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The Ace Hardware Foundation Announces UPMC Children’s Cancer Patient as Ace All-Star

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1/17/2020

PITTSBURGH – Eleven year-old, Avery Kazakewicz, a cancer patient at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, has been named the 2020 Ace All-Star on behalf of the Ace Hardware Foundation. 

Avery, of North Strabane Township, is the eighth-annual Ace All-Star, and will serve as national ambassador for the Ace Foundation, raising awareness for the excellent work that is done at local Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals across the country. 

Two days before her seventh birthday, Avery was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hepatoblastoma, a type of liver cancer, and eventually underwent a liver transplant at UPMC Children’s. In all, she underwent 10 rounds of chemotherapy, a liver transplant, lung surgery, and various other treatments and surgeries.

“Avery endured a tremendous amount of treatment with chemotherapy and surgeries and did so with a smile on her face,” said Avery’s doctor, Brittani Seynnaeve, M.D., M.S., a physician within the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at UPMC Children’s. “Her strength and resilience are remarkable, and it has truly been a privilege to care for her and watch her become the smart, feisty, and caring young individual that she is today.”

Avery loves to help other kids that have been in her shoes and show them that they too can lead a normal, healthy life.

“Being this year’s Ace All-Star is so exciting and I am so happy to get to help so many kids - I just love it,” said Avery. 

Avery was selected by the Ace Foundation following a nationwide call for submissions that gave nearly 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals an opportunity to nominate a deserving patient to represent their 2020 national Ace campaign.