PHOENIX — In 2020, approximately 400 children were diagnosed with cancer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
In addition, the hospital’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD) had more than 31,285 appointments in 2020, a 43% increase over the past 10 years.
“It was a shock. It was a complete and total shock,” said Tanya Schmidtknecht.
Her daughter Ella, 5, was diagnosed with leukemia six months ago. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
Ella’s father, Terry Schmidtknecht, told ABC15 that he knew something was wrong when she became less energetic.
“She couldn’t play with her sister for long,” he said.
The family is convinced that Ella will beat the disease.
“Ella is just the sweetest little thing you’ve ever met,” Tanya said.
“She just loves everything in life. She just loves life, that’s for sure,” Terry added.
Unfortunately, 20% of children with cancer do not make it. It is also the leading cause of death from illness for children under 14 years of age.
That’s why the Phoenix Children’s Hospital is asking the public to donate to the Step Up. Stop cancer. campaign.
The fundraiser takes place in September, National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
The campaign brings together individuals and businesses in the Valley to fund critical care at the CCBD, including research, equipment and patient care.
Local businesses will also double the donations to $100,000.
The Schmidtknechts told ABC15 that they are grateful for the care their daughter has received and know that other families can benefit from the donations.
For more information or to donate, click here.