Mitch’s Mission Press Release
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Mitch’s Mission: Raising Money to Send Kids to Camp
Cincinnati — At the age of 11, Mitch Stone was diagnosed with a brain tumor, but he didn’t let the diagnosis consume him. Instead, he and his family started a foundation called Mitch’s Mission that helps others with similar conditions receive the same treatment and care he received at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and its summer camp for patients of the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute.
Through a unique partnership with the University of Cincinnati’s football team and student government association, Mitch’s Mission raises money to send patients from Cincinnati Children’s to summer camp at Camp NJoyItAll on the grounds of Camp Joy, just north of Cincinnati. The camp allows these patients to experience the freedom and joy of summer camp, no matter how medically fragile they might be. And since these diseases affect the entire family, each patient gets to bring a sibling.
Mitch was adopted by the UC football team through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation, a national foundation that matches children with pediatric brain tumors with college sports teams. Mitch keeps in close contact with the football players and staff. Originally the Stone family started raising money for Cincinnati Children’s by selling red, white and blue wrist bands, but was able to leverage the relationship with the University of Cincinnati to help raise even more funds.
In February of 2011, Mitch’s Mission held its first event, Playdate with the Bearcats. The event was a family-friendly carnival-like event featuring student athletes and the UC mascot. UC’s student government association underwrote all the costs associated with holding the event, so all money raised was contributed to the nonprofit fund. Mitch’s Mission will hold its second Playdate with the Bearcats on February 12, 2012 at the UC Rec Center from 2 to 5pm.
“We knew we wanted to do something with Cincinnati Children’s,” Dee Stone, Mitch’s mother said. “And this was a good fit because we could get the football players involved with the camp.” Some football players and student government representatives have visited campers at Camp NJoyItAll the past two summers.
The summer camp is a chance for patients of the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute, and a sibling, to participate in camp activities in a safe environment, while learning about their conditions and self-care. Mitch has attended the camp with his twin brother, Nick, and is looking forward to attending again next summer.
Mitch describes the partnership with the football players as a family relationship.
“It’s like having a really big family,” Mitch said. “I get to hang out with the players, get to know them and I’ve run on the field with them. It’s really cool.”
UC Football head coach, Butch Jones, says the relationship has benefited the players as well.
“Mitch is an inspiration to the team,” Jones said. “You can see all the obstacles he’s been through and see how he wants to give back. It just speaks volumes about Mitch and the Stone family, and we’re inspired by their courage.”
For more information, visit www.mitchsmission.com.