TODAY

TODAY   |  March 25, 2014

Special connection for kids touched by cancer

Tuesday’s installment of TODAY’s “Hope to It” series spotlights Aaron’s iPad Lending Library, a program that puts iPads in hospitals for children to use while going through cancer treatment.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on hope to it. giving kids with cancer a chance to stay connected with their family and friends to feel more at home.

>> it's a project that puts ipads in hospitals for children to use while going through cancer treatment.

>> and it was all inspired by one little boy .

>> reporter: this is aaron pinsky two years ago, but for aaron , not everything in life was so grand.

>> aaron stopped walking. we rushed him to joe dimaggio 's children hospital where they did an mri.

>> they discovered a large tumor in his spine that turned out to be a rare form of bone and soft tissue cancer.

>> he underwent 14 rounds of chemotherapy and 28 rounds of radiation.

>> at just 4 years old, aaron was in and out of the hospital for seven months getting cancer treatments and learning how to walk again. but one everyday device made the hospital feel a bit more like home.

>> i had cancer, and mommy's friends bought me an ipad. it made me braver.

>> and was a welcome distraction. aaron would play games on the ipad and talk to friends and family through facetime.

>> my aunts, uncles, and my grandma and papa.

>> and he especially loved chatting with his older cousin sara .

>> i would talk to him on facetime five times a day.

>> it made me happy i was talking to her right then even though she wasn't there. it felt like she was right next to me.

>> seeing how much aaron loved his ipad gave sara an idea.

>> i thought that all kids should be able to use that face time .

>> but aaron 's hospital only had one ipad on the oncology floor. so sara decided to create something special.

>> i made a movie that we put on youtube, and that's where a lot of the money came from. we're trying to do all of the hospitals in florida.

>> last year, team aaron donated 17 ipads to joe dimaggio children's hospital.

>> the ipads have helped improve the quality of life by creating more of a home environment, a playful environment for them to forget about why they're here in the hospital to get treatment.

>> a lot of my friends can't come because i have low immune system and i can get sick very easily. it makes me feel like i can still be a part of like the normal routine of life instead of being here.

>> today, aaron is cancer-free, but he returns to hospitals with his cousin sara .

>> my name is aaron , and i have an ipad and if you want to know how to use it, i'll show you how.

>> two kids spreading smiles.

>> you got one too?

>> yeah.

>> trying to make life grand for others in need of joy.

>> well done aaron and sara . so far the ipad lending library has donated 44 ipads to three different hospitals in south florida . but they could always use more. to see how you can get involved, go to today.com. and by the way, if you know of any people or groups inspiring hope in their communities, give us a heads up on twitter with the #hopetoit.

>> that is phenomenal. they've all been fantastic. gosh, i love this.