A little over a year ago, I got connected with a fantastic organization called Friends of Kids with Cancer. Handing out toys was great, but I wanted to do something bigger. I decided to climb a mountain and raise money for this great group!
I had a first pitch opportunity at the Cardinals game that I donated to a family through Friends of Kids with Cancer. I met the Ingram family and started following Alec’s story. Alec Ingram was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma bone cancer in May of 2015. Alec went through 32 rounds of chemotherapy at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and finished chemo on February 22nd of this year.
“Being a business owner is about more than just bottom lines…it’s about giving back.”
Alec was on his way to recovery but on Easter Sunday made the dreaded trip back to the ER and was admitted with pneumonia. Further testing showed Alec had caught a viral infection that was attacking his heart. Alec was put on a ventilator, an Ecmo machine, and had open heart surgery. He went through several more heart surgeries and now has a heartware device that helps his heart function properly until his heart heals or until he receives a transplant.
Between the Chemo Treatments and Alec’s Heart Surgeries, Alec and his family spent months and months at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon receiving exceptional health care. When your child is sick in the hospital, everything stops, including work. Bills don’t matter when your son is fighting for his life. Alec is home now recovering but he goes back to the hospital several times a week for PTO and check-ups.
I felt very helpless when Alec was so sick. When taking dinners to the hospital, I would ask Chris and Jen what can I do? Their answer was always the same, help get Alec’s heart healthy. I couldn’t do that, I left that to the doctors, however, I can climb that mountain again and I can raise the money for #TeamAlec!
“For me… It’s always been about the kids.”
From my initial trip to Friends of Kids to meeting #TeamAlec and visiting SSM Health Cardinal Glennon I saw firsthand just how many children and their families are affected by cancer, heart disease, and other diseases that a child and their family should ever have to experience. That is why I have decided to climb Mt. Rainer to raise money for #TeamAlec, Friends of Kids with Cancer, and inpatient and outpatient services at The Costas Center at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon. You can choose where you make your donation, they are all very great causes that helped get Alec where he is today!
About Friends of Kids With Cancer:Friends of Kids with Cancer has a proud 24-year history exclusively in St. Louis of helping kids with cancer…be kids. Friends of Kids with Cancer has a unique niche for the families of children battling cancer: the glue. Cancer doesn’t just fight the blood cells in a child’s body; it puts a strain on the entire family physically, mentally and financially. Fighting cancer is tough for everyone, but for a child with so little life experiences, as well as the social and emotional handicaps that accompany their treatment, it is extremely trying. Friends of Kids with Cancer provides these special kids and their families with the educational, emotional and recreational support needed as a result of the long hours of chemotherapy, illness and isolation.
About SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital: At SSM Health Cardinal Glennon, we care for children and their families with knowledge and expertise, understanding and patience, and always with respect. Our pediatricians, nurses and other health care professionals are trained to care specifically for children. Playrooms on patient floors give kids a needed break from their hospital rooms, and Volunteers and Child Life specialists make sure every day is new and refreshing.