Honoring Their Daughters’ Memory

Kim Frizzell(Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly) – Amy McKelvey and Kim Frizzell live in the same neighborhood, Providence Hills, but never met until both endured a mother’s worst nightmare – watching their child struggle and lose their life to cancer.

“It’s a club you never want to belong to, but to have someone who really truly knows, it’s a kindred friendship,” McKelvey said.

Frizzell’s daughter, Kalen, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in 2004. The treatments caused Kalen to develop chemically-induced Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). That’s the same type of naturally-occurring cancer McKelvey’s daughter, Emily Rose, was diagnosed with in 2008.

Kalen died in 2008 at 14 years old, just months before then-17-year-old Emily was diagnosed with AML. Emily died just five months after her July 2008 diagnosis.

Both women turned their grief into compassion, paying it forward to other children with cancer by participating in CureSearch’s Ultimate Hike fundraiser.

CureSearch is a nonprofit that funds childhood cancer research and clinical trials, while also providing resources and education for the families of children diagnosed with cancer. Brecka Putnam, events manager at CureSearch, said the organization’s biggest program, Acceleration Initiative, “addresses the most challenging barriers in the pediatric oncology research field … so breakthroughs in treatment and cures can be funded.”

The Ultimate Hike is a national fund- raising arm of CureSearch, in which participants can engage in one of four group hikes at four different locations across the U.S., or create their own physically-enduring challenge to raise money for childhood cancer.


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