As a Lombardi Award winner for the top college linebacker and a two-time All-American during his time at Ohio State, A.J. Hawk is well known by fans around the Buckeye state and equally admired for his career with the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals. With his wife, Laura, the two have started three funds at the OSUCCC – James to provide care and comfort for children battling cancer and their families.
The Hawk Family Fund
The Hawk Family Fund's mission is to enhance technology for our pediatric patients and their families that are undergoing radiation treatment. Undergoing radiation can be scary for any patient, but particularly for a child and their family. In partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, all pediatric cancer patients who need radiation receive that treatment at The James. The goal of the Hawk Family Fund is to support technological improvements in the pediatric radiation department to give our patients more comfort, care and hospitality during their cancer journey.
One of those improvements can be seen in the pediatric waiting room in the Radiation Oncology Department at The James. Here, our pediatric patients select a wristband which corresponds to a digital animal friend on the interactive wall in the waiting room. This interactive technology allows the child to play with the animal and interact with the rest of the screen while they wait. This provides a distraction from the treatment they’re about to receive and helps to relieve some of the anxiety felt by the entire family. Their new animal friend can follow them into the exam room via smaller, interactive screens during their exam. When a child's first experience is relaxed and more comfortable, this sets the tone for the rest of the day and course of treatment, which can last up to month. Additionally, studies have shown the more relaxed a patient is, the less anesthesia they require.
A.J. and Laura want to continue to help more kids and provide updates and improvements to the existing technology. Your support of the Hawk Family Fund will help make this possible.
The Hawk's Heroes Fund
A.J. and Laura believe that all children battling cancer are superheroes. To reflect that, the Hawks started a fund at the OSUCCC – James that provides all pediatric radiation patients with a special "Hawk's Heroes" superhero cape and hat to make the children feel more powerful during their cancer treatments.
The Hawk's Locks Fund
When A.J. cut his signature long hair in 2012, the Hawks decided they wanted to raise money for children and women who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. With the Hawk's Locks Fund, money raised is used to provide wigs and other head coverings to cancer patients of all ages through Hope's Boutique (located in the Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Center). In support of the Hawk's Lock Fund, former teammate and long haired counterpart, Bobby Carpenter, auctioned off the opportunity to have a fan cut his long locks during the 2013 Buckeye Cruise for Cancer.