BRANDON, Fla. – Theo Hucks is a 3-year-old force of nature who loves toys and books and playing with other children.
Now this amazing young man, born with neuroblastoma, has a very cool classroom to call his own.
Hillsborough County Public Schools and a remarkable group called 1 Voice Academy have teamed up to open the nation’s first fully accredited school for children with cancer.
No school in a hospital. Not only to school and isolated at home.
A school with books and classmates (and parents) who have similar experiences.
Theo’s mother Mandy Hucks said that 1 Voice Academy will be a breakthrough for many families.
“1 Voice has been a life saver for our family at a time when you’re just in turmoil, and you’re super overwhelmed, and you don’t know where to go,” she said.
1 Voice Academy accommodates students as old as high school students and provides a safe educational and social environment for children with specific medical and emotional needs.
1 Voice was founded by another force of nature, Mary Ann Massolio, who launched the school in memory of her son Jay, who lost his battle with cancer when he was only nine years old.
Jay just wanted to feel like a normal kid and go to school with his peers.
So for 20 years, Massolio worked with a friend, and Hillsborough County School Board member, Dr. Stacy Hahn honored him.
Together they turned a dream into reality.
“As parents (of children with cancer),” said Massolio, “we say so often, ‘No, you can’t go to Girl Scouts’ and ‘No, you can’t go to the prom’ and ‘No, you can’t go’. to baseball.” They should be able to go to school.”
For more information about 1 Voice Academy, go here.