COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Michael Erlandson from Colorado Springs wants to spread hope to fellow cancer patients by donating socks and cheerful messages.
The 12-year-old was diagnosed with leukemia at six years old. But after several treatments, Michael is currently in remission and trying to give back to other children who have cancer.
The Erlandson family have partnered with Resilience Gives’ Socks with Stories: Paying It Forward Initiative, where Michael and 49 other pediatric cancer survivors donate socks and spread messages of hope to families in the thick of treatment.
About 15,780 children between the ages of zero and 19 years old are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. each year. Survival rates have increased to 80% of children living five years or more, but advocates like the Erlandson family aren't satisfied with one in five children dying.
“We had a lot of support from our community and from my position in the military," said Mike, the father of the 12-year-old. "Since 2017 when Michael was officially cancer-free we’ve said 'Hey, we need to pay this forward.'"