Ian O’Brien Eagle Scout project.

We are honored to share this guest blog post from Ian O’Brien and his Eagle Scout project that he recently completed for TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation KidzBinz program benefiting Children’s Health in Dallas, Texas.  The KidzBinz are the activity boxes that are utilized by the Child Life Department for the children who are in-patient for their cancer treatments.  These are so important especially for the children who are in isolation following bone marrow transplants and other pediatric cancer treatments.  

My name is Ian O’Brien.  I am 15 years old and working to attain my Eagle Scout.  I have been in Boy Scouts since the 6th grade and am entering my sophomore year in high school.  When I first started Boy Scouts, I never really thought I would reach the Eagle Scout rank.  But, through scouting I have been able to connect with friends from different schools, learn new skills and help others in need.

There was never really a question in my mind that I wanted my Eagle Scout project to benefit TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation.  You see, I grew up down the street from the Cruse family.  Although I was as young as Connor’s little brother when Connor passed away, I grew up seeing the heartache his passing caused but also the great awareness it created.  I have watched the Cruse family work tirelessly to create TeamConnor and raise millions of dollars for childhood cancer research.  I wanted to do my part and make an impact in Connor’s honor.

When it came time to plan and coordinate my Eagle Project I reached out to Mrs. Cruse and asked if I could help TeamConnor in any way.  That is when I learned of KidzBinz. This activity box program is a great way to help sick children when they are in the hospital for extended stays and in isolation.  It provides games, books, electronics, crafts and toys to distract the children when they are feeling lonely and sick.  It is a great cause and anyone can contribute.  I encourage everyone to think about KidzBinz as a donation event for a company, instead of birthday party presents…donate, or give this meaningful gift for Christmas in a loved one’s name.

Coordinating my project during Covid-19 was a blessing to me during such a trying and uncertain time.  It made me feel good that I was doing something for such a worthy cause.  It also was amazing to see how generous people could be with their donations and how willing they were to support me and ultimately, TeamConnor.  Covid-19 left me isolated and missing my friends for months.  The children in the hospital with cancer live through this every day during their treatment whether we are in a pandemic or not.  It really hit home for me how these donations could offer a distraction and put a smile on so many kid’s faces.  

I feel fortunate to have been able to participate with TeamConnor and Children’s Health.  I plan on continuing to support the KidzBinz program with TeamConnor well into my future.  I have many ideas as to how I can keep collecting donations and giving back.  I hope you can encourage someone to do the same.

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Did You Know

Building awareness of childhood cancer is critical to funding and finding a cure. To help, please consider sharing teamconnor.org on your Facebook.

Today, 46 children will be diagnosed with cancer.  Seven will lose their battle.

Did you know September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!

Every day in America, approximately 46 children are diagnosed with cancer.

Childhood cancer does not discriminate, sparing no ethnic group, socio-economic class, or geographic region.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in children, accounting for about 3% of childhood cancers.

On average, 1 in every 4 elementary schools has a child with cancer.

About one-third of childhood cancers are leukemias.

Childhood cancer survival rates in the United States have increased from less than 20% in the 1960s to almost 80% today.

Cancer kills more children each year than Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, and Pediatric AIDS combined.

Childhood cancer is not one disease entity, but rather a spectrum of different malignancies. Cancers found in children are biologically different from those seen in adults.

1 in 300 children will develop cancer before age 20.

Neuroblastoma is the most common extra cranial solid tumor cancer in children.

Today, up to 75% of the children with cancer can be cured, yet, some forms of childhood cancers have proven so resistant to treatment that, in spite of research, a cure is illusive.

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