Riley is one of those six-year-old boys who is all boy. A “play T-ball til you drop” kind of kid.

So when he started complaining of not feeling well at his last game of the season this past May, his parents knew something was wrong.


At first the doctors thought strep throat. But then when his fevers would not stop, they were convinced he had a crazy bad virus. It wasn’t until Riley had a bone marrow biopsy that they figured it out: leukemia.

Riley had a harder time than most with the treatments. The steroids made him to gain 27lbs in less than three weeks! Yes, you heard that right.  27lbs in less than three weeks! And he was only 51 lbs to start with. Add to that the weekly spinal taps and chemo…well, this was one miserable kid.

Somewhere along the line, Riley met Team Summer kid Eli. Even though there was a big difference in their ages – eight years – they became friends, and Eli wanted to help his little buddy. He found out that Riley’s older sister had an iPad, but Riley did not. Sure, Riley’s sister let him borrow hers, but it’s not the same as having one that is yours. So…Team Summer went to work. And one day late last year, Eli surprised Riley at his house.

A special gift in a purple (of course) Team Summer bag!

Riley could hardly believe it! An iPad just for him! He just stared and stared at it.

Once the reality set in, Riley said,  “It’s mine! I don’t have to share! I can take it to the hospital whenever I want!” Yup, Riley, you can take this iPad with you everywhere!

The coolest part about Eli’s visit that day was the time they spent together, just hanging out. They have a special connection, because only another kid who has battled cancer can really understand what it’s like to be a kid with cancer! Way to go, Eli! We are so proud of your big heart!

Team Summer cannot do any of this without our wonderful donors! Thank you!!

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