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Mother And Son, Parent And Survivor

BY Jeremy Shatan

Note: Earlier this month we held our 3rd Annual Luncheon. As part of the program we had several distinguished speakers. But perhaps none were more directly affecting than Freddi Ford, a Hope & Heroes Board Member, and her son Hank, a cancer survivor. Here are the videos and transcripts of their remarks.

Freddi Ford, Parent

Hello everyone.  I’m Freddi Ford.  I’m proud to be both a Co-Chair for this event and a member of the Hope & Heroes Board of Directors.

Thank you to my friends here, and to all of you, and to my family.  Thank you all, endlessly, for making this afternoon a fun and happy time, while we think about and support families- kids- who currently contend with childhood cancers.

We want you to understand the importance of the work we are funding, and Dr. Glade Bender and Dr. Lee, my friends and heroes, will elaborate shortly. This year, we also wanted to give you the opportunity to see the clinic, learn more about the labs, and even get involved on the planning side for fundraisers. On your tables you’ll see action cards, inviting you into the Hope & Heroes world. We hope you might check a box (or two or three), fill in your information, and leave it there.  Thank you for considering that.

We became involved with Hope & Heroes because our amazing son, Hank, was born with cancer 8 years ago.  Now he plays on a basketball team called the Hope & Heroes Warriors.  My husband and I are just so lucky to have four incredible children, who are all here today. 

Hank has always been super strong, from when he was an infant undergoing chemo to when he’s helping his sports teams this weekend.  But we can’t give him all the credit for his good health.  His doctors and the staff at Columbia University Medical Center treated him brilliantly.  We want that for as many other families as possible.  

When I asked Hank if he would speak today, he said:  Only if it’s not on a Wednesday. 

I said:  It is on a Wednesday, Why? 

He said:  Gym Wednesdays.  I won’t miss gym. 

Well luckily, gym was first period,

and here he is….

Hank Ford, Survivor

Hello- my name is Hank Ford.

I’m a cancer survivor.

I was born with cancer. 

Now I’m 8 years old and I like video games, my family, my friends, soccer, basketball, football, track, math, and science.

I’m grateful to my doctors because they were always really nice to me. But more importantly, they were very thoughtful and smart with my treatment and cure.

I’m grateful to my family because they always help me.

And I hope I can help other people to fight hard. 

Check out our YouTube playlist to watch all the videos from the Luncheon. If you would like to help other children like Hank by supporting clinical care and research, make a donation today.


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