Technology: Help kids with cancer? There's an app for that

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She was diagnosed with leukemia at age 2 and declared cured five years later.

But for Lauren Haines and the rest of her in Honey Brook Township, Chester County, cancer is a term not easily forgotten. It's been seven years since the home-schooled student, now 14, was given the all-clear from doctors at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

While the cancer has left her body, it hasn't left her mind -- or her brother's.

With his sister as his inspiration, 11-year-old Conner Haines is using his interest in technology as a way to help other children with cancer.

It's a cause close to his heart. According to his mother, Dawn, it's also one that the fifth-grader came up with on his own.

"Sometimes you give kids ideas, but this is totally 100 percent his idea and he ran with it," she said of Conner's idea to start creating his own mobile apps. "Lauren kind of jumped on board, and it's been really fun to watch. We're extremely proud."

Through his BElieve charity and his website, FlipFlopGames.org -- named for Conner's love of the shoe -- Conner designs and creates iPad, iPod and iPhone games based on ideas from children with cancer. The profits from paid games are donated to the Make-A-Wish-Foundation.

One game available is "That Chipmunk Bob," a free download in the iTunes store.

Along with Lauren, Conner recently made his first school presentation, speaking to students at Holy Guardian Angels School in Muhlenberg Township.

"Here's someone who's 11 years old, who decided to use technology to make a difference," said Rebecca Kinyo, a computer technology teacher who invited Conner and Lauren as part of the school's annual technology month.

She added that Conner has a great attitude and drive.

"And, he is a peer of theirs," Ms. Kinyo said. "He's one of them who found a way to do this on his own and take that gift he had to help other kids."

health - bookclub

First Published April 30, 2012 12:00 AM


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