help you get through this. They will forever be a part of me, and I will be forever grateful for what they did for me.
     
     
     
  BRENNA HUCKABY
2012 Sunshine Kids National SpokesKid
 
  I was a high ranked competitive gymnast. I trained all week, everyday. Rarely missed a workout. September 2, 2010 my world was flipped UPSIDE DOWN. My doctor found a tumor in my right distil femur. It felt as if it was the end of the world.

The doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Center diagnosed me with Osteosarcoma. Osteosarcoma is a rare bone cancer that occurs in kids and teens. It is also most commonly found in the right leg.

We had a plan. We were to do chemotherapy to shrink it, do limb salvage surgery to remove the tumor and save my leg, then follow up on chemotherapy. It sounded perfect! We began chemo and after a few weeks of horrid treatment my knee started to hurt again.  The doctors proceeded with a x-ray to see what was going on. The unsettling news came back, my tumor had grown.  We met with the doctors again to construct a plan B, but this time it wasn’t as perfect. I had a huge decision to make. Life or leg, of course I chose life! So two weeks later, my leg was amputated. Chemo was started again weeks later, a month later I received my prosthetic leg. The first day after I received my leg, I walked with NO crutches!  Now I am snowboarding.
May 18, 2011 was my last chemotherapy treatment, a month later I attended my first sunshine kids event. We went to a water park, and I couldn’t believe how nice, generous, and totally awesome sunshine kids, volunteers, and staff were! I later went on a trip to Texas and other places where we did multiple activities. Not only is sunshine kids a wonderful way to forget your grueling treatment and cancer life, but you meet people you will never forget. My best friends were made through sunshine kid events. Friends that will last forever.
     
     
     
  MARIANA MONZON
2012 Sunshine Kids National SpokesKid
 
  On Monday, December 21, 2009 I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, otherwise known as ALL. After going through surgery and being bombarded with chemo, I ended up having to go back and forth to the hospital for a couple of months, since I was so sensitive to the chemo I was given. I can’t thank my family enough for all their love and support through these extreme times. After a year of constant problems in my body, I started to feel a little better, when my doctors told me that I was entering the maintenance phase. I had heard this phase was going to be a lot less aggressive and that I would feel a lot better, and thank God I did! My first summer with chemo was really hard, and I never really got a summer vacation. But by the next summer I started feeling better physically, less tired and more active than before, and that’s when I had received an invitation to attend the Sunshine Kids Summer Broadway Break in New York City. When I heard the news I was filled with extreme joy, I thought to myself, I wasn’t just going to be able to finally go out this summer, but I will be able to go out on an adventure for a week in New York!

When my practitioner nurse told me that Sunshine Kids was giving me the opportunity to go to New York, I wasn’t sure what to think. My first thought was, “is this for reals?” Once I knew it was, I told them to sign me up for it, because I definitely needed a break! This trip will surely live in my heart for the rest of my life. I am so grateful to Sunshine Kids for making me feel special and helping me forget all the crazy stuff that was going on in my treatment. The best parts of the trip were probably being able to hang out with kids that have gone through similar experiences, and be able to talk and have fun with them, and what better place to do that than in New York? :) I had a lot of new experiences going there, like going to Broadway shows and seeing the beautiful statue of liberty.

I would recommend these special trips to those who have gone through hard times with cancer. The volunteers are sure to make you feel welcomed and give you a real fun time! Any adventure with Sunshine Kids is sure to be extraordinary, trust me…
     
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