Bags of Smiles, Inc. was founded in 2011 by the Burma family after their son was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer called Neuroblastoma.
Zachary, son of Aric and Kristen Burma, was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma just after his first birthday. We brought him to his pediatrician in December 2010 after running a high fever over a weekend. Our first thought was he was teething; however, our pediatrician knew something was not right since Zachary had been a very healthy one year old.
After an –ray, our pediatrician sent us to Children’s hospital in Minneapolis MN for more tests, this is where our journey began. The x-ray showed a tissue mass and with the tests done symptoms Zachary was having he was treated for pneumonia. After a couple of days he was back to himself. We went for a follow up x-ray to see if the mass was gone, it wast not. A CT scan was then ordered. We celebrated Zachary’s first birthday in early January with the CT scan in mid-January. We never thought for a minute the mass was cancer. After the results of the CT scan we met our Oncologist and surgery was scheduled for five days later. After removal of the entire tumor, the size of a racquetball, more tests were done and we were blessed that no further treatment was required.
The outcome for Zachary could not have been better, but the time spent at Children’s hospital made us realize that the kids need toys, crafts, and games to make their time at the hospital pass. By making the Bags of Smiles we hope the time spent at the hospital makes their difficult experience a little bit brighter!
Our mission is to provide children battling cancer and other serious illnesses a chance to be a kid and Smile. Bags of Smiles are filled with arts and crafts, toys, games, and more. You can support us with your donations, attending our fundraisers, and by spreading the word!