Take Charge

Nonprofit Brings Tech Gifts to Kids Fighting Cancer

July 30, 2018

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By Sara Bondell

A nice surprise for Kelli Nabergall is just what the doctor ordered.

The 17-year-old spent months wondering what was wrong with her. She was tired all the time and gaining weight and doctors couldn’t find the answer.

Scans eventually showed a large tumor on Nabergall’s adrenal gland and she would need surgery to remove the cancer. Finally, an answer, but a scary and unexpected one for a teenage girl.

That’s when Nabergall’s dad heard about Apple A Day on the radio. The nonprofit provides devices like tablets, smart phones and laptops to kids under 18 undergoing cancer treatment at no cost to them or their families. He filled out an application and planned to surprise his daughter with an iPad and Apple Pencil at her next appointment at Moffitt.

“I was shocked,” said Nabergall. “With the pencil I can write notes and doodle and I can use it for my educational needs in the future.”

She can’t decide if that future will lead her into science or politics, but she knows it will help her fulfill her goal of studying abroad in Germany. She is using an app on the iPad to learn to speak German and once she’s abroad she plans to use the tablet to take notes in class and communicate with her family.

And while she’s still recovering, she’s using the iPad to keep busy at doctor’s appointments. It’s also a constant reminder of her favorite philosophy: it’s the thought that counts.

“Apple A Day is incredible because cancer is really scary. I was worried it was going to cut my life short or keep me from going to college and this helped me in the recovery process and moving forward,” she said.