a woman standing with a teenager at a reception for Connors Heroes in Richmond Virginia

Celebrating Our Progress

We spent a beautiful evening on the rooftop of Quirk Hotel. It was the perfect venue because it overlooked the city with a bird’s eye view of the main attraction: the construction of the new inpatient children’s hospital. When the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU opens the Wonder Tower in 2023, childhood cancer families will have an integrated hematology and oncology floor they have been dreaming of.

Connor’s Heroes can open five permanent spaces designed with our childhood cancer heroes, their families, healthcare teams, and researchers in mind. We need our community of heroes to open five Rooms Filled With Hope!

At the rooftop reception, Celia shared the exciting progress of the hospital’s construction and our Rooms Filled With Hope campaign. Generous donors already have contributed $215,000 to our ambitious goal of $250,000. You are so close to fully funding the Connor’s Heroes rooms coming to the the Wonder Tower!

We were honored to have Keondra and her son Jonathan as our guests at the reception. Jonathan is one of the 100 children who are in active treatment right now. Keondra shared how Connor’s Heroes helps her family, especially for the many trips to New York City for Jonathan’s treatment in a clinical trial.

Barbara, Fred and Frances Hess also were at the reception. The Jamie Hess Bone Marrow Transplant Lab will be named after their son Jamie who died from leukemia in 2002. Laura Markley, Connor’s Heroes Board Chair, introduced and thanked our amazing board members. Our corporate donors (AT&T, Kaplan Voekler Cunningham & Frank PLC, and Riverfront Investment Group) enjoyed meeting the people who also contributed to the campaign.

Celia reminded everyone of the wonderful future they are building for Connor’s Heroes. Not only when the Wonder Tower opens, but every day.


Image a box of pizza

Fall Event at Mellow Mushroom

“Who wants some PIZZA?!?”

Image a parent and teen eating pizza
Image two teenagers and an adult sitting together eating pizza

When Mellow Mushroom Midlothian asked a room of kids and their families, all hands went up. Connor’s Heroes hosted a Make-Bake-Your-Own-Pizza-Party for our childhood cancer heroes and their families. It was a beautiful afternoon with everyone outside on the patio. Anne-Randolph handed out aprons and chefs hats for our little pizza makers. Families sat at their own table with a pizza box full of freshly made dough and all their favorite ingredients to top off their pizzas. Kids and parents rolled their dough and crafted the perfect pizza (Look for the picture of Holden and Piper’s pepperoni pizza face). They marched into the Mellow Mushroom kitchen. Staff helped them load their pizza into the pizza oven. PRESTO ~ the perfect pizza!!

It was wonderful to be together with our hero families. A big thank you to Heather and Susan, our friends at Mellow Mushroom. They did a great job of hosting our large group of kids and parents — two pizza parties on Saturday and Sunday. Connor’s Heroes can continue to host events for our families (keeping their safety in mind) thanks to your generous donations.

Childhood Cancer Heroes: Holden, Bryanna, Brittany, Alvion, Valentin, Ariana, Austin, Sophia, Josie, Charlotte, Thomas, James, William, Koree, Kennedy, and Javi


Image a parent with a child riding on his back and both are laughing

Heart of the Family 💙 Cooper

And as soon as she said that, I knew instantly, that’s what it was. I knew. One sentence out of someone’s mouth, your world is changed…and changed forever.

Image a parent sitting on her couch with her child

CHANGED FOREVER

It was just a regular old Tuesday for the world, but one that was life altering for Cooper’s family. Jen and Dustin had recently noticed some little red dots on Cooper’s face and unexplained bruising. It heightened their parenting intuition enough for a doctor’s visit. 

On March 3, 2020 Dustin took Cooper to see their nurse practitioner with hopes of getting a simple diagnosis like low iron or something fixed by a vitamin. Both the nurse practitioner and pediatrician took a look and decided some further testing was needed. Cooper and Dustin went directly to the local ER.

Meanwhile Jen had been holding something in her heart, something she hadn’t shared yet with anyone.

