Heroes of RVA: Stories of children battling cancer

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Who are the Heroes of RVA? They are the beautiful children who are battling childhood cancer. These profiles are brief snapshot of the ups and downs that children in your community face during all stages of treatment. Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children yet, despite that alarming statistic, it receives 4% of federal funding for research. You can make sure parents have emotional and financial support so they can focus on the child's well-being. You can help children with cancer by making a financial gift to Connor's Heroes Foundation. 

Whit

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Whit is a quick-witted eight-year-old. While undergoing treatment, Whit earned his black belt in karate. Whit also is a cub scout who loves camping. If that’s not enough. Whit is an honor roll student! Whit was diagnosed with ALL leukemia Ph+ in March 2017. Ph positive stands for Philadelphia chromosome positive and is a rare form of leukemia.


Tariq

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Tariq’s super power is his will to do things by himself. He’s had surgery, radiation and now chemo to treat his diagnosis of medulloblastoma. Tariq had to relearn how to walk, eat and speak. He works incredibly hard everyday to get back what he’s lost. Tariq is a witty six-year-old who loves riding his bike, being with his big brother Sulayman and tricking folks by exclaiming “Look behind you!” as he puts himself in the lead!


Savannah

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Savannah is an empathetic and down-to-earth 16-year-old whose happy place is the beach. She has a little sister, Shelby, who painted with her at the Hero Art Sessions. Savannah enjoys cheerleading and lacrosse. She was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic lymphoma in 2017. Savannah hopes to be a nurse practitioner in pediatric oncology. And while she is a hero, she recognizes two heroes who impacted her life: Dr. Christina Wiedl and Nurse Kathy Tofferi.


Obadiah

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Two-year-old Obadiah has a smile to light up a room. The smart cookie he is, he always wants to sing the ABCs or play school with his sister Aurora. When he isn't busy learning new things, he is playing with his cars or hide-and-go-seek. Obadiah was diagnosed with nephroblastoma or Wilms tumor in July 2017.


Mia

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Mia is a bilingual 12-year-old girl who hopes to be a pediatric oncologist. Her favorite things include arts and crafts, shopping, and playing with her dog. Mia has the love of her parents and brother Nathan to support her. She says one of the biggest heroes in her life is her mom, Erika. Mia was diagnosed with ALL in November 2016.


Maya

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“Resilient” is the word to describe 12-year-old Maya. She loves making gifts of affection for others, and spending time with babies and toddlers. Maya has a passion for dance. Since she was 5 years old, she has been taking classes in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical and pointe. Maya was diagnosed in May 2017 with medulloblastoma. In spite of her diagnosis, Maya manages to motivate, encourage and support her family and friends through her determination and will to fight. Escorting her at the ball is her big brother, Trey, who plays football for CNU.


Jaiden

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Three-year-old Jaiden was diagnosed with Pre-B ALL in October 2016. Jaiden loves making people happy. So much that when he grows up, he wants to be Santa! He enjoys coloring, riding his power wheels or admiring fire trucks. When he is not playing, he is fixing things with his dad. Who is Jaiden’s hero? It’s his dad.


Arianna

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Arianna is a sweet 8-year-old girl who is thinking about being a firefighter. If she is not eating pizza and hot wings, she is dancing, sewing or playing with her younger sister Camren. An avid reader, sometimes you find her writing her own magical stories! Arianna was diagnosed with t cell lymphoblastic lymphoma in September 2017.


Abigail

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“Determined.” That is the word to describe Abigail. Abigail never gives up no matter what she is trying to do and she never stops smiling. She is 11 years old and supported by her parents and brothers and sisters: Ethan, Anna, Laura and Naomi. Abigail is a talented painter and loves to sing. She hopes to be an artist. Abigail looks up to people who are extremely kind. Her heroes are her dance instructor, Miss Ashley, and her homebound school teacher, Mrs. Eckhart. Abigail was diagnosed in April 2017 with a germ cell tumor.


Aaliyah

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Aaliyah is a 12-year-old jovial young lady who has a passion for reading, exploring the universe, art and cooking. She is a "firecracker." There is a kindred side of her that is very loving and affectionate. Her family with older brother Jose are her caring sidekicks. Aaliyah was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) on January 27, 2017. That day will be forever etched in her family’s life. In light of her diagnosis, Aaliyah has taught everyone the true meaning of love and perseverance. Even on days when she is not feeling her best, her magical smile will touch your heart.