I want to begin by introducing you to my friend Andy, an 11‐year old boy who could be the most die‐hard baseball fan on Earth. Andy and I met at a camp for kids with cancer—and we instantly became friends. As soon as he heard about my similar love for baseball, his eyes lit up. Nothing excites Andy more than talking about his favorite players—to him, they are the ultimate role models. They inspire him to never give up.
Watching Andy talk about his favorite athletes—and what it was like to meet them at camp in the past—exemplifies the truly powerful impact that professional athletes can have on these kids. At CCChampions, we maximize that positive inspiration through unique 1-to-1 long-term CCC Friendships, complemented by a wealth of team-building community programs.
Right now, Andy is just one of 353,000 children in the United States fighting cancer. Many of these kids—upon being diagnosed—must endure months of treatment, social isolation, and loneliness. The effects of being diagnosed with cancer as a child are not just confined to the hospital—they stretch across one’s childhood. Many other organizations focus on research, the child’s medical health, or granting a one-time dream. CCChampions is the only organization that promotes positive social health over a long-term period of time for these children. By connecting local, kind‐hearted athletes with kids just like Andy, CCChampions creates unique, long‐term friendships during six months of the cancer journey. The impact of these friendships extends well beyond those of a simple hospital visit or economic aid—it lasts a lifetime.
Currently, CCChampions is working with local professional athletes, hospitals, and families across the United States. In 2011, we completed our pilot program with the Pittsburgh Pirates Alumni Association and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. In 2012, we launched our latest chapter in Providence, RI, and we’re quickly expanding throughout the New England region. With our kids and athletes, this first chapter has been more successful than we could have ever imagined. Between the connections that develop in an instant, and the smiles that we see on the kids’ faces, nothing excites us more than the opportunity to share CCChampions with as many children as possible.
Through our relationships with the local sports teams and various hospitals around the country, connections have already been made for the development of new chapters across the nation. The CCChampions team consists of pediatric oncologists, professional athletes, semi-professional athletes, child life specialists, child psychologists, local community members, and families with children who have cancer—and continues to grow with each new chapter. At CCChampions, we believe that every child battling cancer is a true champion—and they should be treated as just that.
Together, we truly can “Connect Children with Champions.”