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Phoenix Children's Hospital launches fundraiser for patients with cancer

Virus Outbreak Arizona
Posted at 7:59 PM, Sep 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-19 01:16:45-04

PHOENIX — In 2020, about 400 children were diagnosed with cancer at Phoenix Children's Hospital.

Additionally, the hospital's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD) had more than 31,285 appointments in 2020, a 43% increase in the past 10 years.

"It was a shock. It was a full-on and utter shock," said Tanya Schmidtknecht.

Her daughter Ella, 5, was diagnosed with Leukemia six months ago. She's currently receiving chemotherapy.

Ella's dad, Terry Schmidtknecht, told ABC15 he knew something was wrong when she became less energetic.

"She couldn't play very long with her sister," he said.

The family is confident that Ella will beat the disease.

"Ella is just the sweetest little thing you've ever met," said Tanya.

"She just loves everything in life. She just loves life, for sure," added Terry.

Unfortunately, 20% of kids diagnosed with cancer will not make it. It's also the leading cause of death by disease for children under the age of 14.

That’s why Phoenix Children’s Hospital is asking the public to donate to the Step Up. Stop Cancer. campaign.

The fundraiser is taking place during September which is 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 match the donations up to $100,000.

The Schmidtknechts told ABC15 they're grateful for the care their daughter has received and know that other families could benefit from the donations.

For more information or to donate, click here.