Independent study high school student, Talon B., smiles at the camera in a red sweatshirt

Student Spotlight: Student Fighting Cancer Finds a Way to Give Back

If you attended our 2020 High School Youth Conference you may remember hearing about Talon Bonanno. Talon is an 11th grade Independent Study student that battled Neuroblastoma cancer.

Although he’s been fighting this high-risk cancer for a few years, his diagnosis hasn’t dulled his light and passion to help others. Talon and his family spend a lot of time at the hospital. During his time in the pediatric unit he enjoys life’s small comforts like playing video games on his Xbox One and watching anything he desires using his Amazon Fire Stick. He brings these items with him to the hospital and realized that many other pediatric patients don’t have the same comforts. 

Drink Chocolate Milk for a Cause

Talon created the #TalonStrongChocolateMilkChallenge (aka #TSCMC) to raise awareness about his fundraiser. His plan is to buy items like video gaming systems and Fire Sticks for every room on the Kaiser Roseville pediatric floor. He hopes to raise enough awareness that he can continue his mission and spread the joy to other hospitals as well.

What’s the Challenge?

  1. Time yourself drinking one cup of chocolate milk as fast as you can. (No dairy? No problem. You can substitute milk with almond milk, coconut milk, etc.)
  2. Take a video of yourself participating in the challenge and post it on social media using the hashtags #TSCMC and #TalonStrongChocolateMilkChallenge to raise awareness. 
  3. Nominate three other friends or family members to take the challenge to help spread the word!

To prepare to take the challenge, check out these clips from Good Day Sacramento! Talon explains the challenge and the Sacramento Metro Fire Department chugs chocolate milk for a good cause.


Talon credits his mom and teacher, Amy Salvatori, for motivating him. In the future he hopes to help find the cure for cancer and be a pediatric oncologist. When asked what he would tell other students struggling with health issues while trying to complete high school he said,

“You have to push yourself. If you want to succeed you have to fight. Don’t get down on yourself.”

Visions In Education’s Independent Study high school program allows Talon to complete classes online from home and at the hospital. This flexible program helps him continue his education while making his health his priority.

Fun fact: even UFC fighter Urijah Faber has taken the #TSCMC!