WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- The 5th annual WHO Pinky Swear Radiothon is Friday at the Valley West Mall. The Pinky Swear Foundation is raising money to help families of children with cancer pay for non-medical expenses.
Last year Channel 13 introduced you to the Meyer family, one of the foundation’s recipients. This year the family is celebrating almost an entire cancer-free year for their son James.
“So, this time last year he was recovering from having a full nephrectomy and partial nephrectomy of his kidneys to remove one giant tumor and two smaller tumors,” James Meyer’s mom MaryBeth Meyer said.
But as of March, of this year he is all cleared and cancer-free.
“He’s just enjoying being a normal two-year-old,” MaryBeth said. “We’re just thankful to be on the other side of this and we’re thankful for all the support we’ve gotten along the way.”
Some of that support came from the Pinky Swear Foundation which helps families of children with cancer with financial and emotional support.
“They can apply for a mortgage payment, a car payment, utility payment, help with groceries and gas, daycare, and then put that money toward medical bills,” Pinky Swear Foundation Area Director Mary Mendenhall-Core.
Pinky Swear has helped 92 families this year with an average gift of $900. Each family also gets an all-star weekend.
“Just have a weekend where they can be a family, go to a hotel, swim, have pizza and enjoy each other,” Mendenhall-Core said.
The Meyer family chose to go to Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America.
Mendenhall-Core said the foundation is happy to give families some relief during such a hard time.
“We can plan for weddings, we can plan for retirement, but we don’t plan to hear those words your child has cancer and so it can be very devastating financially to families,” Mendenhall-Core said.
“You don’t have to pay anything back, there’s no strings attached, they’re just a wonderful organization that really wants to help families who are battling cancer,” MaryBeth Meyer said.
You can donate to the Pinky Swear Foundation by going out to their event at the Valley West Mall Friday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. or by listening to WHO Radio and donating over the phone at (515) 284-1040.