Shaheem C, a 17-year-old boy battling leukemia, will visit Philadelphia for the first time with his family on Aug. 22-24 as a part of the Casey Cares Foundation’s “Celebration Vacation” program.
When approached for the “Celebration Vacation” in Philadelphia, the family happily accepted. A resident of Englewood, New Jersey, Shaheem said he always wanted to go to college in Philadelphia, but because of his treatments he is unable to spend an extended amount of time that far from home. “I think this will be a great experience for our family, especially since Shaheem is such an avid history buff,” said his mother, Joan.
The Philadelphia weekend is tailored to Shaheem’s love for history and the arts. The family will enjoy VIP treatment on their tour of the city via Ride the Ducks Philadelphia on Fri., Aug. 22. On Saturday Aug. 23, the family will visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art followed by dinner at Positano Coast in Old City. The Chestnut Hill Hotel has generously donated a room to Shaheem and his family for the duration of their stay in Philadelphia.
Shaheem was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011 and has been a Casey Cares family ever since. His rigorous treatments at Hackensack University Medical Center limited his involvement in extracurricular activities; however now, with a less aggressive treatment schedule Shaheem is able to go to school, work, spend time with his friends and partake in the Casey Cares “Celebration Vacation” program.
Casey Cares Foundation plans and subsidizes weekend respites for families with critically ill children like Shaheem’s. One of six programs of the charity, Celebration Vacations is “just what the doctor ordered.” Families call and give suggestions of where they want to go and Casey Cares accommodates – with hotel, meals and activities for a weekend complete with sparkling eyes, elusive laughter and positive memories. Last year Casey Cares planned close to 50 vacations including the beach in Maryland and Delaware, Hershey Park in PA, Busch Gardens and Great Wolf Lodge in VA, New York, Niagara Falls and even Disney World.