Birthday Week - Cora

Posted: May 5, 2023

Happy birthday Cora!

In Northern Pennsylvania, Cora celebrated her 7th birthday and is Casey Cares' 245th birthday this year!

Casey Cares knows that for a critically ill child, each birthday is a special milestone celebrating life. For the children in our programs, it not only marks another year, but it also demonstrates a great achievement. Casey Cares staff and volunteers work hard to send out each of our kids a special birthday package through our Birthday Blast program - we send over 1,000 a year. This simple act of kindness delivers joy and hope to our kids who are undergoing treatment.

Focus on the Entire Family

Cora joined Casey Cares in 2021 after being diagnosed with B-Cell leukemia.

Greta, Cora's mother says that while there are several favorite activities the family has enjoyed from Casey Cares, "we absolutely loved it when our 3 kids received pajamas with gift cards to get a movie, pizza and snacks. We had our own little party and it was so nice because the whole family was able to be involved."

Casey Cares focuses on providing programs for the entire family, not simply the sick child.

"I love that everything Casey Cares does is for the whole family. A lot of time the siblings of a child affected by cancer are left out from the gifts they receive so to have something for them too is truly meaningful," Greta says.

A Slide and Struggles

Before her diagnosis, Greta states, "Cora had been experiencing back pain on and off. One day, she went down a slide and screamed when she landed and I was concerned because she was upset and in pain longer than normal."

"We decided to take her to the ER and with some other symptoms she had [and] they did blood work and her counts were all out of whack. We were referred to our local Children’s Hospital and there they diagnosed her with B-Cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia."

After the diagnosis came the reality of harsh treatments for the young girl and the challenges of being the mother of a critically ill child.

Greta continues, "Seeing your child suffering and wanting to take that suffering away but not being able to do so is the hardest thing a parent has to endure. There were many struggles with getting her to take medicine that she didn’t understand why it was so important to take, and we live 2 hours away from her treating hospital so the trips back and forth not only made for long days, but it also made it challenging to be away from our other younger children so much."

Cora Strong

She will have check-up appointments for her cancer but "Cora’s strong-willedness throughout treatment never let her miss a beat! She skipped kindergarten and started 1st grade strong and has remained on track with her peers," Greta expresses.

Greta concludes, "she also started dance classes and will play soccer in the summer!"

You can help bring lasting memories to critically ill children like Cora - click here!