Dyersville family holds Heathcare Heros Appreciation and Pediatric Cancer Awareness Day

Published: Sep. 17, 2023 at 11:07 PM CDT
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Dyersville family holds Heathcare Heros Appreciation and Pediatric Cancer Awareness Day

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (KCRG) - One Dyersville family has spent almost three years battling pediatric cancer-- and during those years, they’ve done what they could to give back to people who have helped them and others in similar situations.

“On May 8th a routine MRI found a 3-centimeter brain tumor in his brainstem,” said Ashley Hall about her son, James Hall.

Three-year-old James hasn’t gotten the chance to do things that a normal three-year-old gets to do.

”James is basically writing his own textbook. There aren’t a lot of documented cases,” Ashley said.

In 2021, a four-centimeter tumor was found on James’s left temporal lobe. A year later, he rang the remission bell. After another year, the newest tumor was found.

”Because of the location, we can’t remove it. Because of the location it makes it very dangerous and risky to biopsy. Just a biopsy can cause more damage and right now we’re just trying to figure out what is this tumor,” Ashley said.

Now Ashley Hall is putting on the annual Healthcare Heros Appreciation Day, a day where pediatric cancer patients, their family, and their medical team can spend time together outside of the hospital.

”It’s such an experience- they’re playing baseball, they’re playing catch, they’re running and when you’re up in inpatient on Level 11 because your kids getting chemo or your child’s neutropenic, the bond that you form with the nurses there is amazing but the bond outside the hospital is just the next level,” Ashley said.

This fun day will take place on September 23, at the Field of Dreams.

Money raised up until the event goes to paying for hotel rooms for families who are traveling to be there.

Money raised at the event and through shirt sales will go to the University of Iowa Center for Advancement to help fund research for pediatric cancer on the 11th floor, where her son and family spend so much time.

”If you think of ‘If You Build It They Will Come’ and right now we’re trying to find a cure and all these people are coming here to support each other to find a cure. I think that the Field of Dreams is just a magical place,” Ashley said.

Despite her son’s condition, Ashley tries to enjoy every moment she can with her son and puts that passion into making this event for others.

”So again, putting all of those dark thoughts and fears and worries into helping others and putting this event together is my way of helping and paying forward,” Ashley said.

Donations for the event can be made to Ashley Hall’s Venmo account- Ashley-hall-500 as well as by purchasing a shirt from https://www.cottonwoodcustomtees.com/shop/healthcare-heroes-apparel/94.