“So about two weeks prior in February, I was in the shower one morning. I know this probably sounds a little crazy, but it’s part of our story. I audibly hear God when something big is going to happen in our lives. I was in the shower that morning and I heard Him say, ‘There’s cancer in your house.’ Never did I ever think that it was our kids. I naturally thought that it was going to be me. When the nurse practitioner called, she said ‘I don’t want to alarm you, but I also want you to be prepared. I can’t tell you much more but I believe your son has leukemia.’

And as soon as she said that, I knew instantly, that’s what it was. I knew.” 

Dustin was having his own unfolding of the truth about his son’s health.  

“When the blood results came back, it was leukemia. It all happened so fast, the ambulance picked Coop up from the ER. Jen rode along with him to VCU, and I came home and packed us overnight bags. The next day he started his first chemo, then several days and a few tests later we got more news. When doctors walked in the door, you could just feel the heaviness, you know? It was AML, one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. Then we spent 45 days in the hospital, in the beginning of a pandemic.”  

Jen remembered it so clearly, “One sentence out of someone’s mouth, your world is changed…and changed forever.”

The severity of cancer and the expected timing/need of treatment, and then coordination of the transplant after were all seriously complicated by the pandemic, it felt nearly impossible. 

BONE MARROW MIRACLE

Cooper’s cancer required an aggressive treatment. The family knew immediately he would need a bone marrow transplant but they would have to get through a few rounds of chemo to be in remission first. The severity of cancer and the expected timing/need of treatment, and then coordination of the transplant after were all seriously complicated by the pandemic, it felt nearly impossible.

“They told us it was a one in a million chance that you’re going to go straight to transplant, and I remember saying, well, we serve a one in a million God that specializes in that.”

After the first cycle, he was in remission, all clear, no cancer. They told us not to get our hopes up because we’re not going to be able to coordinate, find a donor, get a donation and get the cells here in time before he’s going to have to start another cycle. But that all did happen. He got his transplant on May 11. It really was a miracle.” Jen said.

“It was kind of sparkly,” Coop said as he described what his bone marrow looked like. “It felt kinda weird going in… and that’s a note my donor gave me.”

This picture were taken just after the Cooper and his family met and spent the weekend with Cooper’s bone marrow miracle donor, Ann.

Image a child and adult standing together with a poster text ann hollas saved my life with her bone marrow

Here I had two kids in children’s hospitals 3,000 miles apart, during a global pandemic. That’s why I say it’s almost comical. Like you can’t make this up.

Image two children playing together
Image Two children sitting together and smiling

3,000 MILES APART

Because Cooper’s whole cancer journey started right at the beginning of the pandemic, it meant that only one parent could be with him at a time. Jen and Dustin only saw each other in the lobby every two to three days to pass the car keys off to each other. They did this for almost 4.5 months.

The exhaustion was very real and it became clear that they needed more support to care for their four-year-old daughter, Liv. They were grateful that Jen’s parents were able to take Liv home with them in California for a bit. While the the family was waiting for Coop’s bone marrow engraftment, Jen got a call that Liv was having some abdominal pain. One ER trip later and it was discovered Liv’s appendix had ruptured and she was going septic and fast.

“Here I had two kids in children’s hospitals 3,000 miles apart, during a global pandemic. That’s why I say it’s almost comical. Like you can’t make this up. They didn’t have a pediatric surgeon at that hospital because of the pandemic so they ended up taking her by ambulance to a children’s hospital in Sacramento.” Jen recalled. 

“The doctor called me, Jen was already in the air on the way. I gave her parental consent over the phone to do the surgery and Liv was out before Jen even landed.” Dustin said. 

“She hadn’t woken up yet, I just wanted to be there when she woke up. I wanted her to see me.” Being so far apart was hard on Coop and Liv. They missed each other something terrible during that time. “They were always close but now they are even closer. Ever since we came home, they’ve slept in the same bed together every night.”

WHAT MUST BE DONE

Dustin and Jen got the incredible news that Cooper’s transplant was engrafting and things were headed in the right direction, but it didn’t last long. Coop soon got a bladder infection and kidney stones, and another virus after that.  

Jen remembered the hardest days. “It was kidney stones, but I mean, he was just scream bloody murder for hours, hours on end. And I think people don’t know, there’s no way of communicating how bad it was in that hospital room. There’s no words for what we saw. I mean, there were multiple times where he would say, ‘I just want to go to heaven. I just want to go to heaven.’”

