Past Recipients 2023

Can you imagine taking your daughter to the pediatrician for belly aches, chest pains, and a fever only to find out she had a rare high-risk pediatric cancer called Nodular Ganglioneuroblastoma? That is exactly what happened to Kiara Fox of Douglasville, PA and her family in October of 2008 when she was only 5 years old.

Multiple surgeries and lots of treatment later Kiki is now a senior in High School looking forward to a bright future. Her outcome, while difficult, was positive. However, this is not the case for all children given a cancer diagnosis. Learn how you can support this underfunded area of cancer research and ensure more positive stories like Kiki’s.

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth #MoreThan4 #GoGold #RedCornerBenefit #NoOneFightsAlone

"Life isn't about what you have or what you do, it's about how you make people feel.”
~ Alexa "Rockstar" Bailey

Our Lexi may have been young, but having been diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma at the age of 4 she quickly learned what was important in life. Despite sickness, endless rounds of tests and far too many hours spent in doctors’ offices and hospital rooms, her beautiful soul never stopped being joyful and kind. Lexi made everyone around her feel full of life with her silly antics, singing and dancing.

Lexi said goodbye to us on November 7th, 2011, but her legacy of love has been passed on to those who knew her and lives on at the center of Red Corner Benefit’s mission.

During Childhood Cancer Awareness month WE WANT TO SHARE LEXI’S WORDS TO REMIND US ALL THAT BEING KIND AND MAKING TIME TO DO SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR ONE ANOTHER MATTERS. Think about the ways you can emotionally support those around you. Especially children and their families battling pediatric cancer. ✌🏼💛🎸
Love you more, Rockstar.

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth #MoreThan4 #GoGold #Love4Lexi #RedCornerBenefit #NoOneFightsAlone

Lymphomas, both non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin, are the third most common cancer in children. At the age of 12, Brooke Hedrick of Boyertown, PA, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that had spread into her lungs and liver so severely that doctors could not see her heart or lungs. This once very active student and athlete was now fighting for her life. Her chemo and radiation therapy started immediately.

The pediatric doctors and nurses at CHOP, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – the nation's first hospital devoted exclusively to the care of children, applied their expert knowledge of childhood cancer to Brooke’s diagnosis and now she is out of treatment, 9 years cancer free and a senior at Alvernia University where she is studying to become a nurse.

Learn more about the pediatric cancer center at CHOP: They are saving lives!!

Learn more about Pediatric Lymphomas:

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth #MoreThan4 #GoGold #RedCornerBenefit #NoOneFightsAlone

The side effects of chemotherapy, radiation and cancer treatment are often hard on an adult body, but they can be especially difficult for a developing child’s body. Often a child’s battle is not only with cancer, but also the damaging medical complications that come after the cancer is gone.

Branden “BB” Barbone, a Montgomery County native, fought a trying two year battle with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma starting at the age of 6. After 10 different types of chemotherapy, high dose steroids and multiple surgeries, Branden finally had a pet scan that declared him cancer free in May of 2014.

He is now, at 15-years-old, a cancer survivor who loves video games, photography, animals and nature!

Learn more about the possible side effects of pediatric cancer treatment:

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth #MoreThan4 #GoGold #RedCornerBenefit #NoOneFightsAlone

In the summer of 2013 Sabrina Palermo was your typical active 7-year-old who excelled at school and loved to play softball. On June 20th of 2013 her family received the devastating news that she was up against a battle with T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). She endured 2 ½ years of rigorous treatment all while going to school and continuing to play softball and soccer. In addition, she kept herself busy by learning the violin and playing guitar!

Sabrina doesn’t let anything slow her down. She is now a highly motivated 14-year-old teenager who is in the 9th grade. She loves playing volleyball and longboarding. She embraces the subject of science and she has taught herself American Sign Language and how to play the ukulele. We can’t wait to see what Sabrina does next! 🙂

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) is the most common form of leukemia found in children, accounting for about 30 percent of all pediatric cancer. There are about 3,000 cases of ALL in children and youth up to age 21 each year in the United States. Learn More about ALL:

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth #MoreThan4 #GoGold #RedCornerBenefit #NoOneFightsAlone

In August 2013, Little Miss Skylar West was diagnosed with high-risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at only 14-months-old. For 2 ½ years, with Minnie Mouse and an army of family by her side, she endured countless spinal taps, blood transfusions, and hospitalizations for colds and dehydrations. She was often separated from her big brother, Joshua, due to hospital rules dictating that siblings may not stay overnight in a patient’s room.

