NewsPinellas County


Nonprofit supplies iPads for children to help pass the time while battling cancer

Posted at 3:13 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 16:27:37-04

SEMINOLE, Fla. — While most kids return to school this month, there is one student in Seminole who won’t be going back anytime soon. His only trip away from home is to the hospital for chemotherapy.

Joey Plankey has had a lot of window visits this summer. The 11-year-old was diagnosed with leukemia in May.

“We had to cut him off from his outside world that he knew,” said mother Heather Plankey.

“I was kind of sad, my friends and baseball both mean a lot to me,” said Joey.

That’s when the nonprofit organization, Apple-A-Day, delivered a new iPad right to Joey’s door.

“What we do is we grant electronic devices to children who are undergoing cancer treatment,” said Tara Gill, with Apple-A-Day.

“It made me forget what I’m going through, it really helped me a lot, I could FaceTime my friends, play games and watch baseball videos,” said Joey.

When Joey says baseball videos, he’s really referring to one, the Philadelphia Philly.

“Bryce Harper if you’re seeing this you’re my favorite baseball player of all time,” said Joey.

With the iPad, Joey doesn’t miss a highlight.

“Receiving that iPad meant a lot to us because in an instant we were now a one-income family because I needed to stay home to take care of him,” said Heather.

Apple-A Day has given out more than 80 devices to kids just like Joey during the pandemic.

“These kids really need that distraction especially when they are in hospitals three, four days at a time the distraction is everything to them,” said Gill.

New this year the St. Pete small business, DefenderShield, has partnered with Apple-A-Day to make sure these iPads are completely safe to use.

“Prevents the electromagnetic radiation from the tablet from getting into the child when their bodies are already kind of chemically overloaded from chemotherapy and those kids of treatments,” said Sarah Kivi with DefenderShield.

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