“And it’s like, how do you explain it to them? I promise you, this is going to help. This is helping you. I know it’s so hard for you to understand that, but you don’t, you can’t, you know, I’m so sorry buddy. During those days I would tell him ‘Cooper, I’m not going to sit here and watch you die. You have to do this.’ Whatever has to happen, whatever I have to do, I’m going to make him do what he has to do.

But then I would go in the car and sit and cry.” Dustin said. 

Image a parent with a child riding on his back and both are laughing
Image a group of people standing outside of a building with their hands raised up in prayer

PRAYER AND THE BEEP POLE

Things continued to get worse for Cooper. It felt like the darkest time they had faced yet. 

“I remember it was getting really bad, really bad. It just seemed like he had kind of given up his fight. He wasn’t laughing, smiling, we couldn’t get him to eat. Like our Cooper wasn’t in there, even though he was physically there.” Jen said.

The decision was made to move Cooper to the ICU, because he required so much care. Jen and Liv were still in California and it was clear the family needed to be held in a new way. Their community showed up as they had so many times before.

Quite a bit of our staff from our church where we both work came to pray. They all were under the ICU, lifting their hands, in the street right below. It was incredible.

“A couple days later my dad was able to be in the ICU with Coop since Jen was gone. So my dad is a big cut up, funny, does magic tricks, a very musical guy. We had named Cooper’s pole “Beep” because it was always beeping, there were 22 machines and pumps going in him. So my dad was singing to the beeps and then all of a sudden the beeping stopped and dad kept singing. They both looked at each other and laughed. Just that little thing made him laugh. And it was like he came back to us.” Dustin said.

Things weren’t exactly easy after that, Cooper went through a virus but slowly things started getting a little better each day. Coop got his fight back. 

“I don’t know how you do it without faith, you know, when you’re so close to death like that. I think that’s the thing that held us together. Of course, you know, we had so many people lifting us up and praying over us and so much wonderful support too.”

“I swear every time, every time we needed to refill a tank, there’d be a gas card or something we needed in that backpack. Connor’s Heroes was really there for us. It just was constant. We’re so grateful.” said Jen.

Cooper’s cancer journey is not over.
And for the next child diagnosed with cancer, it is just beginning.

As we recognize Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, make your donation so a family will never face their child’s cancer alone. You can make sure the next hero family receives financial assistance when they need it the most, and emotional support through every personal note, email, phone call, and visit. As the world looks for hope, guidance, and support, our childhood cancer families don’t have to look far. Hope, guidance, and support are the pillars of Connor’s Heroes mission.

About the authors:

Kristin Seward
Kristin is a portrait photographer and photojournalist whose passion is finding and telling stories of hope within the community. She became involved with Connor’s Heroes after spending time with Katie Tyson and her family. Katie and Jim’s son, Callen, was diagnosed with leukemia. Over the course of two years, Kristin documented several other Connor’s Heroes hero families — both during and after treatment — for the “Heroes of RVA” and “RVA Cures” campaigns. She is honored to be able to do this project with her dear friend and fellow Compassion Photographer, Patience Salgado.

Patience Salgado
Patience Salgado is a Compassion Photographer who has had the honor of serving and photographing families in the passages of both birth and pediatric hospice for the last 12 years. The Salgado family found themselves on their own medical journey when their son Jamie was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the summer of 2019. Walking this path together has solidified her heart belief that there is beauty in the dark and power in the light. Her hope is to see and honor each part of your story and reflect all the beautiful humanity it holds.


Image child hugging the leg of his mom standing in their backyard

Heart of the Family 💙 Everett

Everett spit up his meds, so there were a few times where I actually wore a raincoat and gloves in the clinic. I laugh about it now because it seems ridiculous, but when you’re in the middle of it all, you just improvise and do what you have to do.

