Pepped Up! iPads and gadgets for kids battling cancer - FOX 10 News |

Pepped Up! iPads and gadgets for kids battling cancer

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PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Children who are coping with cancer received special gifts from a group of good Samaritans in the valley.

The organization is called Pepped Up!  They donated gadgets such as Apple iPads and Amazon Kindle Fires to children in our state who are facing this terrible illness.

Battling cancer is tough on families, especially when the patient is just 5-years-old.

"Then they told me he had cancer which kind of floored me a lot," said Hiladerio Gonzalez.

Mario Gonzalez's family is helping him each step of the way, but he has two years of grueling chemotherapy ahead of him.  That's why Pepped Up! gives children gadgets to play with while they undergo difficult treatments at Cardon Children's Center in Mesa.

"Pepped Up! was basically put together to help kids like Mario get iPads and Kindle Fires while they're battling cancer," said Ron Haberle.  "Get something to smile about, find a good joke, find a funny movie.. something that takes your mind off what you're going through."

His father is grateful that Mario can let his imagination run wild so he can stay positive.

"He's gotten better.  I think his personality has made him really mature. He seems to be really positive," said Gonzalez.

Haberle, the group's founder, endured chemotherapy as a child, so he knows what it's like to stare at the walls during chemo.

"You start feeling nauseous and not very well and you just really want an escape and there was no escape to get to."

Back then, an escape from chemo meant watching soap operas. Nowadays, gadgets give kids a chance to get distracted with machines and monsters.

"No, they're not fighting machines, they're monsters," said Mario.

More than 200 children have benefited from the program in the last two years.

Mario's father is hoping this helps his son face the road ahead.

"Well, I just hope he survives it you know," said Gonzalez.

Pepped Up! Portable Entertainment for Patients
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