A childhood cancer diagnosis is traumatic not only for a sick child, but it is traumatic for the siblings of the sick child as well. Siblings can experience a range of feelings including anxiety, guilt, anger, jealousy and fear. Learn more about childhood cancer from a sibling’s perspective and the actions you can take to help them cope:

Skylar is now a happy 8-year-old who has started virtual 3rd grade, loves making art, singing and dancing. She finished oncology clinic this year and will be moving on to survivorship. When she grows up she wants to be a “cancer doctor.”

Congratulations to this little warrior! 💛

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth #MoreThan4 #GoGold #TeamSkylar #RedCornerBenefit #NoOneFightsAlone

To reduce the number of needle sticks and to gain more direct access to a large vein of the heart during cancer treatment, a port is placed under the skin in the chest and can be used to draw blood and administer chemotherapy.

While the idea behind a port is good, it is still invasive and a sense of pain, anxiety and fear for children who undergo cancer treatment.

Mikey Buno knows these feelings all too well.

Diagnosed with Stand Risk Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when he was only 2-years-old, Mikey went through 3 1/2 years of cancer treatment, during which his port was accessed routinely. This was in addition to the numerous spinal taps, bone marrow aspirations, rounds of steroids and feeding tubes.

Today Michael Buno is an energetic, silly 8-years-old that likes to play soccer, video games with his two brothers and hanging out with family. Michael is finding his way through some learning disabilities, caused by the treatments he received, which required him to repeat the second grade this year. In spite of it all he has kept a positive attitude.

He is finished with treatment but the physical, emotional and mental scars will forever be a part of his life. No child should have to face these kinds of horrible circumstances and why funding and research for the cause of childhood cancer and its treatments remains critical.

Learn more about implantable venous ports:

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth #MoreThan4 #GoGold #RedCornerBenefit #NoOneFightsAlone

Hannah Hivner was diagnosed with High-Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (HR B-ALL) on May 21, 2016 when she was 11 years old. When she first started running fevers, feeling lethargic and looking pale her doctor thought she may be anemic. It wasn’t until after her bloodwork came back that the Hivner family realized the situation was much worse. Hannah had leukemia. She was now fighting for her life.

In the U.S., 43 children are diagnosed with cancer each day. That’s almost 15,700 children who will receive this terrible news each year. While treatment has improved and more children who are faced with this battle beat cancer at higher rates, not all will survive. Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in American children, resulting in the death of approximately 1,800 kids each year.

Hannah is now 2 years out of treatment and back to doing the things she loves (as the COVID-19 pandemic allows). She participated in student government, stage crew, and key club and now attends virtual 10th grade. In 3 more years she will officially reach “survivor” status and we cannot wait for that day to arrive!

Learn more childhood cancer facts:

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth #MoreThan4 #GoGold #Strong4HH #RedCornerBenefit #NoOneFightsAlone

Brady Casto’s battle with cancer has truly been monumental. When he was 15-years-old and a sophomore in high school, he was diagnosed with High Risk Ph+ Chromosome Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and started treatment immediately. After three long years of treatment and just shy of the finish line, Brady relapsed.

Tests showed he now had a second battle with a new type of cancer called Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CML). After consulting with several local and far away oncologists, it was determined that a bone marrow transplant was the best and only option. On March 22, 2019 Brady’s brother, Brandon, donated his bone marrow and a year later Brady was completely off treatment after a grueling five-year battle. Brady is doing well but continues to struggle with side effects like osteo vascular necrosis and needing joint replacement surgery.

Brady’s story highlights the lifesaving impact a bone marrow donor can make. Brady’s family was fortunate that Brady’s brother was the perfect match. But not all families are so lucky. Learn about bone marrow and blood stem cell donations and how you can save someone’s life by registering at Be The Match.

