September 09, 2010 | Posted by Alicia Scicolone
CLEVELAND - Allison Clarke never saw her little boy, Quinn, in any other way than a playful and spunky toddler. Now, she looks at him as hope for the future of childhood cancer.
It was Quinn's battle with cancer at 2 years old that got Allison thinking. Looking around the hospital pediatric oncology unit, she saw children that her son had befriended pass away from cancer.
While her heart was breaking for her own son, Allison saw an opportunity to do something for other parents going through the same thing.
"During treatment he became friends with a little boy at the hospital who passed away and I remember being at the hospital one morning and saying ‘I wonder if that mom has a photograph of that little boy,’” Allison said.
Within three weeks, Allison started Flashes of Hope and the very first round of pictures of children fighting cancer was snapped. That was in 2001.
Flashes of Hope is now all over the country, in 50 cities, with thousands of volunteers helping take pictures of children with cancer.
It’s such a gift for families who's children don't survive and it's such a gift for the children who do survive because they can look back on their cancer experience and they can say ‘Look how strong I was,’" Allison said.
Quinn is in remission right now and is now helping Allison continue her mission of helping families going through one of life's hardest fights.
Thirteen-year-old Andrew Miller is one of Flashes of Hopes "models.” He showed off for the camera at the Cleveland Clinic doing his favorite karate chops during the photo shoot. He's one tough cookie, but not because of his martial arts moves. He's fighting cancer and winning.
"Since then he has gone through 5 rounds of chemo. All of them have been in hospital stays. He’s tolerated that very well,” Andrew’s mom, Maureen Miller, said.
Andrew’s pictures from Flashes of Hope will help him remember how strong he was, and what a role model he became to the children around him.
Allison said Flashes of Hope is not only is busy taking pictures, they also raise money for childhood cancer. Quinn helped come up with a kickball tournament that has been a total success. They've already raised $200,000 for research.
The next big fundraiser is coming up on Oct. 6 with the Cleveland Cavaliers and participation will help raise money for this non-profit organization that helps children with cancer.
Donate now and brighten the lives of children with cancer.
Send a personal appeal to your friends and family.