2014 Sunshine Kids SpokesKids
Each year a young cancer patient is selected to represent kids with cancer everywhere.
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Steve Vue and Mitchell Xayapraseuth   Jamie Lee
2014 Sunshine Kids National SpokesKids
 
  My name is Jamie Lee. I’m 18 years old and I love music. I was diagnosed with leukemia when I was 14 years old, two days after my grandfather passed away. Music came into my life during the first month of my treatment. I would always tap my feet or sing in my room. Music helped me when I thought of all the stress during my treatment. Now, I make my own instrumentals and write my own songs.

In 2013, during my trip to Florida with the Sunshine Kids, I made a lot of new friends. I got to hear their stories about their treatments. The Sunshine Kids helped me realize that I wasn’t alone in my battle. Many other kids like me had gone through just as much pain and stress as I did. I’m glad I was able to attend this trip not just because of the friends I made, but also the memories that we all share.

I want to be able to volunteer for the Sunshine Kids Foundation, so that I can work with other kids like me and let them know that having cancer can change you in a positive way. The names of friends I made are engraved in my heart and won’t be forgotten.
     
     
Basant Tiwary   Dolly James
2014 Sunshine Kids National SpokesKid
 
  Since the 7th grade, I have been diagnosed with three types of cancer. During 7th grade, I was ostracized by classmates and family members for having an enlarged belly. It turned out to be a 16 pound Teratoma tumor. In 8th grade, I started having constant back pains at all hours of the day. Everyone thought it was just growing pains, but I knew something was really wrong. After requesting further testing, I was diagnosed with Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor (PNET), a rare neurological cancer. I received intense chemotherapy for two years and a stem cell transplant. On a routine check-up during 10th grade, an x-ray revealed a spot on my left pelvis. I was then diagnosed with Sarcoma. After six months of intense radiation treatment, my left pelvis had to be removed causing me to become handicapped and rely on a wheelchair. It’s been a long hard journey.

In June 2013, I attended the Texas Hill Country Adventure with the Sunshine Kids. By bringing those of us who are fighting for our lives together, this trip allowed me to meet the most amazing kids, teenagers and adults. I have so many memories of laughter, tears, joys, hugs and friendships that I made. Through the Sunshine Kids, I was able to meet my best friend Courtney. Even though she is on the other side of the country, she gives me strength. We are working together on walking again. I am a year and three months cancer free, walking with a cane, and a senior in high school. I couldn’t be prouder of who I am now.
     
     
  Courtney Wolfe
2014 Sunshine Kids National SpokesKid
 
  On August 7, 2009, I was diagnosed with Leukemia. I did not develop the normal symptoms of leukemia. Three weeks before I was diagnosed, I was in the Keys with my best friend and her family for mini lobster season. That is where I began having knee pain. After arriving back home, I went to the orthopedic doctor who requested an MRI. The doctor noticed something on the MRI and referred me to an oncologist. While I was going through treatment, I found out that I was missing a gene that helps me metabolize the chemotherapy. This has left me in a wheelchair. December 22, 2011 was the end of my treatment and I became cancer free.

I was invited to attend The Sunshine Kids 2013 Texas Hill Country Adventure which changed my life completely. I met my best friend Dolly who knows exactly what I am going through. We’ve kept in contact and talk to each other almost every day. She has helped me understand that I am not alone in this journey. I am so lucky I was given the opportunity to attend this trip because it showed me that I’m able to do things I never thought in a millions years, I would be able to do.
     
     
  Jared Musser
2014 Sunshine Kids National SpokesKid
 
  Jared was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor, a form of kidney cancer in January, 2012. He was enjoying his freshman year in high school, active in his church and thrilled to be starting baseball conditioning for the upcoming spring season. He had always been very active and healthy but began suffering severe back pain, which was diagnosed as a muscle strain for several months. Finally, a visit to the emergency room uncovered a five pound tumor engulfing one kidney and spreading itself into multiple organs, as well as a mass on his lung. Doctors were amazed he was able to breathe well let alone play sports.

Jared was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and later learned those cancer cells were resistant to treatment. He underwent a year of aggressive chemotherapy, radiation and several surgeries to remove all tumors.

Jared’s first experience with the Sunshine Kids was at the 2013 Winter Games in Steamboat Springs, CO. “It was the best week of my life. For me, it came at the perfect time after a long battle with cancer. I had just been told by my oncologist that I was finally free of cancer. That’s when the Sunshine Kids invited me to spend a week in the mountains skiing, snowmobiling, and hanging out with other kids who had shared similar struggles. I was just able to be a kid again, celebrate life and not think about cancer for a while. I met some pretty amazing people but it was nice to know despite cancer, we were all pretty normal kids. I think our experiences have made us appreciate life and recognize good things that come our way.”

When Jared learned he was invited to be a National Spokeskid, he was absolutely thrilled. He still displays his yellow ski vest, his Sunshine Kids pin, and pictures of his trip in a frame in his room. “Sunshine Kids helped bring me healing to start living again. I am honored to be one of the National Spokeskid.”

Jared enjoys staying active with baseball, running and most outdoor activities. He loves to travel to new places, play the drums in his youth group band and volunteers at a local shelter.
     
     
  Montana Dalman
2014 Sunshine Kids National SpokesKid
 
  My name is Montana Dalman. I am 15 years old and the oldest of six kids. I am an avid reader and I also love art, music, and any creative outlet in which I can express myself. I love being a part of my youth group and enjoy serving at my local women and children’s shelter.

Right before I was diagnosed, I was playing the new position of catcher on my 7th grade softball team. We played a double header the day before I went to the doctor, and my left leg was almost double the size of my right leg. After an X-ray was completed at the doctor’s office, a mass the circumference of a volleyball was discovered. It turned out to be Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, which also spread to my lungs. I had to undergo many rounds of chemo, a bone marrow transplant and an amputation. It was the toughest thing I had ever done.

In February 2013, I was invited to attend the Sunshine Kids Winter Games in Steamboat Springs, CO. During the week I learned how to ski, we went snowmobiling and shopping. It was an amazing week spent with other teens who have gone through similar experiences.

As strange as it sounds, I am thankful for my cancer. It made me appreciate life for the wonderful gift that it is. I also love the new perspective on life that I have been given. I would like to pursue a career in pediatric oncology or child life.
     
     
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