Our Stories

Candlelighters is built on the cornerstone of community, and a vital part of community is getting to know others, sharing experiences and stories.

Read through the Candlelighters blog posts below for news, updates, and to learn about other Candlelighters families. Please consider sharing your own story with us, too! Every childhood cancer story is unique, and we want to learn more about yours.

Foundation of Hope : The Sumpter Family

Foundation of Hope : The Sumpter Family

It's been 45 years since Candlelighters was founded by 5 families facing childhood cancer in 1977. Throughout the years, many more families have added their own stories, experiences, and insights to make our community what it is today. Each and every program - like...

Meet Tatiana

Meet Tatiana

Meet Tatiana! Tatiana, now three, was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor, a type of kidney cancer, in August of 2021, and is currently in treatment. Tatiana's favorite toys are Minnie Mouse, Frozen, musical toys, and unicorns, and she likes looking at books. She enjoys...

Surviving Wilms Tumor as a Child: Mollie

Surviving Wilms Tumor as a Child: Mollie

March is kidney cancer awareness month, and we're talking with our community about our shared experiences.  Mollie Worcester, our Board President, was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor as a very young child. Learn more about how it affected her and her family, and what...

“Sharing the love for my mom” – Nicole & Emme

“Sharing the love for my mom” – Nicole & Emme

Emme (right) is part of our Luminaries youth leaders, a volunteer and advocate for Candlelighters and brain cancer awareness. She was diagnosed with Medullablastoma in 2009. Here, she shares about the special bond she has with her mom, Nicole. Q: What caregiver has...

Three Years Later: An Update on Jared

Three Years Later: An Update on Jared

The Thull family has been through quite a few challenges the past couple of years since we profiled them in Family That Shines. Along with COVID and Jared's cancer treatments, wildfires and home evacuation were also part of their world. When Jared's mom, Nicole posted...

Meet Indie

Meet Indie

  Meet Indie! Indie is 4, and her brother, River, is 6. Indie lives with mom, dad, and her brother. Her mom, Ashley, says Indie is very girly, she loves to dress up in princess dresses and put on play makeup. Indie and River play legos together, something they...

Meet Bryson

Meet Bryson

"Bryson's dimples are what we call "lady killer dimples" and he has all the nurses wrapped around his fingers because of them," says his mom. It's easy to see why! 5 year old Bryson was diagnosed with brain cancer last February. Here, his mom, Janna shares more about...

Layla the Warrior Princess

Layla the Warrior Princess

5 year old Layla was diagnosed with T-Cell ALL right before Thanksgiving 2020. Her mom, Sable, says "Layla has been resilient beyond expectations, and been the strongest little warrior princess. Her attitude has remained fairly positive despite some pretty low points....

Anna Grace & the Pelson Family in the News!

Anna Grace & the Pelson Family in the News!

http:/ When (now) 16-year-old Anna Grace was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2020, in some ways everything changed. Her family faced being apart from each other often. One parent would drive to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital for weekly chemotherapy, staying sometimes...

Remembering Jazmyn

Remembering Jazmyn

"I can’t even begin to explain the pain and anxiety that myself and my two daughters felt throughout Jazmyn's 16 year-struggle with cancer. Being told your child has cancer once is devastating enough, but to hear it 7 times is crippling." Jazmyn Dream Zeller had...

Michael’s Story

Michael’s Story

Kimberly Bruhn is Chapter Chair of Southern Oregon Candlelighters. She and her family understand what it's like to go through childhood cancer, from the shock of diagnosis to the grief of loss of their son Michael. Below, she shares what it was like for the Bruhn...

The Rhodes Family in the News

The Rhodes Family in the News

When 5 year old Eli was diagnosed with Leukemia at the beginning of COVID, "We had some pretty dark times" says mom Jacey. Jenny Hansson of KOIN 6 interviewed the Rhodes family and learned how the diagnosis affected Eli and what the family does to stay united. Special...

Meet Xavier

Meet Xavier

9 year old Xavier’s superhero name would be aquaman, because he loves the ocean. He also loves camping, video games (fortnite and roblox) , and avatar. Xavier recently lost his family’s dog, and looks forward to getting two kittens soon. He has 6 sisters! He looks up...

Sarah’s Story as a Childhood Cancer Survivor

Sarah’s Story as a Childhood Cancer Survivor

That's our Executive Director, Sarah Breece at 18. 19 years later, Sarah and her brother, Stephen, talked with Jenny Hansson about how Sarah's diagnosis of ovarian cancer changed the whole family, and the support they wish they'd had. Watch the video below or  read...

Meet a Familiar Face: Genevieve

Meet a Familiar Face: Genevieve

Her sweet face is all over our Childhood Cancer Awareness page. Get to know Genevieve. We first met Genevieve after she was diagnosed with Pre-B ALL (Leukemia) in December of 2013. During her hospital treatment, brownies were her favorite treat from the Candlelighters...

Healing on the Farm

Healing on the Farm

  After her son Julian was diagnosed with childhood cancer in 2019 and died in 2020, Jennifer Bridges, founder of Embrace Compassion, decided to honor his memory by making life brighter for kids with cancer. She and her family opened their farm to local families...

Central Oregon Chair, Kimberly Banner

Central Oregon Chair, Kimberly Banner

"I first learned about Candlelighters in 2014, when my daughter was diagnosed with AML at the age of 10. We stayed at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital throughout her treatment and met some of the Candlelighters staff when they served dinner or stocked the food pantry....

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