Encouraging kids in the battle is part of our mission and is three-fold!
1. Under Armour Backpack Program, sponsored by the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation (JSFF)
To help with the transition into the hospital, we provide an Under Armour backpack to each newly diagnosed teen at major Texas children’s hospitals including: Children’s Dallas, University Health San Antonio, MD Anderson and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Each backpack contains a CLF leather bound journal, soft blanket, socks and an overnight kit with essentials.
2a. Pre-Covid (We’ll be back!)
World Class Teen Outings: We take cancer fighting kids out and about Big D 4 times a year to a Mavericks, Cowboy’s and Ranger’s games! We travel in Limos provided by Premier Transportation and always sit in a suite! We provide food and drink for all, giving these valiant cancer fighting kids opportunities to live large, while they are able!! View Cowboys Game Pictures
2b. Covid Pivot
Hearts of Gold Hootenannies: While Covid continues to grip our Globe, children battling cancer continue to be tethered to chemo bags, medical equipment while sequestered to their hospital rooms.
When we received this text from a hospital employee/friend whose job is to support and play with young cancer patients at Children’s – Dallas, “very hard times up here and our kiddos are getting more and more anxious, angry and depressed – trying to find fun and interactive things for them to do,” our hearts dropped. We immediately called Children’s Oncology Childlife Director and asked how we could help.
One conversation later, we pivoted from our highly-anticipated parties in Carson’s Corner/the Family Room and red-carpet outings for teen patients to the Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks Games and DSO Christmas Pops to our new program we affectionally coined: HEARTS of GOLD hootenannies!
Together, with the generous support of a wide variety of community partners, we deliver a hootenanny of surprises to each of the 48 hospital rooms of the kids battling cancer or a blood disorder at Children’s Health, Dallas.
Each hootenanny includes a fun interactive unexpected surprise like remote-control toys (all powered up of course), STEM Kits, Art Kits, LEGOS, Nerf Guns; you get the idea and we’re open to suggestions! We often ALSO include a cozy comfort item like a soft blanket, funny socks, cotton hat, again, open to suggestions. Hootenannies Support
3. Carson’s Corner at Children’s Hospital Dallas
Carson lived his whole-short life in the heart of Dallas and in the hearts of many Dallasites!
Carson packed a lot of life in 17 short years with a confident swagger, a smile that would warm a room and, in the end, a dying wish, “help the next kid diagnosed with cancer.” During inpatient treatment, he never left his room; there was no place to go. The playroom was full of young kids and his “friends” were busy living life. Those were VERY lonely days.
In honor of Carson, we raised funds to build a teen room on the oncology floor at Children’s Health in Dallas. We keep it stocked with art supplies and the latest gaming systems and games. Carson’s Corner serves over 800 teen cancer patients cared for at Children’s annually.
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Texas Rangers Games
“My sister and I were able to to to a Ranger Game last year sponsored by the Carson Leslie Foundation.
We had such a great time. We got to ride in the limos sit in a suite and even got autographed baseballs from Michael Young!
You told us Carson’s story that gave us courage. My sister passed away shortly after that visit to the ballpark. I wanted to thank all the people who made that memory possible. You put a smile on my sisters face and hope in her heart. That was priceless, Thank you.”
View Photos from this Outing »
Dallas Cowboys Games
Friendships that have bloomed as a result of bonding during a Cowboy Game hosted by Carson Leslie Foundation has translated to friendships between teen cancer patients while inpatient and in clinic. This is absolutely wonderful and more than we could have hoped for. I am confident that friendships such as these will develop as well in the teen room.
At the game, there were two girls who were initially reluctant to attend because they were nervous to spend an evening with people they did not know well. By the end of the night, the girls were friends, now text one another and have stayed friends. They are a support to one another and truly can understand the fear, burdens and moments of joy within hospitalization and treatment.
Another teen who went to the game is a young man who had received his prosthetic leg the day before the event. He attended the event with his prosthetic leg, walked though the stadium, surrounded by the group and felt comfortable and confident to walk in public. Can you imagine how powerful the event was for him, the friendships, laughter, feelings of hope and acceptance.
There was another young man who lost his battle with cancer shortly after attending the event. He was a huge Cowboy fan and the evening was very special to him. Attending the game was a dream come true for him.
Not a teen who attended that evening who would have been able to attend a game, experience a suite and feel so special without your foundations support.
If you would like to contribute to kids in the battle, donate here & thankU!