Samantha (aka “Sami” or “Sam-Jamz”) is an 11-year-old girl that enjoys drawing anime for her friends, playing Minecraft and Pokémon with her siblings, and challenging her dad to games of chess! She also has tons of fun putting on makeup and jewelry with her mom! Outside of the home, Sami loves roller skating, drinking coffee, listening to music, and dancing. She’s often seen in attendance at events hosted by Sunday Assembly – Grand Rapids and Center for Inquiry – Michigan.

In November of 2015, Make­‐A­‐Wish (Michigan) made Sami an ambassador, featuring her at their Wish Ball at the MGM Grand Hotel in Detroit, Michigan. The following day, they sent Sami and her family to the U.K. to see “The Doctor Who Experience” museum. Since their return, she & her father have been speaking to churches, organizations, and college campuses about “God & Cancer: The #TeamTinyDancer Story,” where they talk from the heart about issues like religion, science, interfaith friendship, and the difficulties surrounding childhood cancer.

When Sami grows up, she wants to be an artist and public speaker, “just like my dad.”

For more information about Samantha’s diagnosis, please visit the “About” page, and for speaking engagements and interviews, contact!
Facebook: Samantha.Bannister.98
Twitter: @TeamTinyDancer
Instagram: #TeamTinyDancer

Athanasius (aka “Athan” or “Isaac”) is a clever nine-year-old boy that loves playing Minecraft and Pokémon, building with LEGOs, play-­acting puppet shows, and practicing tae kwon do – he’s currently a white belt. He enjoys rollerblading, mathematics, dressing up in costumes, and having a really cool hairdo.

Ambrose (aka “Chief Rabby”) is seven-years-old and loves reading chapter books, drawing cartoons, and writing original stories and screenplays! He has a good friend in his stuffed-animal Beary, who he collaborates with in the art of making money, selling tickets for puppet shows, as well as bags of snacks at really affordable prices. He’s nicknamed “Rabby” after the kids in his class told him that his hair is as silky and soft as a rabbit.

Teresa (aka “Pumpkin Bear”) is six-years-old, loves rollerblading, playing with babies (real or otherwise), petting puppies and kittens, and making food with mama. When she’s not playing outdoors, she’s drawing, coloring, or watching YouTube videos about Play-Do. Her favorite TV shows are “Daniel Tiger” and “Pingu.”

Angela (aka “Ang” or “Mama”) is 35-years-old, a homemaker that loves arts & crafts. She enjoys knitting and crocheting, as well as photography, graphic design, and art. Ang likes watching Asian dramas, anime, Doctor Who, Lost Girl, Orphan Black, and likes reading manga comics and fantasy/sci-fi fiction. She listens to a lot of music (“except for country”) and loves dying her hair different colors. Angela wants to get into cosplay, especially after falling in love with renaissance festivals in the summer of 2015.

Facebook: aleebannister
Twitter: @aleebannister
Instagram: aleebannister

Jeremiah (aka “Paleocrat” or “Papa”) is 38-years-old, a disabled Navy veteran, former pastor and activist presently working as a talk radio personality, editor-in-chief of, and public speaker. He received his bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan, where he also minored in political science. He’s part of the Secular Student Alliance Speakers Bureau and serves on the board of Center for Inquiry (Michigan).

Currently, Jeremiah cohosts PaleoRadio, a talk radio podcast with Secular Media Group that airs in Grand Rapids on 95.3 FM and 1680 AM, Public Reality Radio.

For more biographical information –  including his love for poetry, chess, and guitar! – contact him at

Lion (police sketch)
Lion is a six-year-old orange and white tabby cat. He’s the oldest of his litter, and he’s always been a faithful friend and family member. Lion loves when people pet him, his tongue licks really hard, and he always cuddles with us when we go to bed –  he even comes to us when we call his name! He’s the best cat!

Cocoa (Not Shown Actual Size)
(Not Shown Actual Size)
During Sami’s Make-A-Wish trip to the U.K., Jeremiah & Angela decided that they wanted to buy #TeamTinyDancer a Christmas present, and they wanted it to be a dog! A dog that would be big and strong, yet gentle and caring. They settled on a Saint Bernard, and Sami named her Cocoa! She was born on November 16, 2015, and she’s quickly become an important part of the team! The family plans to have her trained, maybe even as a service dog for Samantha.