Fellow cancer survivors and an Oregon-based foundation recently helped make one family's fight with brain tumors a little easier.
Brayden Stacey, the son of town of Delafield Fire Department firefighter Nick Stacey, received a gift from Gamerosity, a charity that assists children with cancer by providing them a distraction while going through their treatment programs, at the town fire department Sunday, Feb. 12.
A co-worker's daughter, who is fighting cancer, nominated Brayden for Gamerosity's Hero Package. If $500 is raised, the recipient receives an IPad Mini, earphones, Apple gift card, backpack and personalized towel along with a few other things.
Nick Stacey had noticed Laura Rohde's Facebook postings about raising funds for Gamerosity's hero packages,and Rohde had asked whether it would be OK to nominate Brayden.
Making the visit
The Staceys tracked the progress of the fundraising on Facebook. They realized two days before the visit that the $500 needed had been raised. Gamerosity founder Manny Munoz and his team were already in Wisconsin visiting another cancer fighter, so on Feb. 12. Manny and his team visited Brayden at the town of Delafield Fire Department.
Since its founding by Munoz, a childhood cancer survivor himself, Gamerosity has shipped 570 Hero Packages, and has raised $4,030 this month.
"It was cool. Brayden was really neat because he just has tons of energy. It's like he owned the fire station showing us around," Munoz said about visiting Brayden. "It was really cool. It's interesting. It's fun meeting them in the hospital, but it's always better meeting them in their element."
Rohde and her daughter were happy to be a part of it too, as her daughter had once received a Hero Package herself.
"We just did it as a fighter giving another fighter a package just to make things a little bit easier," Rohde said. "I know how my daughter reacted getting it, and we just wanted to pass that on."
Future prognosis on Brayden, Nick's condition, creating a bond
Two days after the Gamerosity visit, Brayden was at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin getting an MRI and the cystic portion of the tumor examined. A followup is planned for March 25. Brayden's parents, Nick and Sarah, are looking at possible brain surgery in the near future for Brayden. Nick himself said he still gets headaches, but is doing his best to live his life.
Nick Stacey is grateful for what Gamerosity has done for Brayden. He said the gift goes beyond just a nice gesture..
"It's something for the kids to do while they're in post-anesthesia, or going through chemo, or whatever it may be. It's something to take their mind off the issue," Stacey said. "That's what they're trying to do, and they're doing a good job."
Rohde said Gamerosity has also brought the families closer together through their experiences.
"We're all friends now," Rohde said. "You'd never think that people are going to come together, but when you have trying times, the community and the support and others, we all need it when we're in this family. Not that other families don't need it too, but boy, does it make a difference. They always say a fighter doesn't fight alone, and that's true."