Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Brain Cancer Survivor Named Pennsylvania Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

June 22, 2016

Lance Hupkovich, of Plum, pediatric brain cancer survivor at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, has been named the 2016-17 Pennsylvania Champion Ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

In 2010, a 4-year-old Lance was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his brain stem that compressed his spine and an optic nerve tumor. Lance’s medical team performed spinal decompression to allow extra space for tumor growth during his treatment. The inoperable tumors were treated with radiation and chemotherapy, as well as peptide vaccine injections Lance received as part of an institutional vaccine study at Children’s Hospital. Lance experienced positive results and has not required treatment since October 2012. He continues to improve each day.

Each year, the Champions program celebrates a child from every state and Canada who has bravely battled a serious injury or illness. This week, the Champions will travel to Washington, DC to tour Marriott International headquarters and thank associates and leadership for their continued support, attend Senate meetings on Capitol Hill, visit Nationals Park for a Washington Nationals game, and participate in a satellite media tour with television stations across the country. The Champions will visit Orlando, Fla. in March 2017 for the second half of the tour at CMN Hospitals’ annual Momentum event, where the charity’s 170 hospital members gather with corporate and media partners.

“If you spend a few minutes with Lance and his family, you’ll find yourself inspired and uplifted, which is why we’re so proud to have him represent all of the patients of Children’s Hospital as well as Pennsylvania,” said Greg Barrett, president, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation. “Our hospital is so grateful to be part of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals because it represents the best of our communities, people of all means coming together to support all of the kids who need our help.”

“We are honored that our son, Lance, is the Champion of Children’s Hospital and Champion of Pennsylvania for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals,” said Lance’s parents, Brent and Christine Hupkovich. “We look forward to this opportunity to serve as advocates and are dedicated to represent all of the children treated in Pennsylvania as we share Lance’s miraculous journey. Our goal is for Lance to inspire others to have hope and strength through their journey, while raising funds to ensure families receive outstanding quality of care for years to come.”

Now 10, Lance loves to watch WWE, play video games and enjoys playing Miracle League Baseball, where he has earned himself the nickname of “Lightning Lance.”

Through additional speaking engagements, appearances and media interviews, the Champions will complete their year of service by thanking and inspiring those who support the children’s hospitals they depend on.

Delta Air Lines, Marriott International, Chico’s FAS, Inc. and Ace Hardware are official sponsors of the 2016-17 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champions program.