Roc Solid brings joy

Published 10:25 pm Monday, April 23, 2018

The look on Shyanne Bradshaw’s face said it all.

The 8-year-old had just returned to her Whaleyville-area home from a morning of breakfast at Cracker Barrel and bowling with her family.

That’s a pretty good day by any measure, but it was about to get better.

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In a progression of photos taken Saturday by Suffolk News-Herald reporter Kellie Adamson, the Shyanne’s expression morphs from surprise to amazement to wonder to joy in a matter of seconds, after someone removes her blindfold and she gets the first look at a playset constructed in her own backyard by a team of AllFirst employees and other helpers, more than three dozen strong, who were volunteering with the Roc Solid Foundation.

The Roc Solid Foundation is dedicated to making sure kids with cancer, like Shyanne, have the opportunity to play. After a cancer diagnosis, normal family activities are replaced with endless doctor’s appointments. Treatments often leave children with weakened immune systems that means their opportunities for play are limited.

For children up to age 8, the foundation builds playsets in their backyard. For older children or for children who live in a place where a playset is not an option, they do room makeovers. When children wind up spending so much time resting at home, the goal is to create a space they don’t want to leave.

Importantly, the foundation also has a third project that gets less media attention than the playsets and room makeovers: the ready bags. Roc Solid Ready Bags are ready for families to receive at the hospital at the day they find out their child has cancer. Ready Bags include everything a family might need for the unexpected hospital stay that usually accompanies a cancer diagnosis, from low-tech needs like toiletries and a blanket to modern solutions like a tablet and a prepaid debit card.

Based in Western Branch, the Roc Solid Foundation is a premier local charity that does excellent work. Combined with volunteers like the team from AllFirst, which went above and beyond for the daughter of one of their own on Saturday, they can provide a lot of hope for families facing pediatric cancer.

For more information on the Roc Solid Foundation, visit rocsolidfoundation.org.