Image a pregnant mom holding her child with her husband standing beside her

Danielle: My pregnancy with Avery began the same week that Everett got sick. I took a pregnancy test on Sunday, told Seth (who was out of town on business) on Tuesday, and then Everett started with a fever on Thursday that just wouldn’t stop. He was 19 months old at the time. He was so sick and only wanted to sleep on me, but then he started to pee through his diaper because of all of the steroids and chemo. I worried about it being absorbed into my skin during the early stages of my pregnancy, so I would put puppy training pads across my chest and lap. He went through a patch where he spit up his meds (which ended up on me), so there were a few times where I actually wore a raincoat and gloves in the clinic. I laugh about it now because it seems ridiculous, but when you’re in the middle of it all, you just improvise and do what you have to do.

Then the pandemic hit, and suddenly there were so many new- and hard-implications for us as parents of a very sick toddler who was also about to become a big brother.

Danielle: This happened in the fall of 2019 — when cancer and early pregnancy symptoms were the “only” things we thought we’d have to contend with. Then the pandemic hit, and suddenly there were so many new and hard implications for us as parents of a very sick toddler who was also about to become a big brother. My parents live in California, and Seth’s are in Georgia. Right when I was approaching my due date, Everett was in the middle of his delayed intensification treatment, which made his immune system especially compromised. On top of that, the protocols for traveling during COVID made it nearly impossible for either set of grandparents to come and be with him when it was time for me to have the baby.

Seth: I drove her to the hospital and dropped her off with her bag, we kissed each other goodbye, and then I watched her C section live on Facetime with Everett. I came back and picked her up three days later and met Avery for the first time.

Seth: Sometimes you just want extra hands and arms, if not to hold the baby, then to run the vacuum or push a swing, clean up after dinner. Because of our situation and because of COVID, we haven’t been able to have anyone help. We’ve always watched March Madness every spring, so now our motto is “Survive, then advance.” Just get through this round. Then think about the next. Our first opportunity to finally be around other family — and maybe get a date night — will be this month when we go to the beach. We’re cautiously optimistic, and yet, cancer can be unpredictable so we’re trying not to get our hopes up too much.

Danielle:  We’re grateful that he’s doing well and amazingly, never lost his boundless energy. Me, on the other hand? There are so many days when I feel like I’m on the verge of losing it, and sometimes I do — because it’s just all been so much. We get to nap time, then figure out how to get to dinnertime, and bedtime. It’s like being in a marathon, except that you feel like you’re sprinting the entire time. For us, the finish line is right before his 4th birthday — when he’ll finish his treatment. If there’s a silver lining to this, it’s that he was so young when he was first diagnosed, he probably won’t be able to recall too much of those first months in the clinic. We’re hoping that time will dull some of the sharper edges of this for him — and for us.

Image child sitting on a swing in backyard

Everett’s cancer journey is not over.
And for the next child diagnosed with cancer, it is just beginning.

As we recognize Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, make your donation so a family will never face their child’s cancer alone. You can make sure the next hero family receives financial assistance when they need it the most, and emotional support through every personal note, email, phone call, and visit. As the world looks for hope, guidance, and support, our childhood cancer families don’t have to look far. Hope, guidance, and support are the pillars of Connor’s Heroes mission.

About the authors:

Kristin Seward
Kristin is a portrait photographer and photojournalist whose passion is finding and telling stories of hope within the community. She became involved with Connor’s Heroes after spending time with Katie Tyson and her family. Katie and Jim’s son, Callen, was diagnosed with leukemia. Over the course of two years, Kristin documented several other Connor’s Heroes hero families — both during and after treatment — for the “Heroes of RVA” and “RVA Cures” campaigns. She is honored to be able to do this project with her dear friend and fellow Compassion Photographer, Patience Salgado.

Patience Salgado
Patience Salgado is a Compassion Photographer who has had the honor of serving and photographing families in the passages of both birth and pediatric hospice for the last 12 years. The Salgado family found themselves on their own medical journey when their son Jamie was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the summer of 2019. Walking this path together has solidified her heart belief that there is beauty in the dark and power in the light. Her hope is to see and honor each part of your story and reflect all the beautiful humanity it holds.


Image child smiling

Heart of the Family 💙 Emory

Osteosarcoma is sneaky, as most cancers are. If it comes back, it tends to show up in the lungs. Emory’s family was told that she was lucky, that the cancer had been confined to her right leg only.

