Current Grant Recipients
During the summer of 2021, Sophia was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma at the age of 7. She underwent 14 cycles of chemo and 31 doses of radiation. When the family attended a follow-up visit, it was discovered that her cancer had returned. After receiving this heartbreaking news, Sophia asked her parents if she could host a lemonade stand to raise money to donate to four Western New York charities that help fight pediatric cancer. She raised $7,000.
Sophia passed away in May 2023, a few months after starting her nonprofit, Sophia the Fierce. Her family wants to carry forward her passion for giving back and helping other kids like her. Her nonprofit, Sophia the Fierce, will help provide an outdoor getaway experience for kids and their families battling pediatric cancer. When a child is stuck inside undergoing countless chemo treatments and radiation, there is nothing more exhilarating than getting to spend time outside, driving four-wheelers, and feeling free.
Annie was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease in 2009. This disease has caused many complications for her and serious medical problems. She lost the majority of her vision, is completely deaf, has kidney problems requiring daily twelve-hour infusions through a central line, has a g-tube for daily liquid feedings and medications, has type 1 diabetes, and experiences regular fatigue. Annie has spent many weeks in the hospital, causing a financial strain on her family.
Through her journey, Annie met a close friend at the age of 13. She fondly remembers having “a day of fun” with her friend, where they did simple every-day things together, that many people take for granted, like going out to eat. Shortly after their day of fun, her friend passed away.
Annie started making and selling bracelets to raise enough funds to provide a “day of fun” for other kids battling lifelong severe medical illness. Through the Annie Leeds Adventure Foundation, Annie will provide free, accessible adventures to families with a member with a chronic illness. As she knows from first-hand experience, a day of fun without financial or medical stress is a priceless memory. When individuals with chronic disease experience so much from a young age, it’s a gift to be able to bring them a day of joy. Now at 18 years old and a freshman in college, Annie is more passionate than ever about making sure her foundation helps as many as possible, in memory of her friend.
During the summer of 2022, Reagan was experiencing bad headaches that wouldn’t go away. She went to the ER thinking she had just a bad migraine. She never expected she would hear the words “brain tumor”. Reagan spent the first half of July in the PICU and underwent two surgeries to attempt a biopsy. She had another surgery in August, and a fourth surgery in New York City in November.
Reagan and her family are so thankful for the blessings shared by family, friends, health care teams, and child life specialists. Reagan was understandably disappointed when she learned she would have to spend the holidays in the hospital, but she shares that the comfort items gifted to her helped make the stays a little better.
Reagan knows what a difference gifts of comfort and care can make to a child when they are fighting for their life. Through her nonprofit, Reagan’s Rainbows of Hope, she plans to deliver hope and joy to as many inpatient kids as she can, by gifting them gift bags filled with comfort items like blankets, socks, squishmallows, and room decorations. Please help Reagan get her nonprofit off the ground and support Boss BeCause today!
12-year-old Colt Matz needed a bone marrow transplant for leukemia in 2021. His younger brother donated, and he had a successful transplant. Unfortunately, Colt relapsed this past Feb. and continues to fight for his life. While he is working on getting better, Colt is equally focused on helping other kids. He shared with me that running his nonprofit will “give him something to think about” while he is in the hospital.
Colt’s mission is to provide transplant bags to inpatient kids to make their long stays more comfortable. Items in the bags will include comfortable and colorful bedding, satin pillowcases (Colt explained to me Satin is the least bothersome when you are losing your hair from chemo), a fun pillow/stuffed animal, decorations for their room, and a personal letter from Colt encouraging them and giving information about his podcast. He estimates the bags will cost $250 each. In his podcast, Colt will provide tips and tricks to other inpatient kids for how to pass time, bond with friends, socialize from a distance, support their siblings, etc.
Meet our 6th boss to join the ranks, Riley. Riley is 15 years old. He was diagnosed with Burtkitt’s Lymphoma a few years ago, and after several rounds of chemo and surgeries, is in remission. Riley was hospitalized during the holidays and was severely downtrodden. His dad got the idea to decorate Riley’s hospital room for him with Christmas lights, and Riley’s attitude and levels did a complete turnaround to the point that he was able to be discharged. Riley is a firm believer that a little holiday cheer can help kids who are inpatient during the holidays smile, feel a little bit better, and can even help them heal.
Riley’s nonprofit, Riley’s Warriors, will help deliver bags of holiday decorations and lights to all 40 of the kids in the pediatric wing of the hospital where he was treated. He has been collecting and donating bags for the past 2 years in a row on his own. We are gifting him a nonprofit so he can have access to grants and funding to spread his mission.
Sponsored Grant Recipients
When Keeley was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year at 8 years old, she was comforted by an outpouring of love and support including many gifts and blessings. Thankfully, Keeley is in remission today.
Keeley wants other kids like her to feel special too, so she came up with the idea of gifting them tote bags filled with toys, games, journals, and coloring books. She started holding lemonade stands and cookie sales over the summer and was able to raise enough funds to assemble and drop off 7 totes to kids at Roswell Park. Keeley’s nonprofit, Keeley Kares for Kids, will continue to raise money to provide kids and young adults diagnosed with cancer or other critical illness tote bags and comfort items during their treatments and hospital stays. Keeley plans to be a support system for these young warriors, by sending birthday cards and other surprises to let them know they are still thought and cared about throughout their journey.