Fun-loving Leland is a nine-year-old, active young man who loves to draw, play math games, swim, and unravel the Rubik’s Cube. Leland was diagnosed as an infant with a rare cancer—acute myeloid leukemia, which starts in the blood-forming cells of the bone marrow. His body struggled with fatigue, bruising, and an increased risk of infection. As an engaged honoree who’s been playing in The Sandbox since 2014, the time of his diagnosis, Leland and his family have experienced an array of activities through the years. His favorite Sandbox event was always “An Evening of Believing” prom, where he enjoyed riding around the racetrack in the limousine and dancing the night away. When we launched “A Weekend of Believing,” Leland and his family jumped right into the new festivities at the Westin Hilton Head Oceanfront resort. We have counted it an honor to walk alongside Leland and his family through the ups and downs of his treatments, continued medical check-ups, and life in general, supporting them in whatever ways they specifically need. Today, we all smile as brightly as Leland does as we celebrate the news that he has been cancer-free for eight years!
Amber is an amazing young lady and has been a part of The Sandbox family for many years. She was crowned ‘An Evening of Believing’ Prom Queen in 2016 and had remained active in The Sandbox as a volunteer and now in 2021 is a Core Team Liaison alongside her mother Kelly and our CORE Team members. Since Amber understands many of the challenges our Honorees have, she and her family knew it was a perfect fit for her to begin to serve alongside The Sandbox Team.
Amber and her mom make a wonderFULL team. They can be found helping with events, making porch drops for families, organizing supplies, creating CARRE packages, and on occasion Amber puts her love of crafting and creating to use making personalized gifts for our families.
Amber’s love of life paired with her sweet, quiet enthusiasm is a beautiful match!
We are humbled and grateFULL Amber and her family are here to walk alongside us to further our mission and show how much we CARRE!
Meet Joel. Joel is a fine young man, a people person and much like everyone is feeling, he feels like COVID-19 has interrupted much of his joy.
He and his family attended the very first ‘Weekend of BELIEVING’ and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Having an opportunity like this has restored some of his JOY! Not only was it a much needed break, but it was a beautiful weekend of meeting new friends and safely being able to socialize.
Joel has an amazingly sweet spirit. He loves helping people and especially, doing outside chores like lawn care.
Joel is an active guy who loves baseball, football, swimming, fishing, hiking, and golfing. In fact, he has his own fan base that drives by his yard waving and honking as he hits his wiffle balls! He is also the Georgia Bulldogs #1 fan. The insider’s scoop is he has a friendly mini golf competition with Dave, one of our Leadership Team Members and Dave isn’t the one winning! Joel also loves to chauffeur his mom and dad around the neighborhood on their golf cart.
He would like everyone to know his favorite meal is fried chicken, green bean casserole, and corn.
Joel, we are incredibly blessed to consider you and your family a part of The Sandbox family!
James is 14 years old and our Prince of “An Evening of Believing” Prom 2019!
James has had a lifetime of doctors and hospitals. He was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease as a young child and spent months in the hospital. James had a Kidney transplant when he was just 6 years old.
James has overcome many challenges and obstacles with the support of his family, medical team and friends. He will continue to be followed throughout his life, undergoing tests and procedures and will be monitored by his team of caregivers to make sure his kidney stays healthy. A positive attitude and partnership with his team is critical in maintaining his quality of life.
James loves video games, drawing, and figurines, with his favorite being Sonic the Hedgehog! He also loves art and has designed clothes and shoes!
James has made lifelong friends in The Sandbox and looks forward to meeting up with them at events!
Nope, you don’t have double vision, you are seeing two sweet and adorable twins, Abby and Erin! These special ladies were diagnosed as conjoined twins while in utero during the first trimester. Abby and Erin are 1 in 2.5 million and make up 2% of all conjoined twins.
When Abby and Erin were born, they were each about 2lbs and 1oz and were as pretty as ever. They were born at 30 weeks and 4 days and had no complications. Several months later, hundreds of tests and procedures later, the girl’s medical team decided that the girls could be successfully separated, Erin and Abby underwent a successful 16-hour surgery to separate them.
After 485 days, hundreds of tests, procedures, surgeries, and specialists, they would celebrate their first holiday, Christmas, together as a family, at home, in North Carolina!
They are thrilled to have found an extended family in The Sandbox, where they feel welcomed, accepted and understood. Being in the company of other families experiencing the challenges of having medically complex children is of great comfort.
Erin and Abby’s mom and dad share these words with us as the words they live by, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28.
Meet Ben. He’s 12, and he’s an amazing young man! He was born with several genetic abnormalities that have raised more questions than answers. But, despite facing the unknown, he greets each day with a smile. He loves to spread joy everywhere he goes and make people laugh. He loves being outside, Acro Fitness, going to parades and festivals and just having fun, living life to the fullest.