In memory of Ojetta V. Holt-Shoffner

Who We Are

Torry and Terrence Holt were NC State football stars who went on to successful careers in the National Football League. Their early years were not easy ones.

When Torry was 10 and his younger brother Terrence was six, their mother Ojetta was diagnosed with lymphoma. A difficult diagnosis for an adult to comprehend, never mind a child.

“When you’re that young, you don’t understand,” says Torry. “You don’t understand what cancer is, what it does, or why people are sad and upset. I remember lying in bed and crying myself to sleep because you associate cancer with death. I thought my mom would be gone the next day.”

Torry and Terrence’s mom passed away 10 years after her initial diagnosis. Her battle with cancer profoundly impacted both of them.

What We Do

When Torry made it big in the NFL, he decided to do something to honor his mother. The brothers started the Holt Brothers Foundation with a focus on helping children with a parent with cancer.

The Foundation’s main program, KidsCAN!, provides education, emotional support, peer empathy and inspiration during monthly group meetings. Working with local hospitals, facilitators help kids understand the disease and deal with their emotions. The kids also benefit by knowing they are not alone.

The Foundation also supports Camp Kesem, a sleep-away camp for children ages 6–16, all of whom have a parent with cancer.

“I can’t help but think we could have been better kids if we had something like this growing up. And it would have made our mom feel better,” says Terrence. “All any parent wants for their child is for them to feel happiness and joy.”