Grace is 11 years old. According to Grace’s mom, “Kids Kicking Cancer has become an extension of our family. We look forward to seeing the other kids, families and grandparents involved in the program as much as our kids like seeing their fellow Kids Kicking Cancer friends.”
When Grace was diagnosed with cancer at 7 years old she was very withdrawn. She was depressed & lacking conﬁdence. She didn’t want to come to Kids Kicking Cancer class. Cindy encouraged the family to try out some of the family support outings in the meantime. She explained that if Grace made friends she would want to come to class. She was right. The more Grace participated you could see her conﬁdence increase. She became so conﬁdent that she was even willing to tell her story of how the program has helped her in front of hundreds of people at Camp Michigania.
Her mom explained that “It is such a blessing for our family to be with other kids that understand what Grace is going through. There is such acceptance that she’s able to be a kid. Nobody asks her the probing questions. Nobody asks about her hair. She’s made friends who understand what she’s going through. The kids love getting together- it’s beautiful. As a mom I couldn’t have imagined when she was ﬁrst diagnosed being now in this place of seeing Grace so conﬁdent being part of this Kids Kicking Cancer community.”
For Grace’s older sister Danielle, Kids Kicking Cancer has also been very helpful. There were so many times that Danielle couldn’t come to the hospital – she couldn’t be with Grace – and she needed an outlet as well. It was so reassuring to know that she wasn’t alone as the sibling, and she wasn’t forgotten. This was something they could do together even when Grace was sick. During this journey, everyone was always concerned about Grace. Through Kids Kicking Cancer, Danielle has also gained acceptance, community and friends that she and Grace haven’t found anyplace else.