Image a child holding hands with her mom

As we sat and talked, she tapped her leg with a piece of metal “treasure” she had found while they were at the park. The tiny metallic clangs echoed through the picnic pavilion. A group of young campers sat at the table behind us, eating their snacks. A few of them stole sideways glances, curious looks and whispers.

“When can we go down to the playground?” she asked, boredom creeping into her voice.  Realizing we were probably on borrowed time, her mom and sister packed up their things and we made the short trek down the path to the bright red, green, and yellow structure.

Last Spring, Emory began complaining that her leg hurt, though never enough to wake her up from her sleep or keep her sidelined from doing all the things she loved so much, like gymnastics. It was likely growing pains, everyone had reasoned, especially since there was no redness or swelling- no other red flag that would point to something much scarier. They went on about their lives for the next few months, but at Emory’s next well-visit, her mom, Jen, circled back to it one more time. Yes, it was still bothering her. The doctor ran his hand down Emory’s right leg. 

This time, his tone shifted immediately. “You need to go down to VCU today,” he told them. 

It was a Thursday when they were sent to the hospital. Jen dismissed the thought that it could be anything other than an injury. It wasn’t until the following week, after doctors read through scans and X rays (and Jen had tried unsuccessfully to read the expressions of the poker-faced techs), that they were finally told it was a form of bone cancer — an aggressive type known as osteosarcoma. The date was August 6, 2020.

Image a child in a hospital bed eating ice cream
Image a child sitting in a wheelchair in a hospital

Osteosarcoma is sneaky, as most cancers are. If it comes back, it tends to show up in the lungs. Emory’s family was told that she was lucky, that the cancer had been confined to her right leg only. They could target it with all of the arsenal they had available (30 weeks of chemo), but they would also need to make a heavy decision about the reconstruction of her right leg: they could do a replacement of her femur (essentially a prosthetic within her leg), or amputate.

When they explained the options to their then 6 year old, she responded simply but firmly: “Cut it off.” 

There was no back and forth. She understood what it meant, and also what it didn’t mean. Choosing the in-leg prosthesis- while seemingly not as drastic- would require multiple surgeries over the course of her life, would mean more deterioration of the bones in her leg, and a bigger chance of relapse. Even though she couldn’t possibly wrap her head around a lifetime of implications that had yet to present themselves, Emory made the choice to not have to be a patient for the rest of her life. Get rid of the cancer, and get back to living. 

So last October, while most kids were picking out Halloween costumes, Emory was picking out the “skin” that would go onto the top of her new leg. And at Christmas time, while shiny new toys are being unwrapped and parts to playsets are being assembled, a little girl learned how to attach a brand new rainbow leg to her stump.  

Image photo of child climbing a slide

“What happened to your leg?”
“It got sick and the doctors had to take it off,” Emory replied, as if this was common playground chat

Image child smiling

And on this unusually mild August morning — which just happened to be the 6th (because there are no coincidences here) — Emory called to me from the top of the slide, hopping off to see the back of my camera and giggling at herself. I watched as her big sister, Elena, helped her across the monkey bars, and then stood by — a posture of protectiveness and pride — as a boy walked up to Emory, clearly calculating his approach.

“What happened to your leg?” 

“It got sick and the doctors had to take it off,”  Emory replied, as if this was common playground chat

“That sucks…” the boy said, and I noted that maybe kids are actually more capable of holding these delicate spaces than a lot of adults.

“Yeah, but it’s better now.” She shrugged. And with that, she turned and ascended the slope of the slide, pulling her way to the top. Because if there’s anything to know about Emory, it’s that she’s not letting anything slow her down.

Emory’s cancer journey is not over.
And for the next child diagnosed with cancer, it is just beginning.

As we recognize Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, make your donation so a family will never face their child’s cancer alone. You can make sure the next hero family receives financial assistance when they need it the most, and emotional support through every personal note, email, phone call, and visit.

About the authors:

Kristin Seward
Kristin is a portrait photographer and photojournalist whose passion is finding and telling stories of hope within the community. She became involved with Connor’s Heroes after spending time with Katie Tyson and her family. Katie and Jim’s son, Callen, was diagnosed with leukemia. Over the course of two years, Kristin documented several other Connor’s Heroes hero families — both during and after treatment — for the “Heroes of RVA” and “RVA Cures” campaigns. She is honored to be able to do this project with her dear friend and fellow Compassion Photographer, Patience Salgado.

