This is a preliminary list of 2016 CureFest Speakers. This page will be updated in the coming days and weeks.
MIRANDA MEAD: 16-year-old Miranda Mead is a cancer fighter and advocate from Minnesota. She will be speaking at CureFest and representing children battling cancer. Her full bio is coming soon.
LEXIE DIVERS: 11-year-old Lexie Divers is a childhood cancer advocate from Virginia. Her older sister Alyssa died on December 31, 2012 after a two-year battle with osteosarcoma. Lexie is representing siblings of children diagnosed with cancer.
SHANNAN MITCHELL: My name is Shannan Mitchell. I am 18 years old and will be attending the University of Mary Washington this fall. My sister Shayla passed away in 2009 from Hodgkins Lymphoma, and it is because of her and children like her that I have dedicated my life to the advocacy of childhood cancer. I plan to pursue a long career as a pediatric oncology nurse, working within the childhood cancer community for the rest of my life, both through my actual job and through volunteer work. I am a proud Stillbrave Renegade, and I am a firm believer that the more we work together, the bigger change we will see. I am always looking towards a bright future, and that future is painted in gold.
PARKER LEANN MONHOLLON: Parker LeAnn Monhollon was born on July 26, 2007 to Amanda and Danny Monhollon. She was born with multiple heart defects and her parents were told that she would need major heart surgery before the age of 6 months. Parker went weekly, then monthly for echo cardiograms and each time we heard the good news that her heart was doing its job, so no surgery was required. Parker is a vibrant, sassy, smart, and beautiful girl who loves to dance, make Youtube videos, and play with her 6-year-old brother, Dominic, and her 14-year-old sister, Rivers. About a week before Christmas, Amanda noticed that Parker had developed a very noticeable lazy eye. The school nurse had even contacted her regarding double vision and headaches. After getting some opinions from family members, she decided to schedule an eye exam. The optometrist suspected that the problem wasn’t her eye, but something else. He ordered an MRI to just in case and then hopefully start vision therapy and possibly an eye surgery if needed. The MRI was finally done on Friday, January 15, 2016. The Pediatric Oncologist and Pediatric Intensive Care physicians came to Amanda and said they needed to speak with her in private. They had found a brain tumor near her brain stem. A phone call to Dad was made, and once he arrived, he was also given the news. Though we knew for sure it was a tumor, we still weren’t sure which type. The next day, Saturday January 16, 2016, we went out for breakfast to IHOP (Parker’s favorite) where she ordered blueberry pancakes (also her favorite!) On the way home, we received a call from Parker’s pediatric oncologist, who informed us of the type of brain tumor Parker has, a DIPG. Now the battle has begun to fight this monster. Your support, thoughts, and prayers are very appreciated. #parkerloveslife
KYLE STEPP: As a visionary with the aspirations of being an epicenter for an epidemic of kindness, Kyle writes his life story full of passion “Step by Stepp.” A recent graduate of the University of New Mexico with a degree in Organizational Communication, Integrative Studies for Innovation and Management with honors. Today he has the privilege of serving as a National Leadership Consultant for the Alpha Tau Omega National Fraternity on the Growth Team.
Since his diagnosis in 2008 with Stage IV Bone Cancer, Kyle has been a National Ambassador/Spokesman for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Sunshine Kids Foundation and others. He spent three and a half years being treated at UNM Children’s Hospital. Kyle went through 98 chemotherapies and 13 surgeries. Doctors declared Kyle cured of the disease at age 17. He found his passion in the midst of the hardest time of his life, and that passion was to make sure no child ever fights alone. His passion became his purpose, and that purpose was to honor and continue the legacy of his nine best friends he lost to cancer during chemo. By defying the odds, Kyle turned tragedy into triumph and today his adversities have led him to spread an epidemic of kindness, serving as his life’s mission.
ZOE ENDERLE WAGNER: Zoe Enderle Wagner is a 17-year-old acute myeloid leukemia survivor from Columbia, Missouri. She’s looking forward to spending another year with friends and going on college visits.