In 2009, local business owner Brian Schneider was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. After undergoing eight rounds of chemo and 17 sessions of radiation, he was told he was in remission on April 13, 2010.
He wanted to give back, so together with family and friends they formed “Hodgkin’s Haters,” a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Light the Night team for the local Santa Clarita fundraising walk. They held numerous fundraisers as Hodgkin’s Haters’ “Party For A Cure,” which included celebrity bartending at the local Drifters Bar in 2012 and the Party For A Cure Casino Nights at the W in Hollywood for the following two years.
They developed a desire to hold more events locally, so in 2015 they held their first Par Tee Fore A Cure golf tournament at Robinson Ranch (now Sand Canyon Country Club). Parker Christensen, a local 15-year-old Hart High School football player and Hodgkin’s lymphoma fighter was the first Honorary Warrior. He came out to the tournament and shared his personal journey during the awards banquet and helped bring awareness to blood cancers. Parker is now 17 and enjoying his new cancer “free”dom.
In 2016, due to the unfortunate Sand Fire and the damage to Robinson Ranch, the second tournament was moved to the Valencia Country Club and was, again, a success. A courageous 3-year-old, Kylie Lynn Branch, was the honorary Warrior for 2016, and hid behind her mother, Katie, as she shared Kylie’s story and told participants about the treatments that lay waiting for her.
It was clear at that time that more needed to be done to eradicate this terrible disease. The tournament was gaining momentum and getting larger each year, but still encountered road blocks when trying to obtain large sponsorships and donations from local businesses. It was determined that becoming a nonprofit is what was needed in order to reach a higher level of financial support. In 2016, Brian and Sandra Schneider founded In Care Of Hope, a 501(c)(3) organization, and they chose the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) as their charity of choice, which means LLS receives nearly 80 cents of every dollar donated. The support raised goes directly for blood cancer research and patient services.
In Care Of Hope hosted the Hodgkin’s Haters’ 3rd Annual ParTeeForeACure Golf Tournament at TPC Valencia Golf Club last week. Although it was an extremely windy day, golfers comprised of local contractors, business owners, and contractor vendors from as far away as Orange County came out in full force to enjoy a day of golf, on-course contests, raffles, and laughs, all the while chipping away at a cure!
Sponsors from local businesses such as Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Valencia BMW, Roma Jewelers, and Phyl-Mar Electrical Supply, In Care Of Hope / Hodgkin’s Haters, along with all who participated, sponsored, donated, and volunteered raised over $17,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society! This brings the total raised by the Hodgkin’s Haters since 2011 to more than $100,000 for LLS. (See all sponsors at Hodgkins-haters.com.)
With the help and support of many local volunteers, friends, family and cohorts each year, the ParTeeForeACure Golf Tournament becomes more and more successful. In Care Of Hope will be hosting the 4th Annual Hodgkin’s Haters ParTeeForeACure in September of 2018. If you’re interested in sponsoring, volunteering, and/or participating in any way, it’s never too early or too late to get involved.
In Care Of Hope Organization is all about giving back and is now in the early stages of planning an event with actress Kristen Renton for a cause near and dear to her heart, saving the Manatees. For future In Care Of Hope events, visit www.Incareofhope.org.
Hero of the Week – Kylie Lynn Branch
She is our four-year-old Warrior Princess. In January of 2015, at just two years old, Kylie was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, and her life changed rapidly after that. Instead of her Mickey Mouse birthday that was planned, she was put on a clinical trial for her uncommon form of cancer. Her first days battling the disease consisted of several procedures, numerous pokes, and lots of tears.
She endured 11 months of intensive chemotherapy and 2 ½ years of chemo in total. She hated it all, but forgave quickly. She feared the new people in her life that wore scrubs and stethoscopes, but learned to love them and call them her friends.
Over the next several months Kylie went through so many obstacles that she had to learn to overcome. In the beginning her body became septic, went into shock and started to shut down. She was sent to the ICU for days to recover. Kylie endured numerous infections, which caused her to spend well over a hundred days hospitalized on and off during her first year of treatment. She suffered chemo burns, an actual open wound from the toxicity of chemo through her body. She lost her voice due to a side effect of her drug treatment. Next, she was unable to walk because of the effect of intensive steroids, which caused her whole body to swell. She was almost unrecognizable. Then, she endured pain in her legs and damage to her nerves because of another chemotherapy drug.
Though she quickly became accustomed to her “new normal” and regular visits to the hospital, she missed how things used to be before cancer came into her life. But that didn’t stop her from being able to smile while she fought through it all. Soon she would have a life that resembled some normalcy again.
Now, Kylie is in remission and celebrated the end of her treatment in May 2017 with a “No More Chemo” party. She is currently kicking butt in physical therapy to gain strength and coordination that was weakened by chemotherapy. She has just started preschool and is really enjoying making new friends like a normal child. You wouldn’t know by looking at her, all that she has accomplished in the past years. But she truly is a Warrior Princess. Our family will never take for granted each day we have with Kylie.
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