Meet Our Kids
Every dollar you donate goes directly and instantly to the UofL clinic. With 50% of the money allocated to Dr. Raj’s pediatric oncology & hematology research, raiseRED supports local physicians in their search for a cure. The other 50% benefits families in the clinic, whether that be by providing clinic supplies, meals, or gas cards for families with long commutes. While the money is extremely impactful, raiseRED’s influence goes far beyond a number. Our leadership team works tirelessly to emotionally support the patient population and and offer a hand in other ways.
To see such initiatives offered by our Cardinal Crew program or meet some of the families we benefit, check out below:
Cardinal Crew is a program offered by raiseRED to families from Novak center who wish to become more involved. While we are constantly fundraising to help fight for a world where cancer no longer exists, we also want to try and find a way support the children and families who have been treated at Novak outside the clinic. The premise of the program is that kids from the clinic are partnered up with two college students who are a part of raiseRED leadership and become friends for the kids and support for the family. Throughout the year we then host a variety of different events that kids and their pals are able to come to. These events range anywhere from a rocket launch to our very own kid prom to going down to the Yum Center to watch the Louisville men’s basketball team play. These events let families forget about their struggles and have something to look forward to. It also lets the kids make up for what they have to miss out on due to chemo, radiation, and treatment. If you have any questions about the program or how to get involved do not hesitate to contact us!
Hear our kids stories
Anna-Maria Beck is sixteen year old and was diagnosed in 2007 at age seven with a low-grade brain tumor of the hypothalamus and optic pathways that caused hydrocephalus, a life-threatening collection of fluid in the ventricles of her brain. Since then Anna-Maria has been in almost continuous treatment having endured twelve brain surgeries and six weeks of proton beam radiation as well as currently undergoing her eighth round of chemotherapy.
Anna-Maria is followed closely by multiple highly specialized physicians and nurses. She attends college at Bellarmine University, likes to paint nails, draw, cook and sing and is actively involved with youth group. Despite going through so many treatments, Anna-Maria is very happy and positive and very excited to help raise funds for research and for the Pediatric Hematology Oncology Clinic where she's had such wonderful care.
Anna is currently 6 years old, and attending kindergarten at Cairo Elementary, with her brother Parker, who is in 2nd grade. Anna was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in August of 2015 at the age of three, while at Kosair (Norton) Children’s Hospital. Anna’s primary treatment plan was a little over 2 ½ years long. We are excited to report that Anna took her LAST chemo treatment on December 18, 2017!!
She has undergone MANY rounds of different chemotherapy, extended hospital stays, spinal taps, and needle pokes. At the height of treatment, Anna was making the trip from our home in Henderson, KY to Louisville 2 to 3 times per week. Since her initial diagnosis, most of those trips have been to the UofL Physicians Oncology/Hematology Clinic. The Dr’s, nurses and staff at the clinic are special people, all of whom have been and continue to be amazing people who care for our daughter as if she was their own.
She plays t-ball and dances at the Dance Factory. Once her port is taken out, she plans to play softball this year and jump on the trampoline! She is a girly girl and loves all things pink and LOVES her American Girl Dolls, as well as her German Shepherd, Greta.
Audrey has Diamond Blackfan Anemia. DBA patients do not make red blood cells. Most patients require a blood transfusion every 3-5 weeks. Audrey loves to collect baby dolls and stuffed animals. Audrey also loves to dance, sing, do karaoke and take Zumba. She has become an Internet sensation over the past year and has appeared on the Rachael Ray show twice and was a spotlight story on Good Morning America! Check out her Facebook page Audrey's DBA Photo Booth. Audrey has brought a lot of attention to DBA as it is an incredibly rare illness and raised tens of thousands of dollars for research so far.
David is 7 years old and is diagnosed with a DIPG (brain). He loves to do art including drawing and painting. He also enjoys playing Pokemon and Mecard. He has been a member of the UofL soccer team and enjoys sports. He is showing off his dancing talents at the talent show and is looking forward to hanging out with UL at the marathon!
Levi Cole Ambers
My name is Levi Cole Ambers I am now 9 years old. My doctors and people that know me think I must be a miracle child. To start off I decided that I would come about 3 weeks early, that might have been a problem because I had some lung issues and something called Hydrops most kids don't survive this. So I stayed in NICU for 3-1/2 weeks. Oh yeah I was also born with Down Syndrome. Not really problem for me as I can do most everything every other kid can do. But I had to do lots and lots of physical therapy. I dance with my maw maw she thinks its therapy but we all know its just a lot of fun! Then the next disaster happened I was born with a VSD which is a hole in the heart they thought it might close, but guess what mine didn't so Hi Ho off to surgery I go. I was only 15 months old But I had the greatest doctor and him and God fixed me. I was also born with transient leukemia cells they usually rear their ugly head by age of 2 but mine didn't come then they waited till I was 4.
My name is Noah Barone and I am so happy to be part of the RaiseRed Dance Marathon. This is my 5th year of taking part in this spectacular event that helps raise money for the Pediatric hematology, oncology and stem cell transplant program. I have been going to this clinic for almost 10 years now and 4 years ago I came to RaiseRed in a wheelchair because of my disease had taken away my ability to balance to which makes it hard to walk. But let me tell you a little about myself, I went to North Oldham High School and graduated in 2017 and I like fashion and photography.
Most of you all see our sweet baby living a life of a normal kid; cheering, tumbling, doing pageants, etc. What we don't see is her bleeding disorder: Von Wille Brand and the struggles she lives with, sometimes on a daily basis. Her nose bleeds have become worse which leaves her with painful headaches and she is very weak from having low hemoglobin. She still pushes through and tries to finish 3.5 hours of cheer practice even after losing a lot of blood during most practices. It’s amazing how her teammates have gotten unalarmed by it, when Oakleigh is not on the floor and I ask where did Oak go? Her teammates respond with “ she’s having a nose bleed, she’ll be back.”
Lindsay Payne is a 21 year old Junior at Ivy tech studying Medical Assisting. Her dream is to help others like herself, pediatric cancer patients and their families. Lindsay was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in 1999 at the age of 2. What started as some pain and a low grade fever would forever change her life. Lindsay responded well to treatments and was in remission in no time. Things were all going well until 2002 at the age of 5 when some headaches and vomiting led to the discovery of a relapse. The cancer was in her central nervous system (CNS) and she would require a Bone Marrow Transplant. Once again she would start treatments to prepare for the transplant. This time it would also include total body radiation due to the CNS relapse. July 31st 2003 at the age of 6, Lindsay received her life saving cord blood transplant. It has been over 15 years since that day and she is considered “CURED” of that horrible disease, Cancer.
Ved is 9 years old and was diagnosed with B-ALL, a type of Leukemia. He enjoys sports, bike riding, games and movies. He won “Best Fortnite Player” at kid prom and is also a vegetarian! He has loved his experience with RaiseRED through the Patient Pal Program and looks forward to his first ever marathon!
Ashtyn is six years old and attends Wheeler Elementary. She was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma. She is a competitive cheerleader and loves hanging out with her friends and coloring. At Kid Prom, she won the award for being the “Most Likely to Wear Pink”. She is SO excited to come to her first dance marathon and looks forward to meeting all of everyone!!