My passion for pediatric cancer patients started years ago when I was in high school. I was determined to continue my passion and volunteer for organizations that support the kids and their families throughout my college career. Over the years I have volunteered for not only Nationwide Children’s Hospital but Flying Horse Farms, Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Kids n’ Kamp, BuckeyeThon and many more. I have volunteered my time and fundraised for the cause and other organizations that conduct research, treat and financially support pediatric patients fighting cancer and other life threatening diseases. Over the years I have been fortunate enough to meet, interact and bond with kids and their families and have developed amazing relationships.
On Sunday December 6, I had the honor of attending the annual Kids n’ Kamp holiday party with my hero Sean. In high school my mom signed us up to volunteer for the holiday party where I had the chance to meet and interact with kids and their families. I enjoyed the event so much that I volunteered the following year! As a participant at this year’s holiday party, I had several amazing moments throughout the day. It was incredible to see so many familiar faces of kids but all grown up and HEALTHY! I also had the pleasure of speaking with one of BuckeyeThon’s Miracle Families at the event. I was able to learn more about their story and how much BuckeyeThon has changed their life. They expressed how amazing all the students and volunteers are and how much they admire our efforts and how we have made a difference in their lives. But to me, it is the kids and their families who are the ones that truly make the difference.
The kids and the families are the ones that truly make the difference in my life and the lives of others who are passionate about the cause. Because of them, I am encouraged and excited about supporting them through their difficult time. I do not see them as kids who are sick but instead I see them as kids with bright futures and potential. To put into words how much these kids mean to me and how big of a difference they have made in my life is difficult. They are my heroes and attending the annual Kids n’ Kamp holiday party was a remarkable reminder. I was surrounded by familiar faces, celebrating Christmas with my hero, witnessing an organization making a difference for the kids and enjoying every moment. On the same day one of my little heroes was celebrating 3 years being cancer-free! Over the years my love and passion for these kids continues to grow as I watch them flourish and grow. I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to bond with these kids and give back to them and their families. As I continue to work and volunteer with these children, I can only hope that I can show them how much they have made a difference in my life through my philanthropic efforts.
The kids are the true heroes. What I do for them will never compare what they do for me. They inspire me daily and have given me a valuable perspective on life and how we should live it. This holiday season has reminded me how important it is to give to these kids and their families because what you get in return is absolutely priceless.
I hope this holiday season brings everyone as much joy and happiness as these kids and families bring me!
Happy 3 Years Cancer Free, Marley!