Check out some of the Strong Girls of CCChampions!
Click the buttons below to read about each girl's story, role models, and adventures!
Our post last week featured Emma's fun-filled day in the kitchen with Chef John - see what Emma's Mom had to say in her own blog post about her daughter's amazing experience:
During hospital stays and clinic visits, Emma has been visited by wonderful folks from CCChampions. CCChampions (Connecting Children with Champions) was formed for the purpose of connecting kids who have been diagnosed with cancer with role models and friends in a field of their interest. From book store owners for kids who love to read, to sports broadcasters for kids who love sports announcing, to officers for kids who dream to become members of the police force, CCChampions has connected many kids with heroes and friends to bring a positive experience to their journey.
Emma's Friendship Champion, Jen, has spent time getting to know her interests and passions to plan something special for her. Not far into their conversations, she knew what would make a perfect day for Emma - the opportunity to shadow a chef at work. So, in spite of low counts, Emma spent several hours learning from an amazing chef in his kitchen today. Chef John of Parkhurst Dining taught her so much about flavor combinations, knife skills, and how to take a meal from common to exceptional. Emma thoroughly enjoyed every minute with Chef John and learned more than we could have imagined - it truly was an amazing day for her.
Even her exhaustion tonight couldn't dampen her excitement about the day that she, Rich, and Kate had with Chef John. (Ironically, the family member who needed Chef's help the most was still in "isolation" in an attempt to keep everyone healthy - maybe another time!) It was an unforgettable day, and we are grateful to Chef John and Jen, Emma's Friendship Champion, for making the day so perfect!
We are so grateful for the kindness of CCChampions and Chef John for Emma's unforgettable day. We are thankful she was healthy enough to enjoy the day.
If you love to cook and be in the kitchen as much as Emma does, you’ll love reading about her day with Parkhurst Dining Chef, John Karbowski!
Emma couldn’t wait to meet Chef John and see all what he had planned for them to cook. She told us and her family how she couldn’t wait for this day to come! Luckily for Emma, she has spent a good amount of time in the kitchen at home since she is often cooking with her dad and older sister.
Little did Emma know, Chef John had three delicious meals ready for her to cook and bake! Ironically, Chef John chose some of Emma’s favorite foods - roasted corn soup and shrimp pot stickers. Needless to say, the excitement and smile on Emma’s face said it all. She was thrilled!
Chef John put everyone to work for a few hours since we had so many things to do and so much to learn! Emma’s Dad and sister joined in on the day of fun, as well as CCChampions staff members. Everyone was busy, especially Emma - who was quite an expert and definitely impressed Chef John!
Here is a sneak peak of some of the dishes that Chef John & Emma made, alongside family and CCChampions friends!
Angelika has a wonderful, bubbly personality, and an incredible passion for food. Our Little Champs volunteers, Copley and Courtney, would often find Angelika in her room watching the Food Network. So, we thought Chef Geoff, the Executive Chef for the Pittsburgh Penguins, would be a perfect match for Angelika!
At their first meeting both Angelika and Chef Geoff were filled with a lot of nervous excitement! But after spending some time touring the Penguins facility together they lost the nervousness and were just plain excited - they couldn’t wait to start cooking! Chef Geoff taught Angelika some of his best cooking tips and then enlisted her as his Sous Chef for the day. They worked side by side in the kitchen for well over an hour preparing a sensational meal of hanger steak, purple potato hash, and patty pan squash with truffle demi glace. They both went home that night with happy hearts and fully bellies!
What's your New Year's Resolution for 2018??? If it's to eat a healthy and nutritious meal, Chef Geoff has you covered!
By: Copley Fry, Friendship Assistant
The first time I met Angelika she was waking up from a lumbar puncture. She was a little disoriented from the anesthesia, asking her mom the same five questions on a loop. There wasn’t a moment where she was actually quiet. I could clearly see that this little girl had a huge personality-- despite still being under the effects of anesthesia.
As she came to, my co-volunteer Courtney and I got around to asking her some questions, getting to know her better. We learned that Angelika LOVES the Food Network (it is always on when we visit her), her favorite animals are unicorns (yes- even though they’re fictional they still count), and you better be prepared for her to crush you in a game of Candy Land!!
Just seeing how excited Angelika becomes when we ask her these simple questions truly makes me smile. I’m so thankful that CCChampions has given me the opportunity to make such a difference in someone’s life, allowing me to help Angelika be a kid again.
Over the next few months while Angelika is continuing her treatments, I hope to continue to get to know her better. As I said before, Angelika has such a big personality, especially for a nine-year-old, and I can’t wait to watch it unfold further. I anticipate many more games of Headbanz and Candy Land, but I also hope that we are able to spend time outside of the hospital too. Since she is such a fan of the Food Network, the idea of watching her cook or even cook with her excite me.
On our second visit, we made unicorn horns out of construction paper and pipe-cleaners and decorated them to make Angelika smile when she was not feeling so well during a treatment, and it worked! I leave my unicorn horn in my car so I always have it with me when I go to visit her. It also serves as a constant reminder of how far a smile, some creative thinking, and optimism can take you.
Types of Friendships