Meet our Hero: Michael Bruhn

Michael was a local boy from our area in Southern Oregon. He was diagnosed with Pre B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in February of 2008 at age 11 and would wage a 5+ year battle with his cancer. Michael would endure pulls, IV's, chemotherapy, spinal taps, bone marrow aspirations, and test after test. Through it all he kept a positive, comforting, and loving attitude.

Meet Our Hero: Rob Martinez - Super Brother To Ben Martinez

Sometime ago we introduced you to one of our heroes, Ben Martinez, who is waging a brave battle against Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma. Ben finished his chemo treatments in June of 2014, however in January of 2015 the cancer came back, and it spread throughout his body. Now 14-years-old, Ben is fighting “the monster” once again.

Ben has had the strong support of his family, and especially the support of his older brother Rob. 

Meet Our Hero: Ruthie Mersburgh

Ruthie was just 4 ½ years old in February 2006. The next school year she would enter Kindergarten, which meant she needed to get her physical.  At her annual physical she passed and got an immunization. Two days later we notice a little lump on her left neck.  Ruthie being the youngest of our three children, we just thought maybe it was a swollen lymph node. 

Meet Our Hero: Wilson Bledsoe

When the ultrasound tech at Children’s Mercy uttered those words to my Mom and I on July 25th 2001, my heart shattered. Born on November 13, 2000, Wilson Allen Bledsoe proved from day one just how strong and determined he could be. He had a few minor issues all the while just being a typical happy baby.

Ben Martinez

Beginning of June 2013, Ben came in with a very tiny bump on his left foot (size of a pea) thinking he had been bit by a spider. It wasn't red, or hot to touch, but I treated it with Benadryl and then some Tylenol for discomfort. On June 13th, we went to Disneyland, but he was complaining of his foot hurting really bad, so bad in fact that he wasn't even able to enjoy Disneyland. We had to let him use the wheel chair that my mom was using. We get back to motel that night and the bump had grown to size of a quarter.

Derek Gropp

Derek's health has many challenges and he suffers from a very rare genetic mutation he acquired at conception that presents at birth called Kostmann's Syndrome. He also has two other mutations and is sadly, bracketed as a pre-leukemic due to the combination of mutations and one in particular. When Derek was first diagnosed, they said he wouldn't live past the age of 4, but he has diligently fought a courageous battle and is now 15.