At the age of 13, Stephen was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a very rare and aggressive form of bone cancer. Stephen, with the help of the Oncology doctors and nurses at Cook Children Hospital, fought his disease with great courage for 16 months, and was an inspiration to many people. Before his death at the age of 15, Stephen’s wish was to help children, who are similarly afflicted with cancer, in ways that others helped him.
Each year over 12,000 children are diagnosed with cancer and more than 2000 die every year. It is the 2nd leading cause of death in children behind accidents. At Cook Children’s Hospital, more than 100 children every year are treated for cancer. Most children are admitted to the hospital 5 – 10 times a year, often for 1 -2 weeks at a time. Parents are faced with trying to maintain normalcy in their child’s life, and often times have to give up or alter employment in order to care for their child. As a result, the children and their families face many hardships.
A gift certificate or shopping spree can go a long way to brighten a child’s day and ease their stay in the hospital. Providing assistance with medical bills can ease a family’s burden and help focus their attention on caring for their child. Assistance for a child with cancer can be requested through one of the Child Life Specialists at Cook Children’s Hospital.
Since inception, Stephen’s Foundation has helped dozens of children and their families in a variety of the ways mentioned above. In addition, Stephen’s Foundation sponsored a new cancer patient room at Cook Children’s Hospital during their recent expansion. Also, Stephen’s Foundation sponsored a new family room as part of the Ronald McDonald House expansion. This room is for the family of a cancer patient being treated at Cook Children’s Hospital who lives outside of Tarrant County.