It’s a day sure to be remembered by patient “heroes,” their families, Children’s Mercy staff and the community …
A day that tugged at heart-strings when 50 cancer and blood disorder survivors were honored for their strength and bravery. Younger patients received superhero capes and older patients received customized Sock101 socks featuring the KC Cares for Kids Walk cancer ribbon logo. There also was a memorial garden with hand-written notes on butterfly cut-outs remembering patients who have passed away.
A day that exceeded expectations and raised more than $113,000 for Children’s Mercy cancer and blood disorder patients and their families. The event has grown from 300 participants in 2014 to more than 1,000 participants in just three years. Teams, co-workers, families and individuals all walked for a common goal: fighting pediatric cancers and blood disorders.
A day of FUN!
Patients got a kick out of throwing pies in the faces of their doctors and there were smiles all around, including from staff who were good sports. Before the ceremony, the Sprint plaza at Children's Mercy Park was covered with kids and families running around playing games, getting their faces painted, doing crafts and meeting with several non-profit organizations that provide resources for patients’ families.
“It was an amazing feeling to have so many survivors and their families participate,” said Mary Williams, Co-Chair of KC Cares for Kids Walk. “We’re thankful for everyone who served on the planning committee and the outpouring of support from Children’s Mercy staff. For example, staff created teams to walk, volunteered to help with event set up and activities, came to promotional events throughout the year, and purchased the annual fundraising T-shirts (more than 2,500 sold). It means so much that 100 percent of donations stay right here.”
Funds raised will help the Children’s Mercy Cancer Center Auxiliary Board to continue to provide grant opportunities for research projects and support such services as the parent-to-parent volunteer program, two psychologists, patient activities and two parent rooms at the hospital.
“My son was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2009. We received incredible care at Children’s Mercy,” said Teresa Loney, Co-Chair of KC Cares for Kids Walk. “When my son completed treatment, I knew I wanted to give back and be involved with pediatric cancer awareness and fundraising efforts. It doesn’t get much better than this special event. It was great to see families we’ve met along the way at the walk, and to socialize in a setting other than the hospital. It was an incredible day that leaves an impression on your heart!”