Random Act of Kid-ness: Legos for Leukemia

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This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Louisville, KY where 8 year old Aiden Johnson and his family are in charge of their local chapter of Legos for Leukemia. The organization was started in 2009 by Christian Flanders in Denver, CO to honor the memory of his father, and “as a way to give kids fighting cancer and other life threatening diseases a fun and creative way to deal with not so fun days that include chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants.”  Legos take chemotherapy off the minds of children with Leukemia, like Aiden, who calls himself a Lego Master. Aiden’s mom says:

“It has taken his mind off the fact that he has cancer.  It really has made a difference in the way treatments go. The long days and the long nights, we come in and we’re prepared. We have Legos and we’re ready to be here for a week.”

Because Aiden loves Legos so much and wants other children with cancer to experience the same joy he does, he and his family decided to head the Legos for Leukemia chapter at Kosair Children’s Hospital. People can donate new unopened Lego sets at drop off locations all over the area. So far, Aiden’s family has collected 50 Lego sets, but they still need many more.

“The hospital also has a bulletin board for Aiden. This month, it’s about Random Acts of Kindness. Aiden is just hoping to bring more kindness to children with cancer, one Lego at a time.”

We think this is such a great cause and are inspired by Aiden’s kindness. To read more about this story and to find out how to donate Legos, click here.

Random Act of Kid-ness: Bringing Halloween to Hospitalized Kids

This week’s Halloween-themed Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from San Bruno, CA, where 6 year old Nico Castro bought costumes and candy for his fellow hospital patients so that they could celebrate Halloween. Nico is battling brain cancer, but his doctor told him he could go out trick or treating on Halloween. Nico’s mom said:

“Even though he’s worse off then some of these other kids in the hospital, he’s worried about them and, oh, they can’t go trick or treating and oh they can’t get candy.”

Nico’s family even started a costume drive in their community, and they have received over 60 donated costumes for the children in the hospital.

We think this is an incredible act of kid-ness and are inspired by Nico’s desire to bring joy to his friends during his favorite holiday.

Read more and watch a very moving video about the story here.

Random Act of Kid-ness: Paying Forward Mega Millions

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Maryland, where 19 year old cancer survivor Nicholas Ruth plans to donate much of his $250,000 Mega Millions winnings to organizations that helped him when he was sick. Among the list of organizations Nicholas plans to give back to are the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Believe in Tomorrow, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He said:

“People keep saying I deserve it and what I went through, but there’s people far off worse than what I went through that can use the money more than me and I’m just glad I can help them out.”

We think this is an incredible act of kindness. Read more here.

As always, we welcome your submissions to Random Acts of Kid-ness. Please comment here if you have an idea!

Random Act of Kid-ness: Teen Invents Advanced Cancer Test!

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Maryland, where 15 year old Jack Andraka developed a pancreatic cancer test with the help of Google. Jack’s test  is 168 times faster and much cheaper than the current standard in the field! In May he won $75,000 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for his development.

We think this is a pretty incredible story that shows that once you put your mind to something, you can do ANYTHING- at ANY age. Way to go, Jack!

Read more about this story here.

Random Act of Kid-ness: Students Raise Money for Teacher’s Recovery

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Baltimore, MD, where a third grade class raised over $13,000 through lemonade stands and an online campaign to help their teacher. The teacher, Anne Mekalian, lost all Quadruple Amputeeof her limbs when a blood infection led to gangrene. The money raised would give Anne the funds to properly outfit her car and get driving lessons so that she can one day drive again. One student said:

“We want to see her in the hallways and the classroom, and we want to make sure she’s in our school again because I want little kids younger than me to know how great she was.” 

What an amazing act of generosity! Read more about the story here and check out the students’ online donation page here.

Random Act of Kid-ness: Petition to End the Sexualization of Girls in the Media

This week’s Random Act of Kid-ness comes to us from Walterville, Maine, where 14 year old Julia Bluhm started a petition on Change.org to get Seventeen Magazine to stop manipulating images of girls’ bodies. Manipulated images can contribute to eating disorders, depression and low self-esteem among girls as young as 8, so Julia hoped that her petition would help curb some of these very serious problems.

Julia Bluhm of Waterville, Maine, holds up a copy of Seventeen magazine as she leads a protest outside Hearst Corp. headquarters in New York in May. Seventeen's Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket responded to the campaign in the August issue with a letter acknowledging readers' concerns and vowing never to alter girls' bodies or faces, giving Bluhm more than she'd asked for.

Her petition worked, because magazine editor Ann Shoket has made a promise to Julia that if Seventeen does manipulate images, they will post before and after pictures on the magazine’s Tumblr for full transparency. Shoket also wrote up a “body peace treaty” that says the magazine will always feature healthy girls and models, regardless of clothing size.

While Julia and her fellow bloggers and petitioners do not see Ann’s response as a total victory, they are working hard to make even more progress. They have already started another petition targeting Teen Vogue.

We love when kids take a stand for what they care about! Read more about Julia’s story here.

Do you know a kid working hard for what he or she believes in? Let us know!