Patience Salgado
Patience Salgado is a Compassion Photographer who has had the honor of serving and photographing families in the passages of both birth and pediatric hospice for the last 12 years. The Salgado family found themselves on their own medical journey when their son Jamie was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the summer of 2019. Walking this path together has solidified her heart belief that there is beauty in the dark and power in the light. Her hope is to see and honor each part of your story and reflect all the beautiful humanity it holds.


Image three children eat cups full of ice cream

September Heroes Art Session

Image two children in an art studio wearing shirts that say Be A Hero

We hosted another Heroes Art Session on Sunday, September 19 at the Visual Arts Center. Our Heroes Art Sessions are a monthly tradition for our hero families. Also returning — after a long time away — were two hero artists: Jennike and Sarah. Sarah couldn’t contain her excitement

“As soon as the first kid walked to my table, it was as if no time passed. We were back making messes, painting, and creating. I love watching the kids express themselves with every brush stroke or drawing. I take the art created by each child and work it together into one expressive piece. What we create is full of heart, soul, joy and hope.”

Hero Artists: Jennike Duignam, Sarah Cross, Emily Griffin
Childhood Cancer Heroes: Charlotte, Austin, Aubrey, James, Jaiden, Holden, John, Jayda, Kennedy, Javi, Zuri, Liana, Valentin, and all their super sibling sidekicks!

At the Heroes Art Sessions, the children collaborate with top Richmond artists. Together, they create art that express their cancer journeys. You have a chance to own a piece from this original collection when it is put up for auction at our 11th Heroes Art Ball on May 6, 2022!

Image a group of 20 children stand together in an art studio

Image of a teenager wearing a mask sitting next to his mom who is wearing a mask

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Jonathan

Jonathan was a quarterback on his football team. He played soccer and baseball. He came home from practice one day. His back hurt and he felt like he couldn’t walk. That’s when Keondra knew

Something was wrong.

On Wednesday, June 29, 2016,
normal life stopped and their challenging journey began
— a journey that would test them physically, emotionally, and financially.

Image of a teenager wearing a mask sitting next to his mom who is wearing a mask

Keondra waited in the hospital. Alone.
“I saw people walking back and forth. It was getting dark.” Finally, doctors told her they found a tumor on Jonathan’s spine. “I’m like — neuroblastoma What is that? When you hear the word “cancer,” you feel like someone is going to leave you.”
Keondra needed help. Shortly after Jonathan’s diagnosis, they received a Connor’s Heroes Backpack and Parent Tote and registered with Connor’s Heroes. Since then, Connor’s Heroes has helped Keondra and Jonathan every month for the past five years of his treatment.

Your donation to Connor’s Heroes will provide ongoing financial assistance and emotional support so a family never faces their child’s cancer alone.

Image of a teenager wearing a mask sitting next to his mom who is wearing a mask

Keondra waited in the hospital. Alone.
“I saw people walking back and forth. It was getting dark.” Finally, doctors told her they found a tumor on Jonathan’s spine. “I’m like — neuroblastoma What is that? When you hear the word “cancer,” you feel like someone is going to leave you.”
Keondra needed help. Shortly after Jonathan’s diagnosis, they received a Connor’s Heroes Backpack and Parent Tote and registered with Connor’s Heroes. Since then, Connor’s Heroes has helped Keondra and Jonathan every month for the past five years of his treatment.

Your donation to Connor’s Heroes will provide ongoing financial assistance and emotional support so a family never faces their child’s cancer alone.

After five years, Jonathan’s cancer journey is far from over.
And for the next child diagnosed,
the journey is just beginning.

Jonathan is now 14 years old and going to high school. His cancer has relapsed four times. Due to the complexities of his treatment, Keondra and Jonathan are traveling up and down the East Coast to several hospitals. Jonathan is currently in a clinical trial in New York City. Keondra said, “Without support from Connor’s Heroes, we couldn’t afford to travel for treatment.”

This year, assistance from Connor’s Heroes will help over 100 children who are in active treatment. When you donate, you become part of their community of heroes.

