MaxLove Project’s mission is not small: to change how the healthcare system treats children who are diagnosed with cancer (SuperKids). This is a personal mission for the founders, Audra and Justin Wilford. When their first child (SuperMax) was diagnosed with brain cancer, Audra and Justin went to work researching treatments to complement the standard medical practice. They immediately wanted to create a way to share what they were learning with other families, and to “pass on the love we received for Max.”
Childhood cancer statistics are staggering: cancer is the #1 disease killer of children in America, one of five children diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. die, three of five suffer long-term effects of treatment. And yet childhood cancer receives less than 4% from the largest federal cancer research organizations. Most of the funding goes to adult cancer research. The result is that there is lot to be learned.
The first lesson for the Wilfords was that the Twilight Turtle–an ingenious stuffed animal that projects constellations on the ceiling–can help a child with cancer sleep through the night; and a good night sleep is essential to healing. Audra reached out to Cloud B, the turtle’s manufacturer, and MaxLove Project was off and running. They have now sent thousands of sleep aids to SuperKids around the world.
Another major component of MaxLove Project is anticancer nutrition. Justin and Audra utilize evidenced-based nutrition to help their son thrive during treatment and are working to make nutrition part of the regular protocol for treating children with cancer.
MaxLove Project already offers individualized nutrition consultations for SuperKids, and have advocated research-based anticancer nutrition to CHOC hospital so successfully that doctors there are now allowed to prescribe an anticancer diet to patients. CHOC appears to be the first hospital to include this as part of their standard treatment, and MaxLove Project hopes to fund more research in order to expand the program to other hospitals.
The future of MaxLove Project lies in two innovative goals. One is to fund a teaching kitchen at CHOC hospital where families and children can receive education and practical tools of the anticancer diet. Another is to commandeer a commissary kitchen, where volunteers will receive a cooking and nutrition lesson in exchange for cooking anticancer meals to be sent to a children who are in the hospital.
SuperMax is a living, beautiful testimony to how using complementary, wholebody treatments can work. During his most recent round of radiation he didn’t miss one day of school, started little league, and continued his weekly karate classes. Justin says that embracing complementary treatments has also helped he and Audra accept cancer as a part of their life, and feel empowered that there are things they can proactively do as parents to help their child.
You can help these Super Parents spread this sense of empowerment by donating money, time, or by purchasing a hat from the MaxLoveBrand. You can also mark your calendars for September 14, 2014, for The MaxMusic Block Party: A Day of Awesome to Fight Childhood Cancer.
MaxLove Project is a nonprofit 501c3 organization helping SuperKids thrive against the odds with integrative medicine and 100% LOVE. We empower families fighting childhood cancers and life-threatening conditions with whole-body wellness resources, education and research. We believe that true health starts when families are empowered to be active partners in their child’s healing.
Inspired by SuperMax Wilford, a seven-year-old superhero fighting brain cancer, MaxLove Project is a 100% volunteer-powered, grassroots nonprofit organization founded to help SuperKids thrive against cancer and life-threatening conditions. Our mission is to provide families fighting childhood cancers and life-threatening conditions with accessible, practical, and kid-friendly whole-body wellness. Our ultimate goal is to support SuperKids in overcoming the odds—to thrive in treatment and beyond. We believe that all kids should have full access to every cancer-fighting tool available, including excellent nutrition and therapeutic resources such as acupuncture, physical activity, and healing narratives.
MaxLove Project equips families to thrive within the pediatric healthcare system of today—where the standard of care for most life-limiting illnesses does not include essential integrative therapies—as we work to change the system of tomorrow. We are a community of dedicated change makers who believe in the power of integrative health care for all children.