September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and it’s also time for the 3rd annual Just Imagine® Childhood Cancer Walk which raises funds and awareness.
Imagine having your whole world turned upside down as your child is diagnosed with cancer. Imagine not knowing how you or your child’s future will turn out. Imagine everything your family will go through - who will pay the medical bills and support your family while you’re caring for your child? Many parents are left without a job or an income and can’t afford rent, utilities, gas to get to the hospital, or even medicines.
Families going through Childhood Cancer do not have to imagine this, they are living it. This is where the Just Imagine® Childhood Cancer Walk comes into play. Everyone is invited to come to Shelter 16 at Bob Noble Park, in Paducah. The Walk will held on Saturday, September 8th. Book for Hope has a great day planned for families. The online registration ended on midnight September 3. However, organizers have extra supplies and people can register on the day of the walk.
Every dollar the walk raises is split equally. It goes to childhood cancer research at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital (Vanderbilt Medical Center) in Nashville, and helping local families that are currently experiencing pediatric cancer with medical bills and other expenses.
At this year’s Walk, organizers are thrilled to have an extraordinary guest speaker from Gallatin, Tennessee, Jessica Meyer. Having battled childhood cancer herself, she continues to spread hope and positivity to those around her.
Jessica Meyer is an ambassador for Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee, and Rally for Kids. She is also the 2015/16 Tennessee Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champion Ambassador. Through Jessica's ambassadorship, she has been featured in national fundraising campaigns.
Jessica is a monthly contributing writer to New Focus Daily, an online magazine that celebrates survivorship. Most recently she has been a cast member with the “My 2nd Act Survivor Stories from the Stage” - a traveling stage production that brings the inspiring stories of cancer survivorship to major cities around the United States.
This Year's Beneficiaries
Book of Hope Founder and Just Imagine® Walk Organizer, Gaylon Hayden, talked about the two children and who will receive financial support through this years walk.
25% of all proceeds raised will be donated to Ariel Barton, daughter of Skylynn LaRue Fortner from Livingston County.
“Ariel was 5-years-old when we began to see her infectious smile on Facebook,” Hayden told me. “We reached out to her mom, Skylynn and met with her. Skylynn’s pediatric oncologist filled out the Book for Hope® paperwork. Within a two- week period we had everything set in place to help this local family.”
The remaining 25% of process raised will benefit Jaiden Melander. He is the nine-year-old son of Will and Ashley Melander.
“Jaiden was nine-years-old when I saw his story on Facebook,” explained Hayden. “I realized we had mutual friends”. Gaylon reached out to the Melander family and within a short time had everything in place to support this family.
For more information, visit Book for Hope’s Facebook page or their website www.bookforhope.org.