2019 Hero Squad Member & Childhood Cancer Hero
Hero squad member and childhood cancer survivor, Dylan Franklin, shares his journey and passion for Connor’s Heroes mission.

On March 17th, 2009, when I was 17 years old, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). I began treatment the very next day. Overnight, my life changed from that of a student-athlete to that of a cancer patient. After rounds of chemo over the next months, I learned that the medication was not working as the doctors had hoped. They told me that the best chance for remission was a bone marrow transplant. Luckily, my only brother was a donor match. I received the life-saving transplant on August 28, 2009. 

When I arrived at my hospital room on the transplant wing at VCU, I was surprised to find the room decorated in orange streamers (my favorite color) and a pile of gifts left on the bed. The gifts were DVDs, CDs, video games, and other things to help pass the time. They were from an organization that I had never heard of: Connor’s Heroes. 

I spent the next 50 days straight recovering in that hospital room. I don’t know if you’ve ever spent 50 days in a hospital, but it gets pretty boring. The gifts and support from Connor’s Heroes were a great comfort and something that helped me to keep my sanity. 

Fast forward about nine years – I’m in remission. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a Master’s degree, and started a career in the wild world of public accounting. One of my managers joined the board of Connor’s Heroes. He invited me to their annual Heroes Art Ball. I immediately remembered Connor’s Heroes. After attending the Heroes Art Ball and seeing the ways that Connor’s Heroes helps the families of cancer patients, I wanted to get involved. I was the philanthropy chairman for my fraternity, and I was looking to help those with childhood cancer in my post-grad life. I joined the Connor’s Heroes Art Ball committee for 2019 and helped plan the event. During the ball, I hung out with the “Heroes” who were honored that night. I watched our community raise money for families in need. 

Hearing the words “you have cancer” was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever experienced. Helping the families that have to hear those words is the mission of Connor’s Heroes. Connor’s Heroes truly is an amazing organization – I am incredibly happy to be a founding member of the Hero Squad.

Dylan Franklin
Hero Squad Member, Childhood Cancer Survivor

You can support Dylan and all the members of our 2019 Hero Squad. Make a gift online in honor of your Hero! http://bit.ly/2JVB1xs