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. 

Rosalie

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Rosalie is a kind and loving big sister to Marshall. She likes everything that is pink, unicorns, ballet, and playing dress up. She is always singing, sometimes she even makes up her own songs! She loves to tell knock knock jokes of her own making. She is vivacious and has a fighting spirit. Rosalie was diagnosed with High Risk B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in January 2016. 


Byron

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Byron has something special to comfort him: a blankie he affectionately named Lula. He takes it everywhere with him. Byron loves swimming and pizza. He has a tough side, too. He is taking karate lessons! His favorite songs are from “Wreck-It Ralph." Byron is five years old. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in August 2016. 


Caleb

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Like most three-year-old boys, Caleb is very curious and likes anything and everything that has wheels. He will play with his cars, trucks and construction equipment often while listening to the Planes: Fire & Rescue soundtrack. What makes Caleb so sweet is that he shies away from being the center of attention. Yet, he is very affectionate to his nurses who help him and, especially, to his sisters Sarah and Rachel. Caleb was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in February 2017.


Olivia H.

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Even though she is only three years old, Olivia is a considerate little girl who loves giving to others. Maybe that is why she likes playing doctor or veterinarian, so she can help people and animals. Olivia’s personality can be playfully sassy at times, but her big heart outshines us all. She has two siblings, Eimile and Tristan. Olivia was diagnosed with Optic Glioma in August 2016. 


William

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Williams is a clever boy. He likes the challenge of putting together puzzles and complicated Lego sets. He enjoys school, reading, and being in the park. This summer, he can't wait to go to the Rappahannock River with his family and two sisters, Ella and Olivia, and learn how to swim! Although William can be shy, he will surprise you by cracking a joke shared with his dimply smile. William was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma in February 2016. 


Zoey

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Zoey is a playful four-year old loves the color pink and Mickey Mouse. She loves to be outside playing on her swing set. She enjoys coloring, playing with her dolls, and listening to the Moana soundtrack. She has a sister, Phoebe, who she adores. Most of all, she loves her mom’s homemade chicken. Zoey is a happy and strong girl who loves to make others happy, too. Zoey was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in October 2013, and relapsed in February 2016. 


Ariana

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Ariana loves to sing. One of her favorites is "If You're Happy and You Know It." Ariana is happy with her family, especially her big sister, Amaya. She is an independent three-year old who is a puzzle prodigy, loves to read books, and help her mom in the kitchen. She has quite the sense of humor and even loves to pretend to be a duck or a dog! Ariana has a great attitude, is headstrong, and quite a fighter. Best of all, she is a pro at giving hugs. Ariana was diagnosed with Lymphoblastic T-cell Lymphoma in May 2016. 


Olivia

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Olivia is a vibrant 6-year old who dances, sings, rides her bike, plays games, and makes art. By her side is her older brother, Michael. Olivia has a big heart and is full of class and sass. She has been brave and has managed to keep a big, bright smile on her face through all her treatments. Olivia was diagnosed with a Stage IV Wilms tumor, with metastasis to the lungs, in July 2016. Her cancer was found incidentally when she sustained an injury while playing at summer camp. 


Charlie

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Charlie is a nuturing teenager who loves the outdoors. He enjoys playing soccer, fishing, hiking, camping, and vacationing on the beach. He cares about spending time with friends and family, especially his little brothers, Max and Sam. Charlie has had a “tough as nails” attitude since his diagnosis. Charlie was diagnosed with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in September 2016. 


TayNeise

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TayNeise is a playful, energetic, and strong ten-year old girl who enjoys painting, riding her scooter, and playing Minecraft. She loves helping others and adores her NaNa and siblings, Zyniera and Ke’Shawni. TayNeise is also known to be quite the jokester by playing pranks on her doctors. Her favorite is to take her doctor's ID badge without him or her noticing. She did this so often that VCU gave her an official VCU Health ID with her own picture on it, just like the doctors! Through it all, this tough girl has continued to keep her great sense of humor. TayNeise was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) and CM7 in November 2015.