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Christian’s Band-Aid Bonanza

Christian’s Band-Aid Bonanza

In 2017 Christian Houghtaling was diagnosed with a rare subtype of Leukemia called Hypodiploid ALL. Although he was treated at Geisinger, Johns Hopkins, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and bravely battled his illness for two years, Christian passed away on May 16th, 2019, at the age of 17.

“Christian was an amazing, talented, intelligent, kind, and caring young man. He deeply loved being with family and friends. He loved learning, music, art, reading, and Legos. He played saxophone in the marching band while at Loyalsock High School and the bass guitar for Uptown Music Collective. His sense of humor and quick wit are missed by all who knew and loved him.” said his mother, Nicole.

To honor Christian, his family decided to pour their energy into something positive by creating “Christian’s Band-Aid Bonanza”, which was named by his sister, Paige. The idea of this project is to bring a smile to a child’s face who is so often poked and prodded.

While at Johns Hopkins, Christian would enjoy looking through their “Band-Aid binder” and laughing at the various band-aids. He would then carefully and thoughtfully pick out one that suited his personality. So, his family decided to bring this concept to Geisinger.

“I just remember Christian leafing through these binders at Hopkins, where we also spent a lot of time for treatment, and laughing to himself. I also enjoyed looking at all the different band-aids in the binder with Christian. Paige went to many clinic visits with us and spent a lot of time at the hospital with Christian, so when I discussed this idea with her, she loved it and said it should be called “Christian’s Band-Aid Bonanza.” When we announced our project and started asking for donations within our local community and on Facebook, the response was so amazing. I got all kinds of band-aids from everywhere. We were able to fill up the binders with about 80 band-aid varieties in each binder to choose from. We plan on filling up two more binders to take down to Geisinger when the other two are starting to be depleted so we can have a constant rotation of full ones for the kids. In the future, depending on how popular it gets, we could extend it to the other children’s floors at Geisinger or other hospitals even.” said Nicole.

Christian’s Band-Aid Bonanza accepts any fun band-aids for kids of all ages. They have band-aids geared toward younger children, such as those featuring Sesame Street, Peppa Pig, and the Transformers. In addition, there are funny band-aids for older kids that mom, Nicole, said he would have loved like Shakespearean insults, tacos, and other foods, Van Gogh art, and Alien. “It’s amazing how many different Band-Aids are out there if you search for stores or online. Some people have let their kids pick out band-aids to donate, others such as adults, pick out really funny ones they would like, or if they knew Christian personally and knew his sense of humor, ones he would have liked.”
In September, the first band-aid binders were presented to sick children at Geisinger and are currently being utilized.

Christian’s family also recently created a non-profit called The Christian Houghtaling Foundation, to help fund research for childhood cancer as well as other worthy projects.

“The goal of The Christian Houghtaling Foundation will be to raise money for the various projects we do in Christian’s memory, such as his scholarship and the Band-Aid Bonanza Binders at Geisinger. We also want to partner with organizations such as St. Jude’s to help fund research projects targeted for childhood leukemia, particularly Christian’s specific rare subtype he had called Hypodiploid Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Not a lot of research has been done in that area due to its rarity. There are doctors at St. Jude’s that we have consulted that have done research on it and continue to do so.” said Nicole.

Christian’s battle with cancer gave him a unique perspective on the importance of research for childhood cancer, and he helped raise money during his battle with cancer. Since Christian’s passing, his family has donated books to the NIH library in his name, raised thousands of dollars for St. Jude’s and Think Big, and continues to lead the Going Gold initiative for Think Big every September in Williamsport. They have also established a scholarship, in Christian’s name, to be given to a Loyalsock High School senior each year.

If you would like to help with any of the projects of The Christian Houghtaling Foundation, such as donating Band-Aids or making a monetary contribution, please email Nicole Bower at

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