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth #MoreThan4 #GoGold #TeamBrady #RedCornerBenefit #NoOneFightsAlone

In February of 2018, Jackson Radcliffe was only 18-months-old when his family learned of his leukemia diagnosis. He was immediately sent to CHOP and started chemo right away. After further testing it was determined that Jackson was battling a rare form of leukemia. His specific type of Leukemia, Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) MLL rearrangement (T10,11) was extremely aggressive with a relapse rate of 90% and an overall survival rate of 20%. Chemo was not going to be enough to combat this cancer and Jackson’s CHOP team quickly began preparations for a first bone marrow transplant in June, which suffered engraftment failure, and then a second bone marrow transplant in August which finally produced increased ANC levels.

During the next month, while remaining in the hospital receiving chemo, Jackson experienced long periods of hospital room “lock downs” due to low ANC, extreme nausea, a horrific strep infection that sent him to the NICU for 2 days, continued fevers and lack of appetite. He also had multiple blood and platelet transfusions. The constant barrage of medical procedures triggered, not only PTSD, but also a great sense of fear, lethargy and depression in sweet little Jackson’s life that no child should ever have to experience.

On October 2, after 107 straight days in the hospital, Jackson was discharged. His moms rented an apartment in Philly for approximately three months so that they could remain close to CHOP in case of any emergencies. Jackson continued to show signs of improvement and eventually the family was able to go home for the holidays and spend some much needed joyful and quality time together.

Unfortunately, however, almost one year after Jackson’s initial diagnosis, in January 2019, his family learned the devastating news that Jackson’s cancer returned. This brave little warrior continued to fight and receive treatment, but ultimately gained his angel wings on July 12th, 2019, three weeks before he would have turned 3-years-old.

Long hospital stays can produce several hardships for families battling pediatric cancer, but can prove especially challenging if the families are geographically far from the hospitals providing treatment like Jackson’s moms, Melissa and Kayla. Some families even move across the country. This is why organizations like Ronald McDonald House are so important. They alleviate an added layer of stress by providing housing for families who need rehoming, sometimes in an unknown city, as their child receives treatment. Learn more about Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Philadelphia Region and their mission:

Jackson’s moms have established a special fundraising page at CHOP in Jackson’s name. 100% of donations will go directly to children and their families affected by Childhood Cancer, with 80% going towards novel and much needed AML research, and 20% going towards Oncology social work programs at CHOP. Learn more:

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth #MoreThan4 #GoGold #JustKeepSwimming #TeamJackieT #RedCornerBenefit #NoOneFightsAlone

Travis Reese, a native of Gilbertsville, PA, was 15-years-old and just starting his sophomore year of high school when it was determined that he had childhood cancer. On October 31, 2018 he was immediately admitted to the hospital in critical care and diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) with a mediastinal mass.

Starting that very day, and in the month that followed, Travis was hospital bound as he received transfusions of blood, platelets and plasma, and underwent a PICC placement and Induction chemotherapy. Remarkably, about a month after starting treatment a bone marrow biopsy revealed that he achieved "clinical" remission, but his long-term treatment plan will involve port delivered chemotherapy until March 11, 2022.

While Travis was hospitalized, he closely observed and gained great admiration for the nurses, specialists, and oncologists who worked to save his life. He was no stranger to the importance of healthcare workers as his mother is a life-long nurse and currently works in the ICU, but experiencing their impact as a patient, he has been inspired to pursue his own medical career.

In his own words, Travis says:
“I hope that I would be able to bring a new perspective to the future of pediatric hematology/oncology, as I would not only have the medical background, but I could relate to my patients on a whole other level because I went through what they will be going through.”

With his strength, determination, high honors scholastic pursuits and personal connection to battling pediatric cancer, we know that nothing will hold you back, Travis!

Read more about Travis’ story as told by Travis:

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth #MoreThan4 #GoGold #TravisStrong #RedCornerBenefit #NoOneFightsAlone

Ellie was born with a sacrococcygeal teratoma which became malignant when she was two years old and, soon after, metastasized to her lungs.  She has been undergoing treatments and autologous stem cell transplants.  As a side effect of treatment Ellie has suffered partial hearing loss and now requires hearing aids.  However she is doing really well and her most recent labs were perfect!  Ellie is enjoying every day adventures with her older sister, Marina, and two younger twin sisters, Corra and Gemma!

#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth #MoreThan4 #GoGold #RedCornerBenefit #NoOneFightsAlone