Paper written for school project (Riley Blankenship, CC4C Child Alumni)

Some people believe that running marathons and chronic illness are not connected. I mean, at first, when you begin to look at the similarities between the two, they aren’t very apparent. But as soon as you dig a little deeper and understand the challenges one might face, the picture becomes a little less blurry. In reality having a chronic illness is a marathon, it’s a long haul, and you have to learn to pace yourself so you can reach the finish line.   My journey began six years ago when I was diagnosed with an eosinophilic/mitochondrial disorder that left me bedridden for at least 3 years. From what I remember about that time in my life was awful, the stress and hopelessness of the situation started to wreak havoc on my family and I felt like it was never going to end. Even though marathon runners and athletes must train and prepare for something they WANT to accomplish, they get tired and might even feel like giving up. So just imagine how someone fighting a chronic illness feels when they are asked to “train” and win something they did NOT WANT and were never prepared for in the first place. I have had many people ask me “how did i get through it” and to be honest, I have no idea. But the one thing I can truly think of, besides my family, that helped me reach the finish line had to be CC4C.   Cheyanna’s Champions for Children is an amazing organization started by our close family friend, Talaya Frazier, after her daughter battled a rare illness. This...

A letter from the Varner family concerning Champion Child, Drew

When we went to the Carrick Brain Center in June they did some extensive lab work as they felt there was still ‘something’ going on. We got the test results on Thursday, and it showed that Drew has Autoimmune Encephalitis. Poor kid has been walking around for over 2 years now with a swollen brain! The likely chain of events was that strep throat led to scarlet fever which triggered the encephalitis. The first symptom of the encephalitis was the high intracranial pressure. The combination of the encephalitis and intracranial pressure damaged the occipital nerves which resulted in the occipital neuralgia. Drew had all but one symptom of the encephalitis which makes it so infuriating that the doctors were so stuck on it being psychological that they missed what was right in front of them! The good news is that with the treatment of IVIG therapy the doctors at the brain center feel Drew should regain most, or all, of the cognitive function, memory, vision, etc. that Drew lost! It is even hopeful that the inflammation of the brain is what was making his arthritis so difficult to treat. The trip was definitely worth its weight in gold! Without it, Drew would never have been able to achieve full healing or recovery. We can’t thank CC4C, its volunteers, and sponsors enough for helping us make the trip a reality. We are so excited and hopeful for Drew’s future now!...

A Letter from Todd & Sara (Parents of Carter)

Dear Talaya, CC4C Board Members and Volunteers, Raising a child with a rare disorder heightens our awareness and we become more sensitive to the world around us.  We ponder God’s motive behind “our” selection.  We wonder why “our” child had to be “the one.”  We guard and protect beyond traditional measures.  We hope that others aren’t passing judgment when we aren’t looking.  We wonder if God’s Grace might show a more profound impact – or if we are simply not thankful enough for what He has already given. Nine years ago, doctors told us to put Carter in a “home” and move on with our lives – that we wouldn’t want the “burden” of raising a child with so many challenges.  These doctors didn’t know the phenomenal plan that God had for Carter here on earth.  They overlooked that a debilitating disorder like this could break down barriers beyond wheelchairs, special education, and disruptive behavior.  They overlooked that his condition could bring out the ABSOLUTE best in people of all ages! Champions for Children has been an AMAZING blessing for Carter and our entire family.  The love and support from the ENTIRE CC4C TEAM has far exceeded our imagination!!!  When Laci ran the Boston Marathon in Carter’s honor – we immediately had another “family” to call our own. Our memory roll is long: The Boston Marathon, the dinners, the celebrations, the awards, the mini marathon – all these events alone would have been an amazing blessing.  However, the ‘vision’ to have Carter become an “Honorary Member” of the Lake Travis High School Football Team has created an impact beyond...

A Letter from Erika (Mother of Mia)

Dear Meghan and Board Members, Words simply can’t express how grateful and blessed Chris, Mia, Ana Lucia and I feel to be a part of the Champions-4-Children family!  These past few months have been incredibly opportune: meeting all the families involved, befriending our amazing athletes, receiving delicious dinners that last for DAYS, and becoming part of something extraordinary that has impacted us in ways we could have only imagined. Last Monday, I was making copies in our workroom at my office when a colleague asked me if heard what happened at the Boston Marathon.  As soon as I saw her face, I knew it was something terrible and in that moment my heart sank to my feet and I could feel my legs want to buckle.  It was the feeling that you get when you hear that someone you love may be hurt or injured.  Running back to my desk to call Chris, I started to pray and every ounce of positive energy I had was instantaneously sent to our Champions in Boston. Later that night, Chris said he felt exactly the same way when he heard the news.  Once we heard from you and Desiree and JB, we took a huge sigh of relief and began to internalize the enormous tragedy as it unfolded.  Talking it over, we both realized that fear wasn’t the dominant emotion in our hearts that day.  It was love.  We had a real and unique connection to 10 people that we had only met twice in our entire lives, and we loved them as we love family.  That doesn’t happen accidentally.  This bond...

A Letter from Kara King (Volunteer)

My family had the pleasure of helping out at the 1st annual CC4C micro-marathon.  It was such a rewording and meaningful experience.  Everyone affliated with the organization are humble and compassionate, but the true shining stars were the children that CC4C supports.  Their gratitude and fighting spirit left impressed all of us but especially motivated my 6 year old daughter, Tierney.  When she turned 7 two months later, her own idea was she wanted to help those kids and asked me how she could give them her birthday presents.  She ended up deciding to ask all the kids that came to her party to donate to CC4C instead of bringing her birthday presents.  The kids were so generous, she was able to collect $320!  Tierney told me she wants to “help the kids” every year! Kara...

Comment from LTHS Band Director (Athlete Team)

The motivation and inspiration flows both ways. It is heartwarming to see my students rallying around a young child who is struggling. When my students get tired of practicing and performing, I just put up a photo of Drew, and I tell them, “If this kid can keep going, so can...

The impact Cc4c.org has on the children associated with the program is best described by the letters we get from the champion children themselves as well as their friends and families. To see video testimonials click here.

Letter from mother of CC4C Champion child

Just another e-mail to express our absolute gratitude for what you’ve done for us!! Chase’s high school champions, the Bowie Bulldogs, invited him to one of their events at the school tonight called Bulldogs and Hot Dogs. Chaser got to hang with the team and help collect money for their fundraiser. $2 to shoot a basket. Little did I know, the fundraiser was for cc4c in Chase’s name. So yes, I cried ridiculously….again. ;). Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the opportunities you have given not only my little boy, but as his parents. Chase ran over to me tonight and said, I WANT TO BE IN CC4C EVERY YEAR!!
We know this wouldn’t happen without each and every one of you!! A huge thank you …!!!
Love, Lindsay

Quote from a Child Life Specialist at Dell Children’s Hospital

 I have heard so many wonderful things about CC4C from my patients.  Thank you for helping them feel special!