This September, in honor of Childhood Cancer Month, we are so proud to be partnering with MaxLove Project again to raise awareness and funds for this important cause. Our MaxLove Project Collection by Tiny Tags is now live with all net proceeds from each piece sold benefiting the MaxLove Project. The MaxLove Project’s mission is to increase the quality of life and reduce health risks for all children surviving cancer, both in treatment and beyond.
If you do not know Audra and MaxLove, we invite you to read her story about her journey with Max, her son, and the creation of the foundation that carries his name.
💛 Audra's Story 💛
I’ve always loved cooking. I was classically trained in the culinary arts in Scottsdale, AZ and became a skilled cook at four-star restaurants before I was 20 years old. In Arizona and also in Maine, I worked several positions from grill to sauté to saucier and discovered my passion for food went beyond the kitchen. I jumped to the “front of the house” and became both a server and bartender while finishing my college degree with a focus on political science, public policy, and health disparities.
After finishing college, I went to graduate school, earning a degree in philosophy and education from Columbia University with the goal of becoming an educator. I moved into leadership training in higher education, but my passion for food never waned. Instead of cooking for hundreds of people a night, my focus turned to cooking alongside Justin for our two children.
Then, in August 2011, our son, Max, was diagnosed with brain cancer. At just four years-old he was rushed by ambulance to the Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and into emergency brain surgery the next morning.
Max was diagnosed with a rare and unusually aggressive form of a fairly common brain cancer. After two previous diagnoses, Max was last diagnosed with a mixed-grade Glioma in the brainstem and cerebellum. More than three weeks later, he was released from the hospital and began what would be 18 months of chemotherapy. After five brain surgeries and two chemotherapy protocols, Max also completed 30 radiation treatments in the spring of 2014 and Gamma Knife radiation treatment in 2016.
Along with surgery and chemotherapy, Max benefited from a full regimen of comprehensive integrative therapies. He has been fortunate to receive care at CHOC Children’s where an integrative approach to cancer treatment, including inpatient acupuncture, is embraced and taken seriously. Justin and I credit Max’s superior quality of life and continued health to this innovative approach.
After Max’s diagnosis, I reflexively fell back on my culinary training and turned to food as medicine, using the kitchen as my tool to help Max thrive in the face of cancer. As I met other moms with children in cancer treatment, I heard the consistent need for culinary education, nutrition science education, and integrative medicine resources.
I wanted to answer these needs. So, while Max was undergoing his chemotherapy treatment, I started the MaxLove Project, a nonprofit designed to help parents use nutrition and integrative medicine to help their children thrive in treatment and beyond.
Today, MLP serves thousands of childhood cancer families across the US, providing them with wellness packages, cooking classes, hospital “Thrive Parties,” professional nutritional consultations, educational materials from top cancer researchers, and much more.
MLP also funds and conducts cutting-edge integrative medicine research. MLP’s programs and resources support families in the key areas of survivorship health. Each program focuses on several “super actions” for lifelong healthy survivorship.
In 2019, Max survived a risky brainstem biopsy and started a targeted inhibitor therapy. Max has thrived on a therapeutic, super-boosted ketogenic diet, and today he's still thriving against the odds, inspiring his community to give nothing but Maximum Love.
MaxLove Project is inspired by Max's cancer journey, by all of the tremendous benefits he gained from this holistic “whole kid” approach to healing. I am proud of the MLP community of dedicated change-makers who believe in the power of high-quality integrative health care for all children and that SuperKids deserve every possible opportunity to thrive against cancer.
To learn more, watch Max's inspirational video.
- Audra, Max's mom
Photo Credit: Alex Frankel
🙏 Join Us! 🙏
On September 17th, we are uniting together as a community and asking all of our friends, family, editors, influencers, business partners and customers to post on Instagram, Insta Stories and/or Facebook their MaxLove Project bracelet using #rockyourmaxlove to create a tidal wave of support and awareness.
Visit us on Instagram.
🎗️ Shop & Support 🎗️
The bespoke MaxLove by Tiny Tags Collection was carefully designed to capture the essence of what MaxLove represents. 100% of net proceeds from these sales goes directly to the MaxLove Project.
MaxLove Project Heart Bracelet - Turquoise
MaxLove Project Heart Message Bracelet - Turquoise
MaxLove Project Heart Bracelet - Coral
MaxLove Project Heart Message Bracelet - Coral
MaxLove Project Expandable Bracelet - Silver
MaxLove Project Necklace - Silver
14K Gold Hope Nameplate Necklace;
Yellow, Rose or White
Sterling Silver Hope Nameplate Necklace
Gold Hope Nameplate Necklace
14K Gold Childhood Cancer Yellow Ribbon Necklace;
Yellow, Rose or White
Sterling Silver Childhood Cancer Yellow Ribbon Necklace
Gold (Vermeil) Childhood Cancer Yellow Ribbon Necklace
14K Gold Childhood Cancer Yellow Ribbon Story Charm;
Yellow, Rose or White
Sterling Silver Childhood Cancer Yellow Ribbon Story Charm
Gold Childhood Cancer Yellow Ribbon Story Charm