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Happy Holidays

In this issue:

From the Director

End of year giving

ACCOIN Family News

Annual Christmas Party Reunion

Greg keeps coming back

Why did we do it?

From the Director

As we say goodbye to 2010 and look back at the year, Wisdom says that we should speak of the unbridled joy that can be found in the shining glimmer of hope bursting through the harshest of days. Many do not wish to be reminded that sometimes life holds unspeakable sorrow.  


But Love says that we would be remiss to not acknowledge the deep sorrows that have also transpired this past year. In this full range of the human experience, we can find joy and grace waiting to embrace us.


Seek peace and it will find you. Take a break from the daily grind, the cynicism, the rat race, the harshness of life, and the tumultuous mind and actively reflect on the moments when you experienced comfort from another, a smile from a stranger, a glimmer in a child’s eye as they giggled at nothing. Through this reflection of gratitude, we can remember not only when we were comforted but also when we were the source of comfort for others.


Thank you to all of the volunteers, donors, and supporters who recognize that “kids can’t fight cancer alone” and come forward to make a difference. Your involvement puts smiles on children’s faces and brings comfort to parents’ hearts. It can be difficult to open your heart but once opened, you will never be the same.


Give thanks for the joys in your world, and feel empowered to address the sorrows.


From all of us to all of you: Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year!


Mary Anne Ruddis

End of year giving

Please consider American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest in your year-end giving plans.


You can mail a donation to: P.O. Box 8031 Spokane WA 99203


Or donate securely on-line by following this link.


You can also contribute by shopping on-line for things you ordinarily buy through GoodSearch.

When asked - Who do you GoodShop for? Answer Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation Inland Northwest. We are in the process of updating the name but until then, we will still receive donations under our old name. 


Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year to all!

ACCOIN Family News

Click here

Annual Christmas Party Reunion


A picture is worth 1000 words ...


Our Christmas Party was a huge success. Thanks to all of the families - past and present - for coming together to offer encouragement and support to each other.




Thanks to our sponsors, donors: See a list here.



Thanks also to Faith Van Belle for chairing this year's party and to all of the volunteers who wrapped presents, came out,  and helped to make this the best party yet!




More Pictures



and here

Greg keeps coming back


Greg McGuire has been a staple at our annual Christmas party since 1993. And every year, without fail, he brings enthusiasm, fun, and an easy nature that kids and families naturally respond to. He has made some friends over the years too and has gone on to host weddings for several of the families.


He hosted events for over 20 years and currently is an Audio Visual Manager at Gonzaga University along with being the voice of Gonzaga Baseball and Soccer.


“Something keeps calling me back to do this,” he said, “[Not only do] I get to be a big kid, I can reconnect with families who have been coming over the years and I get the sense that new families pick up on the familiarity.” Something familiar and heartwarming ~ just what the doctor ordered.


Greg brings joy and laughter and helps families take their mind off their troubles for a few hours. “When I’m 75, I’ll still be doing the Hokey Pokey and Chicken Dance. You can’t keep me away from this party.” And we would never want to!


Greg will also be the MC at our upcoming “Light the Way” dinner/auction on April 1, 2011. Knowing our mission inside and out, Greg brings familiarity to a brand new audience.


Thanks Greg for making a difference!

Why did we do it?


It is official ~ we are the American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest. It is a big name but we have a big mission. Many have asked what prompted this change.


The short answer is “mission recognition.” Being confused with a candle company is not uncommon. The long answer is a bit more complicated.


Back in the early 70’s when Candlelighters was founded; it was a very dark time for children with cancer and their families. Most of the children died.


Very few even acknowledged that kids got cancer – and those who did whispered about it in the halls of hospitals.


The name “Candlelighters” grew from the ancient Chinese proverb that “it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” Although lighting a candle is a small act, a candle has the ability to light another candle thereby creating an infinite chain reaction to an individual effort. The symbolism is one of empowerment - rather than cry over the loss of your healthy child – you can work towards making it better.


The first Candlelighters parents fought for research funding, nutritional guidelines, and anesthesia for painful procedures. And they got them. Cure rates turned around – from 20% to 80%. Today’s parents would be appalled to know that in the early years children were not sedated for painful procedures nor were they supported nutritionally.


It is a new day. With more children surviving, it is time to reconsider the modality of treatments. Many children are left with debilitating long-term effects from brutal, harsh treatments. And although the cure rates for some cancers have dramatically improved, many remain stubborn and resistant to cure.


Our new name, American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest reflects this new day but at the same time reconnects us to our grassroots mission of being the parent voice for kids with cancer and their families. It is a much more global parent voice that recognizes that this is everyone’s issue – our nation’s children are getting cancer and we are all responsible to understand what we can do to prevent it, cure it, and help children through it.


We know we need better treatment choices for our children. We know we need to support survivors as they navigate an adult medical system that quite frankly does not know what to do with them, and we know we need to continue to provide families support on a local level until there is no more childhood cancer.


Join us today by making a donation to American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest P.O. Box 8031 Spokane, WA 99203 or donate on-line here.


Your donations will empower families as they navigate the challenges of a childhood cancer diagnosis by providing financial assistance, support groups, and many other services.

Candlelighters of the Inland Northwest • PO Box 8031 • Spokane • WA • 99203
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