Imagine having to rush a child to the hospital in need of a blood transfusion, but the hospital close to home does not perform blood transfusions on children under the age of 18.
For Nicole Norona, this became a reality when she had to transport her daughter Ciera from Lake Havasu City to Las Vegas for the procedure to be done.
“We waited for three hours for a helicopter to be available until we could finally head to Nevada,” said Norona.
From that experience the nonprofit The Norona Effect Inc., was born. The organization aims to treat and prevent cancer in children. The nonprofit also raises funds so that children living with cancer can be treated with their families close to home.
In May 2014, Norona’s daughter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia a rapidly progressive cancer in children which occurs when bone marrow cells form errors in its DNA, and can result in bone pain, enlarged Lymph nodes and infections in the body. In order to kill such cancer cells, chemotherapy along with medications are usually used to treat it.
“As of now, we still travel to Nevada with my daughter every 28 days for chemotherapy.” Norona said.
The Norona Effect’s mission since then has been to raise $425,000 to open a pediatric infusion center in Lake Havasu City and in other rural communities where children with cancer and other life threatening illnesses could receive long-term treatment.
The nonprofit to date has raised about $40,000, from donations and by hosting fundraising events in the community – one which included “HavaSlide” Epic Event last year.
The event gave individuals the opportunity to slide down one of the worlds largest slides known as the “HavaSlide.” Proceeds from ticket sales benefited the Norona Effect. The event will return again this year.
Norona’s daughter continues to fight cancer and has had a difficult road since she was first diagnosed. But she has managed the disease.
“To be able to raise funds for other children while I dealt with my daughter’s ordeal has helped me cope,” said Norona.
“I just want people to be aware of what children with cancer are going through whether they have children or not.”
Norona also believes the community in Lake Havasu city has helped her cope with her daughter’s illness.
“Everyone has been so supportive in Lake Havasu City. That is why I love this community. Now it’s my mission to help more children than ever before.”
The nonprofit also offers personal counseling and mentoring programs to families.
For more information or to donate, visit www.thenoronaeffect.com.