our-story

TNK Children’s Foundation

Founders Who Have Faced the Fight.

Our Own Children with Critical Illnesses Gave Us the Vision to Help Others

Staci Upham-Tubbs and Casey Tubbs, Founders of TNK Children’s Foundation

We understand firsthand the challenges faced by parents of critically ill children. All three of our children have battled life-threatening conditions, and our family still deals with the side effects of those illnesses today.

In 2001, our oldest son, Jakob, was diagnosed with leukemia on his third birthday. Our family entered a three-and-a-half-year battle of chemo treatments, followed by more than five years of battling the side effects of those treatments.

Six months into Jakob’s cancer treatments, our second son, Logan received a diagnosis of hearing problems and speech difficulties. During a routine surgery to correct these issues, he nearly died. After serious blood loss and much advocating on the part of concerned, tenacious parents, he came home with us. Today, he can hear but lives with Central Auditory Processing Disorder.

A year later, 18 months into Jakob’s cancer treatments, our daughter Cambridge entered the world.  Staci had been exposed to cytomeglavirus (CMV) when Jakob contracted the disease, so we both had grave concerns over our new baby’s health. Fortunately, Cambridge did not indicate any of the hearing, vision or mental complications often associated with in utero exposure to CMV. Today, her only lingering health issues are a few food allergies.

Throughout those years of treatment, we spent much time in prayer, trying to understand our family’s journey. We believe in a greater good, and TNK Children’s Foundation has become an answer to our own prayers. We and our children have an intimate understanding of the struggles faced by the families we serve. We know the mental drain and physical exhaustion caused by long days at the hospital and short, sleepless nights. We know the time crunch that makes it difficult to get a shower much less clean the house or cook a family meal.

Today, we work to help others who are facing the battles we faced in the past. All three of our children have joined us in our efforts. As a family, we now fight alongside other families in order to give them a fighting chance.

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