Event raises money for kids fighting cancer

WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) – An event was held in Walker to raise money for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program at Helen DeVos Children Hospital Friday.

“The biggest thing that this is going to help with is to be able to continue a lot of the programs that support not only the patients but the families as well,” said Brad Kaufmann, the Director of Annual Giving for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The event, Put Cancer on the Ropes, was held at the Delta Plex.

“Having that generous community has been so beneficial to have been able to build the hospital and now treat nearly 200,000 kids a year,” said Kaufmann.

More than 700 patients visit their clinic monthly for tests and evaluations. The hospital offers the only pediatric bone marrow and stem cell transplant program in West Michigan.

“When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it doesn’t really just affect the child. It affects everyone around them,” Kaufmann said.

A family that knows that well is the Wade family.

“Our daughter, Sydnie, was diagnosed with stage four Neuroblastoma in December, 2010,” said Melissa Wade.

Sydnie had gone for a child wellness screening in 2010. They were told she needed a sclerosis test. When that came back, they were told more tests needed to be done. That is when doctors found an eight pound tumor in her abdomen.

Over the next few years, the Wade’s would spend a lot of time getting treatment for Sydnie at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

“Six rounds of chemo therapy, 20 rounds of radiation, three tumor receptions through her time. She had antibody treatment, which is cutting edge, still in clinical trial for her system. Bone marrow transplant,” Wade said.

Today, Sydnie is cancer free.She was in the entourage that led one of the nurses that took care of her to the ring at the fundraiser Friday night.

Sydnie says she is feeling great, and thankful.

“I want to say thank you to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital for helping me through my journey,” said Sydnie.

Her parents are grateful as well.

“We’re very thankful that we have that kind of medical technology. Here in Grand Rapids, 20 minutes from our home.”

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“Put Cancer on the Ropes” online

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