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To kick start the program, Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation will gift 40 Iowa families their choice of four local trips.
February 23, 2023
The Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation and Iowa Select Farms has announced the launch of their new A Special Adventure program to provide Children's Cancer Connection families with an all-inclusive weekend getaway to spend time together and bring some adventure back into these brave kiddos' lives.
"A Special Adventure is designed to provide families fighting childhood cancer with moments of joy during trying times," said Madison Lafrenz, program manager at the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation. "These fun-filled trips will be right here in Iowa, so families can more easily get away together but not travel too far from their homes and doctors."
To kick start the program, the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation will gift 40 Iowa families their choice of four local trips: A Nature Lover's Dream, Capital City Adventure, Iowa State Fair Adventure and Fall in Love with Iowa.
In addition to their all-expenses paid weekend trip, families will receive surprises along the way, including Special Adventure t-shirts for the entire family, a Mini Polaroid camera and trip journal to document their memories and a collection of Special Surprise Fun Boxes filled with family-friendly travel games, travel accessories, activities and snacks.
Jaime Riebkes, whose daughter McKenna was diagnosed with neuroblastoma before her third birthday, explained that the Iowa-based trips would be a welcome getaway for families of children fighting cancer, "Traveling a long way from home can be nerve-wracking for a child with cancer and their family. These trips would be easier and help a family reset and renew together."
Diagnoses of cancer flip families lives upside-down. In the case of McKenna and her family it meant surgery, weekly chemo treatments, radiation, long hospital stays, time spent apart as family, and many other challenges.
"Throughout treatments, we missed out on a lot of family time," said Riebkes. "A Special Adventure allows children with cancer to have fun, do things other families do, and focus on being a family."
A Special Adventure program trips will showcase some of Iowa's fun highlights, including children's museums, amusement parks, apple orchards, water parks, donut shops, ice cream parlors and more.
"We are excited to explore more trip options throughout other locations in Iowa as the program evolves," said Lafrenz. "Iowa has a lot to offer these families, which we are proud of."
The Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation and Iowa Select Farms will promote these free trips through Children's Cancer Connection and Iowa oncology programs, another testament to ongoing efforts to support families impacted by childhood cancer through our partnership with Children's Cancer Connection.
"The Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation been involved in multiple aspects of Children’s Cancer Connection for many years including funding the Jeff and Deb Hansen Home for Hope, the My Journey Series, Beads4Bravery and Courage Store programs," said Jennifer Hines, the chief executive officer of Childrens Cancer Connection.
"We are so excited to see the Foundation's A Special Adventure program take off and provide an abundance of joy to our families," she said.
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