Archive for Thursday, August 3, 2006

Letters

Support effort to end childhood cancer

August 3, 2006

It is with mixed sadness and great joy that I write this letter. The fifth anniversary of my daughter Brooke's death is Aug. 3.

She wasn't killed by a drunk driver, gunshot or careless accident. Brooke was killed by a disease that in just five years destroyed her body and left her family devastated. She fought a long, hard battle against childhood cancer. She, along with 2,300 other children with childhood cancer succumbed to the disease during 2001 alone. Each year, 2,300 children continue to die of the disease.

Brooke's battle cry was, "We must do more for the children."

She never felt sorry for herself, but it broke her heart to see the other children suffer. She was compelled to do all she could with the time she had left to help stop the disease, not so much for her but for others who faced her battle. As a child, she could not understand anyone's hesitation to help.

Her last request was that we continue in her absence to work for a cure of childhood cancer. Family and friends started the Brooke O'Grady Foundation in her memory. During her final days we came across CureSearch of the National Childhood Cancer Foundation/Children's Oncology Group.

Since that time, our focus has been directed to helping the foundation with fund-raising and advocacy at local, state and federal levels. Our fund-raising has included hat days in schools, golf tournaments and Saturdays at Sonic.

This year, we have teamed up with CureSearch. We are sponsoring the 5K run and walk at Overland Park's Corporate Woods and encourage all to honor Brooke and support all children who are battling cancer to participate in the event Sept. 30.

More information and registration is available online at brookeogradyfoundation.org or curesearch.org.

The overwhelming sadness that Brooke is gone will never leave us, but the joy of knowing her life meant that more children will live is the lasting gift she left us.

Join us at Corporate Woods for the run/walk and meet some of the true super heroes.

Yours for the cure.

Judi O'Grady

Brooke O'Grady Foundation

Kansas team leader of CureSearch

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