by Kenzie Fronek, Development Intern
Pinky Swear Foundation
This is The Pinky Swear Foundation’s third article in the four-part series as our Outstanding Non-Profit for the month of September. We found out who they are, how you can help, met some of their All-Star children, and learned how we can volunteer. We hope you continue to follow their mission and their events in the future. —EH Stafford, Managing Editor
The Pinky Swear Family
One of Pinky Swear Foundation’s biggest strengths include inviting people into the Pinky Swear Family for Life. “All-Stars” are the kids battling cancer that Pinky Swear supports. Whether the support received is emotional or financial, these All-Stars and their families are invited to stay involved with Pinky Swear long after their cancer treatment is over.
Kingston and Michelle
An incredible All-Star family in North Carolina is Kingston and his mom, Michelle. For those who interact with Kingston, it’s easy to tell he is a happy-go-lucky 6-year-old boy. But what may not be as easily seen is his atypical second year of life. Though Kingston could understand little of what was going on around him, his friends and family understood the seriousness of his diagnosis: Kingston had cancer. And not just any type of cancer, an incredibly intense blood cancer known as Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Kingston’s initial treatment
Staying in the hospital on and off for about 4 months, Kingston underwent numerous rounds of chemotherapy treatment. But Kingston did not let his diagnosis dampen his happy spirit – “He was still just a child. He would go in the hallway and play with other kids or play with the nurses”, Kingston’s mom says. After finishing his treatment in March of 2014 and spending a summer cancer-free, the news came that the leukemia had returned in August.
Kingston’s relapse and bone marrow transplant
Knowing that Kingston was now in need of a bone marrow transplant, it was first necessary for him to be in remission. Unfortunately, his body was becoming more resistant to the chemotherapy. Harsher regiments were needed as his team tried many different chemotherapies to eradicate the cancer. After another 4 grueling months of treatment for 1-year-old Kingston, he was finally able to receive his Bone Marrow Transplant!
From fund recipients to volunteers!
Kingston’s family heard of the Pinky Swear Foundation through their social worker at the leading children’s hospital. Experiencing a year of the unexpected, Pinky Swear was able to pay for two rent payments while Kingston was going through treatment. Kingston has now been cancer-free for almost five years, and he and his family and friends are dedicated to staying involved with Pinky Swear.
“It started off with assistance, but now Pinky Swear is like a family to us,” Michelle expresses. “We just want to thank everyone who has a hand in it. We just want to keep thanking them over and over because they don’t know how they have actually changed our lives.”
Kingston and Michelle are great examples of All-Star families who have returned to volunteer and advocate for childhood cancer patients because of the help they received. Pinky Swear is dedicated to investing in meaningful and authentic relationships, inviting All-Stars and their families, youth, volunteers, and donors into the Pinky Swear Family for life.
Click on the link below to read more about our incredible All-Stars! https://www.pinkyswear.org/all-star-kids
Visit https://www.pinkyswear.org for more information on Pinky Swear Foundation’s programs. Look out for more articles here in the upcoming weeks highlighting the work and mission of Pinky Swear Foundation.
Kenzie Fronek is currently a sophomore at Creighton University’s School of Nursing in Omaha, Nebraska. She has a passion for helping kids with cancer, which led her to working with the Pinky Swear Foundation! Kenzie has also worked with other non-profits in the Twin Cities area, including Brighter Days Grief Center, The Angel Foundation, HopeKids, and Gilda’s Place.