When a child's cancer diagnosis is delivered, it's like "all air is immediately sucked out of the room," says Leslie Woodfill, executive director of the American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest (ACCOIN). Many parents and children are justifiably overwhelmed by the life-changing news. To "bring a breath of fresh air back to the family," ACCOIN steps in with a comfort bag filled with all of the resources and supplies a family needs as they grapple with pediatric cancer.
With an office located inside the Sacred Heart Children's Hospital, ACCOIN can quickly be there for kids whenever they need them. ACCOIN employees and volunteers bring the kids anything that could bring them some form of comfort — sometimes it's something simple. Woodfill says it's amazing what even a bag of Cheetos can do.
Woodfill felt the inspiration to be a part of ACCOIN after working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and seeing kids deal with cancer. "If you've ever seen a kid battle cancer, you've seen true courage and spirit. Just amazing strength," she remarks. "There's a little guy at the hospital battling liver cancer, and you'll get a smile from behind that pacifier."
ACCOIN states that a "donation brings a deep breath to a parent whose child has cancer. It brings joy to a child when they are afraid. It brings relief for a parent that is struggling to pay their bills. It provides resource information to educate the child and their parents about their specific form of cancer. It provides snacks and toys to help when a child faces a procedure. It provides a comfort bag filled with the things a family needs as they navigate childhood cancer."
All donations to ACCOIN raised in the community stay in the community, helping children and parents around the Inlander Northwest deal with childhood cancer. ♦
To donate, visit acco.org/inlandnw/donate. On Thursday, Sept. 9, as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, ACCOIN supporter Wake Up Call will be offering special $3 drinks at all 10 of its Inland Northwest locations, with a dollar from each going to the effort. And on Sept. 25, ACCOIN hosts its 17th Annual Light the Way auction, virtually. For more information, visit one.bidpal.net/accoin/welcome