Honoring Chris: The Lasting Impact of Sunrise on Wheels

Chris Sunrise Wheels FiretruckChris Schroeder was only 18 when he lost his two-year battle with leukemia in 2013. He never had the experience of being a camper or a counselor at Sunrise Day Camp, but Sunrise still had an impact on him through our innovative in-hospital program, Sunrise on Wheels.

Diagnosed in 2011, Chris had long stays in the hospital. He wanted so badly to be a regular teen. Slowly, he started opening up to the Wheels volunteers about missing his friends, bowling, firefighting (he was sworn in as a firefighter eight days before he passed) and driving.

“He was spunky, brilliant, direct, caring, strong and brave. He taught me so much about how precious life really is,” said Nicole Faber, Program Coordinator for Sunrise on Wheels, who spent a great deal of time with Chris after his bone marrow transplant.

Wally and Carole Schroeder, Chris’s parents, were so grateful for the dedication of the Sunrise on Wheels volunteers.



“They broke up the day for Chris and took his mind off what he was going through,” said Wally Schroeder. “It was great to see him smile.”

In honor of their son’s memory, the Schroeder family has continued their relationship with Sunrise by participating in SunriseWALKS and raising funds for our Sunset with Sunrise program, which brings camp fun to children staying in the hospital during the evening.