$1,000 GIFT

means a family can receive financial assistance when they have to travel outside of Richmond, Virginia for a specialized treatment or a clinical trial.

$500 GIFT

can fill a Heroes Bag and Backpack with crafts, games, personal items and, best of all, an iPad.

$250 GIFT

can make a child’s hospital room on the Bone Marrow Transplant unit feel more like home. When Jonathan was in the BMT unit, volunteers decorated his room with holiday lights, pillows, and posters.

$100 GIFT

can help a family with groceries or gas. Once a month, Keondra receives a grocery gift card with an encouraging note.

$50 GIFT

can send a Family Fun Pack right to a child’s doorstep. Inside is everything a family needs for a fun night playing board games or watching a movie.

A message from Celia Tetlow Martin, Executive Director, Connor’s Heroes:

You play a critical role in Jonathan’s cancer journey and are a part of his future. Jonathan and Keondra are not alone because generous people donated to Connor’s Heroes. When you give, you join our community of heroes who help a child with cancer.

Your gift can make sure families who have a child in active treatment continue to receive support from Connor’s Heroes. And the next hero family who registers will receive financial assistance when they need it the most, and emotional support through every personal note, email, phone call, and visit.

You are helping Connor’s Heroes support every family as our program staff safely care for them during the pandemic.

Thank you!

P.S.: When you make your donation online, you can direct your gift to our hero families, pediatric research, or our Rooms Filled With Hope campaign. 

Image teenager smiling in the background is photo of his family text September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Go Gold

Image a father hugging his child both are smiling at the camera

Hero Dad Pledged His Birthday

Happy Birthday to hero dad, Tom. Tom turned his birthday day into a GIVING DAY. It was easy. All he did was pledge his birthday to Connor’s Heroes. Connor’s Heroes set him up with a personal fundraising page to collect donations online. Tom stood by his daughter Charlotte’s side as she underwent a long, difficult treatment for ALL. The family celebrated the end of her treatment with a neighborhood parade so big that it made the evening news.

Using our online giving tools, Tom raised close to $1,000 from his family, friends, and co-workers. Asked why he pledged his birthday, Tom said:

“2020 and some of 2021 showed all of us how critical it is that organizations like Connor’s Heroes keep their mission going — even when in-person events were put on pause. Childhood cancer families still needed financial and emotional support. Even today, Connor’s Heroes helps our family. By pledging my birthday to Connor’s Heroes, I did my part to make sure their mission continues.”

If you would like to learn more about pledging your birthday (anniversary, wedding, or any special occasion), visit:
https://www.connorsheroes.org/pledge-birthday/
Here is a cute video of Charlotte from 2020:
https://www.connorsheroes.org/heroes/charlie-2020/


Onceuponachildjpeg

Once Upon A Child Shopping Nights

DATE: Fridays for the month of September 2021
LOCATION: Once Upon A Child Midlothian • 9770 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond, VA 23235
EVENT DETAILS: For Fridays during September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Beer, Once Upon A Child will donate 15% of Fridays' sales to Connor's Heroes.
For store location and hours, visit their website: www.onceuponachild.com/locations/richmond-va-midlothian

In 2020, Once Upon A Child held this fundraiser. They raised so much money, we honored them as a Helping Hero. Read their blog post.


Poster for a motorcycle show Image of a cowboy on a motorcycle Text The first annual departure block party August 28 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Easy Living Moto Show

DATE: August 28, 2021
TIME: Noon – 5 pm
LOCATION
: Departure Bike Works • 1729 Arlington Rd. Richmond VA
EVENT DETAILS: Beer, food and bands for this two-wheel (or not) motorcycle show. Proceeds from the event will support Connor’s Heroes. You can buy a chance to win a custom-made 72 HD shovelhead. Raffle tickets are $25 a piece or 5 for $100. The drawing will be on IG LIVE Aug 29th, the day after the show. Tickets are available via Venmo, PayPal or cash in person. Details are: Venmo is @justin-spears-10 • PayPal is @justin5000 or justin5000@gmail.com
Please put your name in the comments and if using PayPal, use friends and family option. ALL others will be immediately refunded.

You can follow the event on Facebook and Instagram.