Newport Beach local Brooke Besikof, 16, is honored to be a featured speaker representing Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as a Teen Ambassador and survivor at TJ Martell Family Day at The Grove in Los Angeles.
When Brooke Besikof was 14 years old, she was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a rare cancer of the lymph system.
The Newport Beach, California, native was forced to immediately undergo surgery and a bone marrow biopsy, and then endure months of strong chemotherapy to save her life.
Brooke had been living a normal life and pursuing her acting career and had just come back from performing in New York in the Broadway production of “Frozen” as Young Elsa for their Staged Reading and Developmental Lab.
Now 16, Besikof is a cancer survivor. She has now become an advocate for other children battling the disease and has dedicated herself to raising research funds for pediatric cancer. Besikof became a Teen Ambassador to the hospital that saved her life, CHLA.
“Only four percent of research funding goes to pediatric cancer in the United States – we can do better than that. Kids are the future; their lives depend on it. They deserve more and I will fight for it. I do it for all the kids still fighting. I think of them every day,” said Besikof.
As a child, pre-diagnosis, Brooke had already dedicated herself to helping other children. As a child, she visited sick children at Children’s Hospitals and collected donated comfort items for the oncology department. She was awarded a California Congressional Award of Honor at age 10 for her work.
An incredible coincidence would have her back at that same hospital 4 years later after being diagnosed herself with a pediatric cancer.
“When I was first diagnosed, I was in shock. I thought about all the times I had come to the hospital to visit other children and now it was me. I didn’t allow myself to be sad for long, instead, I decided to fight.”
Brooke has started her own non-profit, “Butterfly Warrior,” and was invited to perform the song “Warrior” in 2018 in front of the White House in D.C. for Curefest USA.
Besikof will be representing CHLA as a speaker on Oct. 5,2019, at The Grove in Los Angeles for TJ Martell Family Day. It is a day of music, games and fun while raising money for cancer research at CHLA. Performances by JoJo Siwa, Ally Brooke and more.