BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)– After battling a rare form of kidney cancer, five-year-old Andre Sanders, better known as Andre the Warrior, is doing his part to help children still fighting the disease.
He’s teaming up once again with Resilience Gives for a special pay-it-forward initiative that provides families fighting pediatric cancer with a free penguin-themed hospital gown for every two “Live Like a Kid” t-shirts purchased.
“We’re super excited to kick off our “Live Like a Kid” initiative and what that’s all about is celebrating the joy in every day,” said Jake Teitelbaum, a cancer survivor and creator of Resilience Gives.
Andre previously paired up with Teitelbaum for Socks with Stories where socks are designed by kids who are childhood cancer survivors and given to children in active treatment.
“We figured although we started with socks gowns were a pretty logical next step,” Teitelbaum said.
And this time around, Andre was able to give a special surprise to a little boy originally from Buffalo during a tough time.
“Naaman has been in treatment for two and a half years now and he recently relapsed which is really sad so the family is now going through intense aggressive treatment. When we told Andre and his mom about Naaman, that he is also a lover of penguins, they had the idea that we could send him an early version of the gown,” Teitelbaum said.
Pediatric nurses and child life specialists helped design the gowns that are equipped with shoulder snaps and a wrap style closure providing modesty and easy IV access. With this latest campaign, Teitelbaum says children in the thick of treatment can have a little bit of comfort that lets them know that they are more than just a number and bring some joy to the hospital experience.
“While we may not be changing a kids prognosis, those small things can add up.”
For more information on how you can donate a gown and purchase a “Live Like a Kid” t-shirt, click here.
Kelly Khatib is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.