Introducing CC4C Stories

Jeremy – part 1 of 4

“Our only support system we really had was ourselves. There wasn’t an organization that we could go to and receive support. It was mainly my wife and I just going online and looking up information as it came back from the doctors.” Jeremy Hobbs was born with a rare disorder, originally diagnosed as craniosynostosis. This disorder causes the skull plates to fuse together, preventing the skull from allowing proper brain growth during development. This caused severe pain throughout Jeremy’s entire body, as this inhibited his body’s ability to grow and develop properly. Jeremy had cranial surgery at 13 months to relieve the growing pressure on his skull. This improved his vision, but did not correct his bone or muscle development. Since then, Jeremy has had over 40 surgeries trying to relieve the constant headaches, soreness, and pain that comes from his condition. Without a proper, confident diagnosis, Jeremy and his family were forced to adopt a trial-and-error approach to his treatments, some more successful than others, but all coming at a great financial cost.”

Jeremy – part 2 of 4

“I’ve really enjoyed the way CC4C is organized. It pairs each child up with a champion and with a high school sports team. They take the interests of the kid and provide a community for the kid. We got paired up with the Regents football team and Jeremy was there every day.” Jeremy was matched with the Regents School of Austin football team and Jeni Raymond, a Boston marathoner. Jeremy has been inspired by Mrs. Raymond to focus on strengthening his muscles in order to walk independently, a goal that for a long time seemed impossibly far off. Jeremy enjoyed spending time at Regents football practices, sitting on the sidelines and even being included in some plays. He grew especially close with Regents kicker Tyler Robert. Jeremy would spend most games with Tyler on the sidelines, and would even sometimes practice his kicking. Since being a Regents teammate, Jeremy has said that when he grows up he wants to be a football kicker, just like Tyler.

Jeremy – part 3 of 4

“This was a good opportunity for a bunch of high school kids to be a hero for a young man who might have needed a hero at the time.” During his time as a CC4C Champion Child, Jeremy was able to undergo various new treatments with the support of CC4C. He began therapeutic horse riding treatment, something his family could not provide for him on top of his previous medical expenses. Since beginning this treatment, Jeremy has been able to surpass many milestones that previously seemed unreachable. Jeremy as developed his own form of communication with his mom, Angie, that allows him to write out his words and talk to other people through her. He has been spending more time on his feet, using leg braces to support his legs and help from his parents to begin to walk.

Jeremy – part 4 of 4

This past May, Jeremy walked over 600 steps on his own, a feat that just one year ago would have been impossible. Jeremy said himself that his motivation for accomplishing this was his champion Jeni, and his football buddy Tyler. Without the support of CC4C, Jeremy and the Hobbs family would not have had this new support system and platform to begin to improve Jeremy’s condition. Jeremy is now communicating and moving more than ever, always with a smile on his face. His team motto, “believe in yourself”, encompasses Jeremy’s own approach to every day, as his own personal motivation has allowed him to achieve and experience things both him and his parents could never imagine. To donate to CC4C and help children and families like Jeremy and the Hobbs, click ‘donate’ in the top right corner.

Drew – part 1 of 3

“We were watching Drew progressively get worse, he was in so much pain. He went from being this active, all-star teenage boy to laying in bed all day.” At the age of 11, Drew was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis. Almost two years later, he was diagnosed with both Lyme disease and occipital neuralgia. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection often caused by tick bites that, if untreated, can lead to loss of ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pains, and severe headaches and neck stiffness. Occipital neuralgia is a disease that causes chronic pain in the head and neck areas. It is usually a result of damage or pressure on the greater occipital nerve located near a vertebra in the neck. Though he had multiple general diagnoses, Drew’s treatments were not yielding much relief. The pains in his head neck were making it increasingly difficult to treat his arthritis.

Drew – part 2 of 3

“It’s meant a lot to me just to know that someone is there other than my parents and family. Just to know that he doesn’t have to be there, but chooses to, means a lot.” Drew entered the CC4C program in 2014 and was paired up with the Hutto High School football team. He was also given a Champion, Mark Calaway, also known as The Undertaker. Mark is a WWF/E Champion, World Heavyweight Champion, USWA World Heavyweight Champion. He has shown incredible support for Drew, including attending various CC4C events, raising money, and giving Drew incredibly special WWE experiences. Drew now had a support system outside of his family that he could rely on in particularly difficult times. For Drew, a new light of hope began to shine, and it grew ever closer each day.

Drew – part 3 of 3

“If you don’t have a diagnosis, you can’t get treatment. That’s the biggest thing. When they’re sick and you don’t know what’s wrong, it just keeps getting worse.” Drew traveled to the Carrick Brain Center in June of 2015 to have more extensive testing done to determine his diagnosis more accurately. The tests concluded that Drew had Autoimmune Encephalitis, a disease in which the immune system attacks the brain. His symptoms most likely grew from strep throat to scarlet fever, which led to the encephalitis. The combination of his encephalitis and cranial pressure damaged his occipital nerve. With a more accurate and complete diagnosis, the doctors were able to give Drew a more effective treatment, IVIG therapy which will allow him to regain most, if not all, of his cognitive function. Without support from CC4C, this trip would not have been possible for Drew and his family. Now, Drew and his family are hopeful for his future as he continues his recovery and a normal life.

Robert – part 1 of 3

“The most difficult part was watching him battle through all of his challenges and feeling like we were alone and not having support.” Robert was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma at the age of just 9 months old. By the time he was two years old, he had undergone seven rounds of chemo, two tumor removal surgeries, a stem cell transplant, twelve rounds of radiation and six months of maintenance therapy. All of these procedures proved to be successful in removing the cancer from Robert’s system. However, the numerous rounds of chemo took its toll on his still developing body while saving his life. Despite remaining cancer-free for three years, Robert now has a speech delay and motor processing disorder. He also has dangerous scarring on his liver that must be consistently monitored, as well as damage to his bone marrow and adult teeth. Although he is cancer-free, Robert still faces an uphill battle every day.

 

Robert – part 2 of 3

“CC4C gave us a feeling like we are part of a support system in the community of CC4C and with his football team. Robert has made so many special relationships with these players that he still talks to today. They have brightened his life and given him a sense of hope and trust when he didn’t trust too many people.” Robert entered the CC4C program in 2015, and was paired with singer/songwriter Jack Ingram as his champion, and the Hays High School football team as his teammates. The football team showed tremendous support for Robert last year, attending nearly every CC4C event, and consistently being the loudest and most vocal supporting team. The continuous support from both the team and Jack Ingram instilled a new confidence in Robert that he otherwise would not have had. He had a group of people helping him through the difficult therapy sessions and sometimes painful days. Robert’s motto, “Never give up, you can do this”, stands as testament to the hope he has received from CC4C, his teammates, and his champion.  

Robert – part 3 of 3

“I want him to have those special relationships that he has created and to know he has so many people hoping and praying for him everyday for his continued health and strength. That anything that comes his way we will tackle together and he will continue to always smile and be happy.” This year, Robert will return as a CC4C champion child. He will remain teammates with the Hays football players, and will be paired with Jack Ingram for a second year. Having already  spent a year with his supporters, Robert will be able to continue building his relationships with them. The support he has received and will continue to receive will help him keep his hope for the future, and keep the ever-present smile on his face. Robert will continue to undergo therapy for his speech delay and receive various treatments. Without CC4C, he would be facing a much tougher road, but with his team at his side, Robert can smile all the way through.