Socks with stories: Pediatric cancer survivors pay it forward to Buffalo families still fighting

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)-Two local kids who beat cancer are teaming up to help other children still fighting the disease.

Five-year-old Andre Sanders and eight-year-old Eleanor Seigel partnered with Resilience Gives’ whose Socks with Stories pay it forward initiative provides families fighting pediatric cancer with a free pair of socks for every pair that is purchased.

“It’s a small thing, but it’s just one less thing you have to think about as a parent during that time when you’re thinking about a million other things,” said Andre’s father Rich Sanders.

“Any kind of support that you feel, or that love that you feel from somebody around you is always helpful,” said Ella’s mother Nicole.

Socks with stories are designed by kids who are childhood cancer survivors. Across the country, these survivors visit local children’s hospitals and donate thousands of fun, non-slip socks to families in active treatment. Andre and Ella were able to donate hundreds of pairs of socks to children at Roswell Cancer Center, including some decorated by Ella.

Resilience Gives is the brainchild of Jake Teitelbaum, who as a cancer survivor himself, wanted to find a way to brighten the lives of those spending months, sometimes years in hospitals.

“I’d always been a fun sock person, and I think there’s something to be said for being able to express yourself in a fun way when you’re in an environment that’s otherwise a little sterile.”

Teitelbaum says he’s grateful his idea that started from his own struggles has grown into a project that is helping families across the country.

“I think there’s something special for families that have walked in similar shoes, being able to look another family in the eye who’s midway through, and being able to pass on something that’s just a little bit of light and telling them there is light at the end of that tunnel.”

If you’d like to help give back to a child fighting pediatric cancer, you can purchase a pair of socks at Resilience. Gives.

Kelly Khatib is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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