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Meet NF Champions Ken Janik and Erica Givens!

By December 22, 2014February 27th, 2024Awareness, NF1, Story of NF, Ways to Give

At this time of year, children all over the world search through catalogs, peer into store windows and compile a list of gifts they hope to receive during the holiday season. Bikes, dolls, chemistry kits and video games top the lists of so many children.

Our NF Heroes have additional hopes: less chemotherapy, fewer doctors’ appointments, reduced tumor size. At the Children’s Tumor Foundation, we are working relentlessly to fulfill that hope.

This holiday season, we asked some NF Heroes and Champions to share their story, their hope for the holidays, and thoughts for the coming year.

Ken Janik from Cheektowaga, NY and Erica Givens from Nashville, TN both live with NF2 and met through a Facebook support group. After emailing for a few months, they decided to attend the 2013 NF Forum and Nashville NF Walk and meet in person.

Ken was one of the top fundraisers for the Nashville NF Walk and Erica was the Captain of Team Givens, one of the top teams. They enjoyed getting to know one another, became a couple, and now both live in Nashville.

“We are very happy,” says Erica. “Our relationship formed partially because of the NF Forum and Nashville Walk. So thank you very much to CTF for helping bring us together!”

What is your hope for the holiday this year?

Erica: “All I hope for is to have a great holiday with my family for whom I feel blessed and thankful.”

Ken: “That NF will be cured soon.”

What is your idea of the perfect day?

Erica: “To be honest there is no perfect day. To be able to have a day with someone you love and always have something to smile about is good enough for me. I do my best to cherish every day even if it’s not a ‘perfect’ day.”

Ken: “The day a cure is found for NF.”

What are you most looking forward to next year?

Erica: “I am really looking forward to the cruise that Ken has planned to celebrate our anniversary.”

Ken: “The possibility that a cure for NF will be found.”


If you would like to support our efforts to fund research to end NF,
please visit and make a donation to the Hope for the Holidays campaign.