Helping kids with cancer in a rainbow of ways
Aflac’s Duckprints Awards go to individuals who have made a difference in the lives of children with cancer and their families. Some recipients are adults who have dedicated themselves to the cause. Then there are children like Faith DeBrum, who was granted the award in August.
DeBrum was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma on her 11th birthday and underwent four rounds of chemotherapy at Cottage Children's Medical Center in Santa Barbara, California. Now 13 and cancer free, she has used her story of survival to fundraise for the medical center through the Children's Miracle Network and corporate partner Costco, where her parents work.
"Corporate support helps Cottage Children's Medical Center provide the kind of advanced treatments and care for children with cancer that you'd otherwise find at an academic medical center," said Magda Stayton, Cottage Health director of development.
Watch the video to meet DeBrum and her parents, along with fellow recipient Jasmin Castro. When she was 1 year old, Castro was diagnosed with a germ cell tumor that began as the size of an egg and quickly grew to the size of an orange. Intense chemotherapy left her with some hearing loss. Later, at 15, she suffered an aneurysm. Today Castro, now 17 and in good health, is sharing her experiences of triumph over adversity to raise money to help kids at Cottage.
Anita Williamson, a third recipient, helped in an entirely different way. After seeing a photo of her friend's young daughter undergoing chemotherapy in a hospital gown marked "Property of Cottage Hospital," she decided there must be a friendlier, more comfortable outfit for kids facing cancer. She ended up purchasing and donating 300 soft, colorful T-shirts designed with snap openings at the shoulder and sleeve to allow for easy port access during infusion treatments.
“It’s important to honor individuals who have left their footprint in the childhood cancer space because it’s an area that’s severely underfunded,” said Buffy Swinehart, Aflac senior manager of social purpose. The aim of Duckprints, she explained, is to create a grassroots movement that inspires others to get involved while honoring people for their work.
Helping Aflac raise funds to fight childhood cancer is as simple as liking, tweeting, retweeting, sharing or viewing Duckprints-related social media activity on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Aflac will donate $2 per action up to $1.5 million to the Aflac Foundation, which supports the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Learn more at .