CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - This is Yvonne's favorite photo of her daughter, Grace Haynes. They were in Hawaii. Grace is stunning. Hard to believe just two days before she had relapsed.
"It has been so difficult losing Grace," Yvonne says. "There just isn't a way to prepare for losing your child. I have chosen to drown my sorrows in positive things to help others. That's what she did. I'm doing what she taught."
Grace was diagnosed on March 28th, 2014 with osteosarcoma. Bone cancer. She died December 14th, 2015.
Nine months later her family wants you to know:
A) Pediatric cancer gets less than 4% of funding for research.
B) Grace's chemo treatments were 60+ years old with little increase in survivorship.
C) If a child does survive osteosarcoma, they're usually left developing other health issues from the outdated treatments.
Welcome to why Amazing Grace Foundation is raising money for a clinical osteosarcoma trial.
"I talked with Dr. Oesterheld at Levine Children's Hospital," said Yvonne. "He said a clinical trial can cost anywhere from $250,000-$500,000, which doesn't include the cost to families. It's crazy. But that's the way to go. Clinical trials, research and awareness are our only hope to save kids."
One thing Yvonne says Grace knows from her perch above is that her family is doing the right thing.
"She always fought to help others," said Yvonne. "Even near her end she was worried about making a difference. We know we have to start and continue this Foundation for her."
Grace tried to spread the word about pathetic funding for childhood cancers while alive. Check this video starring Grace, posted by the MTJFoundation (Martin Truex Jr Foundation).
Yvonne says her family is excited about taking ACTION to help childhood cancer rather than just complain about how it devastated their own family.
"We want to make a real difference," Yvonne said. "All while remembering Gracie."
As if the Foundation isn't enough…
A) Grace's dog has since become a therapy dog. (Something Grace always wanted!)
B) Yvonne started radiation therapy school last month to treat others with care, in the same manner nurses treated her daughter when she had radiation.
"Through our struggle we have a purpose," Yvonne said.
"The Amazing Grace" Foundation's next major fundraiser is October 15th at 9 a.m. It's called KIC5K - The Amazing Grace Foundation, which stands for "Kiss It Cancer" 5k. It'll be Grand Oak Elementary in Huntersville.
I just heard yesterday, this year's fundraiser will benefit two of our #MollysKids, Parker Cowherd and Ally Davis (you'll read about her later this month).
I LOVE THAT! Any child paying it forward to any other child feels good. #MollysKids helping #MollysKids… when we know their real stories and have gotten to know all their families… feels remarkable.
Register here » www.theAmazingGraceFoundation.org/race-details.
Fine more on the Foundation here » www.theAmazingGraceFoundation.org.
"Ultimately our hope and goal is to make a difference in the pediatric cancer world," Yvonne said. "We want to see better, less toxic treatments with a significant increase in survivorship. We want to help relieve financial stresses and, always, we want to
remember and honor my darling Grace."
Maybe today's post helps a little, Yvonne. Maybe, hopefully, you are reading this and feel hugged by the thousands of us reading about your daughter. Maybe you know how high her spirit flies today.
**Editor's note: This is a about a member of #MollysKids, one of the kids WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. This article was first published there – maybe you'll be able to tell that in the personal way it's written. For years Molly has followed the stories of dozens of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story and updates on all of #MollysKids here.**