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National Agents Alliance to Recognize Duke Children’s Hospital Patient Josh Paryz at National Convention

Children's Miracle Network

National Agents Alliance will recognize Josh Paryz during its “Be Your Own Rock Star” Version 2.0 National Convention at the Raleigh Convention Center on Jan. 27, President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Albright announced today.

Paryz, an eight-year-old, is a patient at Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center where he receives treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common type of childhood cancer. It affects white blood cells and bone marrow.

“We proudly support the efforts of the Children’s Miracle Network and Duke Children’s Hospital,” Albright said. “If what we are able to donate helps even one young person then it is well worth it. We want to keep giving to Duke Children’s Hospital until a cure is developed and the world is cancer free.”

Paryz was diagnosed in April of 2010 after experiencing high fevers, migraines and uncontrollable joint pain a few days after playing in his first T-ball game.

After seeing his pediatrician, Paryz was admitted to Duke Children’s and was diagnosed with cancer. He immediately underwent surgery to place a port in his chest and began an intense series of spinal, IV and oral chemotherapy. He was hospitalized for the first month after surgery and could not even get out of bed by himself.

For six months, Paryz fought cancer while he lost his hair, one quarter of his body weight and most of his endurance, but he continued smiling. He is now in the maintenance portion of therapy which consists of daily oral chemotherapy, monthly IV and quarterly lumbar punctures. He will continue receiving treatments well into 2013 as part of the more than three-year treatment schedule.

Paryz is known for his big smile even though his procedures are painful and the side effects of the drugs are staggering. He enters the clinic with a smile and waves to each person he meets. He often brings other children toys and stuffed animals from his closet to share with other children he thinks are scared. He knows exactly what they are going through.

In the past 18 months, Paryz has made it his mission to spread awareness about childhood cancer. He has appeared in videos for other children at Duke Children’s to ease pill swallowing and port access. He has spoken at press conference and large organizational banquets, and served as a motivational speaker for the Carolina Hurricanes before a 5K fun run. He was the 2011 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) N.C. Chapter’s Boy of the Year.

“I can’t wait to meet Josh, shake his hand and thank him for all the hard work he has been doing for young cancer patients across the country,” Albright said. “The NAA team is excited to recognize Josh’s efforts and hear more about his story.”

Paryz is the son of Jon and Debbie Paryz and has an older brother named Tyler.

Robyn Soffera, director, annual programs, stewardship and communications with Duke Children’s Hospital, says nearly 150,000 “little” pairs of feet walk through the doors of Duke Children’s Hospital in Durham, N.C. annually.

Every day at Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center, brave children and their families who are in need of hope, answers—and, above all, care are treated. Duke Children’s mission is to meet the needs of children and families — from critical care and laboratory research to medical education and children’s health advocacy. Philanthropy is essential to Duke Children’s Hospital’s ability to carry out its mission and be there for the hundreds of thousands of youngsters in need each year. What’s more, the research conducted impacts the lives of children across the globe who may never even hear of Duke Children’s. All this is possible because of people who care enough to give, to share the gift of hope and the possibility of a miracle with others. To contribute to Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center, please visit,

“The support we receive from the community is vitally important to the work we do at Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center,” Soffera said. “Without the generosity of individuals and corporations like National Agents Alliance we could not embark on research endeavors, stay on the cutting-edge of care or provide the special touches that make a visit to Duke Children’s special for our patients. The health of our children depends on everyone getting involved in whatever way they can. We are grateful for NAA’s support.”


Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center, located in Durham, N.C., is nationally ranked among the best in pediatric health care programs. Caring for children is our number one priority, from routine check-ups and immunizations to the treatment of life-threatening injuries and illnesses. At Duke Children’s, we provide hope and the most advanced health care available. Offering innovative procedures including stem cell and bone marrow transplants as well as a variety of support services for our patients and their families, Duke Children’s cares for children from around the world. Duke Children’s Hospital is also a critical local resource – taking care of 60 percent of Durham’s children with more than 70 percent of patients coming from central North Carolina. For more information please visit


National Agents Alliance is an innovative lead generation and marketing organization that sells life insurance, annuities, and other financial services products through more than 7,000 active independent sales representatives in 50 states. Focused on serving middle-income families, National Agents Alliance is the No. 1 United States provider of mortgage protection insurance and offers a broad array of other affordable products from highly regarded companies such as Mutual of Omaha, Foresters, and ING. Since its inception in 2002, National Agents Alliance has helped more than 670,000 families successfully apply for more than $78 billion in life insurance coverage. NAA is constantly finding new ways to help its agents improve through training, meetings, videos, books and conference calls. NAA has also released a support website for online help.

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