We run in memory of Kelsie, and all of the other kids affected by Childhood Cancer!
In May, we will be running in the Tacoma City Half Marathon and the Inaugural Portland Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon on behalf of the Rally Foundation, which raises money for childhood cancer research. We will run in memory of Kelsie and think of her with every step we take. When we get tired, we will remind ourselves of the pain and suffering Kelsie endured and our pain will pale in comparison. We have every confidence Kelsie would be pleased that we are helping other children.
Here is a bit of Kelsie’s story:
Kelsie April Grace McKune was born March 1993. She had a beautiful smile and big blue eyes. She was a vibrant, fun-loving, warm girl with a great sense of humor. She was very active in sports, friends and family. Kelsie loved children, especially babies. She would spend hours playing with her younger cousins, carrying them around from the time they were babies to doing hair and playing games with them as they got older. Kelsie had a goal of having a job working with children one day. Unfortunately she never got that opportunity. Instead, right before graduating 8th grade she started not feeling well; back pain, fevers, urinary tract infection, lethargy, bruising, etc. After many doctor appointments and a battery of tests the diagnosis was Burkitts Lymphoma, a very rare form of cancer with about only 300 new cases a year in the United States. Burkitts Lymphoma is very aggressive, and so is the treatment.
Within 2 days she was started on chemotherapy, and we were told she would have at least six months of treatment. After being on treatment for a very short time, we were told that Kelsie was in remission! This was great news, although we knew the road was still long.
The excitement over this small victory was short lived, however. Kelsie started having severe pain in her knees, hands and feet. Soon after, we found out that Kelsie had relapsed. This really only gave us one treatment option. If, with this last treatment, they could get Kelsie in remission, they would do a bone marrow transplant. The doctors gave us very little hope however, with this last treatment option. They did not feel the treatment would be successful, but left the decision in our hands. We weren’t ready to give up. Anything that might help needed to be tried. And so it was tried….and failed. Kelsie was just 14 years old when she passed away with her family by her side.
Kelsie taught us all so much. She taught us how to never give up, even through unimaginable pain. She taught us how to be selfless. She taught us to say I love you more, hug more often. She taught us to not take things for granted. Kelsie has inspired many people. Kelsie inspired us to help other children.
We are very thankful of your support of Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research. We would love to see the day when no child or family has to endure childhood cancer.
If you prefer to mail in a check instead of giving online please write in the memo section of the check "Rally Athlete – Kelsie Team" and make the check out to Rally Foundation. Checks can be sent to:
Rally Foundation 5775 Glenridge Drive Building B, Suite 370 Sandy Springs, GA 30328
Below are the members of Team Kelsie:
1. John Bair
2. Kathi Clarke
3. Ron McKune
4. Gina McKune
5. LoriAnn Orcutt
6. Gina Lanza Peterson