Olivia Harlan Dekker
Inspired by helping people, especially families dealing with a life-changing diagnosis, Olivia teamed up with CCFF. She was drawn to the hands-on care and involvement offered by CCFF to families dealing with childhood cancer. Olivia aims to be as productive as she can with fundraising efforts knowing that money can help ease the financial burden of this disease. She remains motivated watching the organization grow through the kindness of generous donations coming in from the community and across the country. Olivia has many accomplishments of which to be proud, including sports reporting for ESPN, winning Miss Kansas Teen USA in 2010, and graduating from the University of Georgia with honors in 2014.
Simply put, Sarah-Beth likes making a difference in the lives of people experiencing a difficult time. She draws inspiration from knowing CCFF helps lift some of the burdens felt by local families impacted by childhood cancer. She understands battling cancer is likely one of the biggest challenges they will face, and helping them find strength in each other and in themselves is something Sarah-Beth finds deeply rewarding. “Families battling pediatric cancer are some of the toughest and most inspirational people I’ve ever met,” she says. “After spending time with families, all I could ask myself is what more can I do to help them?” Some of Sarah-Beth’s recent accomplishments include being a Future 15 Award Winner - Class of 2017 and a Post Crescent Good Neighbor Feature in June of 2018. She is also involved in various roles in organizations such as Harbor House, Special Olympics, Warming Shelter, Community Christmas, My Team Triumph and the United Way.
Sarah is inspired by the strength, fight, determination, purity, sacrifices, and, ultimately, the love in each family impacted by childhood cancer. She was attracted to CCFF because it offers the opportunity to help children and their families stay strong. “Cancer asks for so much physically, mentally and emotionally from a child and their family,” she explained. “The opportunity to do even a little something for them is an honor.” Sarah looks to help ease their burden as much as possible knowing a cancer diagnosis is life-changing for anyone. The unbeatable spirit of children battling cancer keeps Sarah motivated, reminding her not to give up and to keep a smile on her face. Aside from CCFF, Sarah is also a Marketing Committee Member with the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade.
Supporting families impacted by pediatric cancer is important to Dave because of his own experience with the disease. Dave’s son, Nathan, was three years old when he was diagnosed with leukemia. “I know what the financial burdens are to have a child on treatment,” says Dave. “CCFF attracted me as an organization because of their mission to help with these financial burdens.” Dave is inspired by the perseverance his son showed during treatment and believes he is making a difference in the lives of CCFF’s families because he understands the challenges they are going through. He is thankful he can help others feel less isolated while battling the disease.
Hesper remembers the helplessness she felt when a friend’s daughter was diagnosed with pediatric cancer. The family had no idea where to start when it came to getting help, and there were few resources at the time. Now Hesper stays motivated with CCFF knowing she is helping families who are facing similar challenges. “I love that we can help people even if it is just a little bit,” Hesper says. “I try to imagine what some are these families are going through and the strength it takes for them to keep their families together. I admire them.” Inspired by her children, Hesper is passionate about family, friendships, and helping children. In her free time, Hesper also volunteers at her children’s schools and other local organizations.
Following a passion for helping people, Julie found herself volunteering with CCFF. Aware of the physical, emotional, and financial toll childhood cancer takes on a family, she looks to assist any way she can. Julie finds the work with the organization helps her understand and accommodate the needs of different families. Hearing stories of how the CCFF efforts are truly helping others motivates Julie to find new ways to support each family. Julie also serves as the Vice President of Human Resources at Prospera Credit Union and President of the Heart of the Valley Chamber and is on the HR Advisory Board of Fox Valley Technical College.
Alex knows what it's like to hear the gut-wrenching words “your child has cancer.” Her son was diagnosed with eye cancer at just two months old, and that experience drew Alex to Children’s Cancer Family Foundation. Her desire to give back, in the same ways her family was supported in their darkest days, keeps her focused on the mission of CCFF. Inspired by her rambunctious son, now 5, and her beautiful 7-year-old daughter, Alex uses her passion in visual arts and the written word to take challenging stories and present them in creative ways. A marketing and communications professional for about 10 years, Alex graduated from UW-Oshkosh in 2010 with a degree in Speech Communications and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration at the same institution.